Say hello to the ‘Art stoppingly handsome VW Arteon



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VW’s four-door coupe is faster, more powerful than Audi/BMW offerings – priced at $221,900 with COE

Singapore 

The Volkswagen Arteon has arrived in Singapore and could be yours from $221,900 for this launch spec, the 2.0 R-Line.

That’s quite a pretty penny for a VW, but then the Arteon is a very pretty car. It may look like it has four doors (it actually has a rear hatch) but don’t call it a saloon.

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Instead, Volkswagen would like you to think of it as a five-door gran turismo, or grand tourer. We’ve already driven the Arteon at its international launch in Germany, and on first impressions it can tour very well indeed.

If its side profile looks familiar to you, you’re not far wrong. The Arteon is a successor to the CC four-door coupe (and before that the Passat CC), even if Volkswagen would rather you regarded it as an all new contender given that it’s aimed upmarket at the Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.

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Under the rakish lines, the Arteon uses tried-and-tested VW Group components. That means it sits on the now-familiar MQB modular platform, has a dashboard that borrows heavily from the Passat, and uses the 280hp version of the EA888 2.0-litre engine also found in the Golf R and GTI with 350Nm of torque. Like the R, 4MOTION all-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox also feature.

At launch the only variant on sale is the 2.0-litre R-Line with 280hp. For those who think 280hp is a bit too much (to pay for), a 190hp Elegance line model will be launched later this year.

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The 2.0 R-Line variant does 0-100km/h in 5.6 seconds, with a 250km/h (presumably limited) top speed, while returning 7.3L/100km and 164g/km CO2. BMW’s 420i Gran Coupe is actually cheaper than the Arteon, at $217,888 with COE, though it’s slower and less powerful (181hp, 0-100km/h 7.7 seconds, 236km/h top speed).

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The Audi A5 Sportback also has a similar 2.0-litre engine, but in front-wheel drive ‘non-quattro’ form it’s cheaper ($206,980 with COE) and slower too (188hp, 0-100km/h 7.5 seconds, 239km/h top speed). In quattro form (2.0 TFSI quattro) it’s quite a bit more expensive ($271,930 with COE), but still less powerful (248hp), and less quick (0-100km/h 6.0 seconds, 250km/h top speed). 

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As the Arteon is closely related to the Passat though, it’s far more spacious than either of them, with loads of legroom, plenty of airiness thanks to the extended rear windows, and a best-in-class boot capacity of 563 litres.

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Singapore’s first, proud owners of the Arteon took delivery of the cars at the launch event

As expected of an R-line model, the car comes with a racy-looking bodykit and 20-inch rims. There’s also a heads up display, Active Info Display (a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster), the slick-looking latest version of the Discover Pro infotainment system (with a 9.2-inch capacitive touchscreen), and Area View, which shows a 360-degree view of the car’s surroundings.

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There’s also Dynamic Chassis Control, which has a slider bar for you to precisely specify your desired suspension stiffness, beyond the default Comfort, Normal and Sport settings.

One notable addition to the mix is Front Assist with City Emergency Brake and Pedestrian Monitoring, which is VW’s version of a frontal safety system. At speeds of up to 50km/h it’ll intervene (by braking to a complete halt) if it detects the driver is doing diddly-squat despite heading towards danger, or a pedestrian. 

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Given the mix-and-matchability of Volkswagen’s parts bin though, cheaper, less powerful models are likely for the future, likely with a less powerful version of the 2.0-litre engine, or maybe even with the new 1.5-litre TSI Evo that debuted with the Golf Mk7.5.

about the author

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Jon Lim
CarBuyer's latest addition is its fourth historical Jonathan. Old-fashioned in all but body, he thinks car design peaked in the '90s. He also strongly believes any car can be a race car if you have a sufficient lack of self-preservation, which explains why he nearly flipped a Chinese van while racing it.