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2021 Volkswagen Arteon adds Shooting Brake, PHEV tech

John Law

Volkswagen has unveiled an all-new Arteon and it’s complimented for the first time by an elegant Shooting Brake body-style. The new VW also ushers in PHEV tech to the Arteon grand tourer, though it’s unclear whether that will reach Aussie shores.

The Arteon certainly looks familiar for 2021 with its low, wide stance and menacing grille design, and there are subtle updates for the four-door including a full-width front LED signature and lightly tweaked bumper designs.

There’s clear heritage carried over from the eye-catching Passat CC, and subsequent Volkswagen CC, though the Arteon has traced its own path.

Volkswagen Arteon R-Line
The new Arteon in R-Line guise.

Perhaps more important is the all-new body style. The Shooting brake adds some bulk to the rear of the already attractive Arteon, and Volkswagen says it is all-new from the B-pillar back. In doing so, Volkswagen has created something that, in our eyes, is reminiscent of the BMW Z3 M “clown shoe”.

Though, naturally, there will be no screaming straight-six under the bonnet of this VW group product.

The Arteon remains based on the group’s MQB platform which also sits beneath one of the VW’s fiercest rivals – the Audi A5 Sportback.

Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake
LED Signatures for the 2021 Arteon.

Although the Arteon has always been a bit of an oddball in the marketplace, it’s likely the shooting brake – if it does come to Australia – will win favour with prospective buyers of the BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes-Benz C-Class wagon.

In Australia, the new Arteon and Arteon Shooting Brake will be powered by the familiar Volkswagen EA888 two-litre turbocharged four-cylinder which will produce 206kW and 350Nm, with power sent to all-four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

However there is another powertrain joining the stylish Arteon in Europe, it’s a PHEV that combines a turbocharged 1.4-litre engine with a 12.7kWh battery. A range of around 55km is claimed, which is adequate for most inner-city commuters to be happy.

Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake
A PHEV Shooting Brake? Yes please.

Combined power outputs equate to 160kW, and we reckon this might be the perfect stop-gap in the transition to full electrification. We’re waiting with crossed fingers on news about whether this green powertrain will arrive on Australian shores.

Further updates to the Arteon are found inside. While the new car appears familiar with the continuous air-vent detail and overall design, the new cabin runs Volkswagen’s updated MIB 3 infotainment system. It also boasts a dedicated touchscreen for climate control settings.

It’s a much sleeker integration of the necessary tech than the current car which lifts rotary dials straight from more affordable Golf siblings.

Volkswagen Arteon Interior
The updated interior with touch AC controls.

There’s the inclusion of a 9.3-inch touchscreen and a smart-looking digital driver’s display ahead of the small steering wheel. Wireless Apple CarPlay will finally make an appearance for the 2021 Arteon, too.

The Arteon adds some smart driver assistance tech, with adaptive cruise and lane-keep assist functional up to 210km/h – not so relevant here in Australia. Integration with the navigation system allows the Arteon to predict and adjust its speed for curves in a highway, too, just like in the Audi e-tron EV.

Naturally, there are some more applicable technologies including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection, and a reversing camera with trailer view for easy caravan attachment. How very European.

Volkswagen Arteon R-Line
Shooting brake or Coupe, what’s your pick?

Volkswagen has only offered the range-topping Arteon R-Line here in Australia, and we expect that to be the case with the new car. It’s shaping up to be a compelling package, especially in the new Shooting Brake body-style with a PHEV powertrain.

Detailed pricing and specification for Australian Arteons will be released in the coming months.