Updated Volkswagen Arteon Teased, Wagon Confirmed

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
updated volkswagen arteon teased wagon confirmed

Volkswagen has announced that the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon will make its world debut later this month with some exclusively European company. On June 25th, VW’s four-door fastback will be joined by a “shooting-brake” variant that looks far more interesting. The manufacturer has already explained that the wagon is not intended for North America, so those hoping to own a stretched Golf R will have to warm up a MIG welder and get creative.

The automaker also released a couple of design drawings and some minor details to keep us interested until the big day.

Don’t be upset with Volkswagen for withholding the shooting brake; Areton sales in the United States absolutely do not support such an investment. Customers haven’t exactly clamored for it since its 2019 launch; VW is lucky to move 300 Arteons per month in the States. Meanwhile, European deliveries averaged around 1,500 per month before the pandemic, with annual volume coming in around 20,000 units.

Big changes for 2021 include an updated interior that embraces VW’s modular infotainment matrix (MIB3), which is all about vehicular connectivity and the latest version of Travel Assist. The manufacturer says the system is now focused on long-distance journeys — with the car able to take over steering, acceleration, and braking up to speeds of 130 mph.

It’s a relatively slick system with favorable comparisons made against Tesla’s Autopilot. However, if you’re ever read anything written by yours truly, you know that my totally unreasonable bias forces me to hate even the finest driver assistance packages. A few seconds of adaptive cruise control is all it takes before I’m ready for a nap and one system glitch sends me into a blind rage. That said, interested parties with lighter eyelids will probably appreciate VW offering the best it has in terms of tech.

The real technological terror lies in how the cockpit is set up, however. When Volkswagen previewed the new Golf, we shuddered at its heavy reliance on touch controls — which never seem to perform as well as the manufacturer hopes. Despite looking quite handsome inside the small hatchback, we’re genuinely worried it’s going to spoil the user experience and turn a stellar little platform into a clumsy-to-operate automotive appliance.

Arteon is rumored to receive a similar treatment for 2021. Still, we can’t say with any certainty that VW has shit the bed until we’ve lived with the new interface for a while. These are just the paranoid musings of someone who still drives for pleasure.

R versions (not to be confused with the tepid R-Line) are coming to Arteon, but we’ve no concept of when. Volkswagen has proven totally unwilling to confirm anything but, if you look closely, you can see that the wagon variant in the drawings is actually an R. Powertrain options remain a secret, though we’ve heard performance models could use the veteran 2.0 TSI or some new unit we’ve yet to encounter. We knew the brand was working on a VR6 motor at some point, but that project may have been scrapped. Hybridization also seem like a possibility on more luxury-focused trims.

We’ll gain a better understanding of the 2021 Arteon on June 25th, and will just have to hope VW feels generous enough to bring the R model along for the debut.

[Image: Volkswagen]

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5 of 24 comments
  • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Jun 03, 2020

    Why? This feels like zombie Piëch emerging from the grave to make decisions.

  • PeriSoft PeriSoft on Jun 04, 2020

    I really, *really* wanted to be excited about the Arteon, and then when it came out and I saw details, it left me colder than the inside of a greyhound's nostril. I wanted "A7 I can plausibly afford" and got the Lucy-pulling-the-football-away of aspirational vehicles. It's so bizarre.

    • See 2 previous
    • PeriSoft PeriSoft on Jun 04, 2020

      @PeriSoft Hm, they're a bit cheaper than I thought. Maybe worth a second look...

  • Jim Bonham Thanks.
  • Luke42 I just bought a 3-row Tesla Model Y.If Toyota made a similar vehicle, I would have bought that instead. I'm former Prius owner, and would have bought a Prius-like EV if it were available.Toyota hasn't tried to compete with the Model Y. GM made the Bolt EUV, and Ford made the Mach-E. Tesla beat them all fair and square, but Toyota didn't even try.[Shrug]
  • RHD Toyota is trying to hedge their bets, and have something for everyone. They also may be farther behind in developing electric vehicles than they care to admit. Japanese corporations sometimes come up with cutting-edge products, such as the Sony Walkman. Large corporations (and not just Japanese corporations) tend to be like GM, though - too many voices just don't get heard, to the long-term detriment of the entity.
  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.