Meet Arteon, the future of Volkswagen style

In car design circles, the word “fastback” means a car with a roof line that glides to its tail with one smooth, seamless curve. The Beetle may be the most famous example of such a car, while Volkswagen’s popular Type 3 Fastback sedan of the 1960s and ‘70s also demonstrated the stylistic and aerodynamic benefits of the look.

Today, Volkswagen revealed a 21st-centry take on the fastback with an all-new model. Meet the Arteon, a visually unique four-door flagship that shows the direction Volkswagen styling will take in the future. Based closely on the GTE Coupe Concept from 2015, the Arteon combines the space of a luxury car with the benefits of a hatchback and several new technologies.

“The car looks simply great – it both arouses emotions and creates desirability,” said Dr. Elmar-Marius Licharz, head of the mid- and full-size vehicle lines for Volkswagen. “Many of the details of the show car have made it into real production.”

Start with the name – a portmanteau of “art” and “eon,” the suffix that now signifies all high-end luxury models within the Volkswagen brand worldwide. The Arteon’s integrated grille, LED headlamps and daytime running lights with chrome trim that connects all three elements presents the new “face” of the Volkswagen brand.

Compared to the outgoing CC, the Arteon is longer and wider, while its fastback profile allows for a true hatchback trunk. It’s also space efficient, with up to 55 cubic feet of cargo space when the rear seats are folded down. LED taillights and 20-inch wheels combined with a shoulder line that runs the length of the body build the Arteon’s sporty nature.

The All-New Volkswagen Arteon

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Under its skin, the Arteon will feature several advanced technologies. The 12.1-inch Volkswagen Digital Cockpit display works with with an active heads-up display for maximum usefulness. The new Discover Pro entertainment system combines a 9.2-inch touchscreen in the dashboard with gesture controls. And a new Emergency Assist system can engage automatically in cases where a driver appears incapacitated; it will move the car to an available emergency lane, put on its hazard lights and slow down.

In Europe, the Arteon will offer a choice from six potential engines and either six- or seven-speed automatic transmissions, with the 276-hp V-6 with 4Motion all-wheel-drive as the range-topping version. The Arteon will go on sale in Europe later this year, and eventually in the United States. And while the Arteon offers a premium appearance, it will not carry a huge price tag.

“It’s the perfect car for people who appreciate great style and great value for money,” said Licharz. “That is how we are challenging premium car makers without becoming one ourselves.”