2017 Geneva Motor Show LIVE: 2018 Volkswagen Arteon image

The Passat CC is dead – long live the VW Arteon – the second generation of the four door coupe that becomes the flagship Volkswagen model in Europe following its official premiere in front of the worldwide audience of the Geneva Motor Show.

While not the greatest looking four-door sedan out there, among such bland family members the Passat CC / CC was arguably one of the more exciting entries in the VW range. Now there’s a worthy successor with an even bolder exterior design and all the interior amenities VW has on hand. The design might look familiar because the Arteon was previewed by an almost identical prototype during the Swiss event of 2015 – the Sport Coupe Concept GTE, with the similarities almost striking if we refer to the top of the line R specification. The Arteon is also finally introducing a new road for the VW design where at the front the radiator grille is now common with the headlights – this flagship model featuring a full-LED cluster.

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The CC was only called a “four-door coupe,” but it was actually a true sedan – things have changed this time as the new generation comes with a more practical fastback body style alongside the new name – bringing a big rear hatch, another trait shared with the concept. The Arteon is thus a very practical flagship – rear seats in place and the cargo space amounts to 19.9 cubic feet (563 liters). Fold them down and you’ll get 55 cubic feet (1,557 liters) of space for the luggage. The Arteon is of course closely related to the Euro-spec Passat – with the MQB platform, but it’s around 3.7 inches (9.4 centimeters) longer, 1.6 inches (four cm) wider, and sits 1.1 inches (2.8 cm) lower. The wheelbase has also gone up by two inches (five cm) to free up more legroom for passengers.

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The cabin is even more evocative of the Passat, with the base option including perks such as six-way power adjustable front seats, leather steering wheel, and the Composition Media infotainment system with eight speakers. Jump to the R-Line and there are numerous new perks – including all-digital instrument cluster, a head-up display, and the 9.2-inch infotainment system with support for gesture controls. Safety is covered with VW’s newest update to the adaptive cruise control system, cornering light system with predictive beam control and GPS capabilities, as well as second-gen Emergency Assist.

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Powertrain options – market dependent – include three gasoline and three diesel engines. The group’s new 1.5 TSI Evo with 148 horsepower (110 kilowatts) will be hooked to FWD for the base version – complete with standard-six speed manual or an optional seven-speed DSG. The 2.0 TSI can have either 188 hp (140 kW) or 276 hp (206 kW), both coming with the DSG and the latter also adopting the 4Motion AWD. Diesel fans will have the regular 2.0 TDI – which can be derived into 148 hp (110 kW), 188 hp (140 kW), and 236 hp (176 kW) flavors. The range-topping diesel only comes with the DSG and the 4Motion to handle all 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-meters).

  • Cnote78z

    Has pricing for the 2018 Arteon been established? From what I’m seeing in pictures, this model looks like it might be nipping at the heels of the Audi A4.