Instead of letting the global scorn from Dieselgate infect the designs of Volkswagen's new cars, the German automaker has just released an unscathed, sleek, handsome fastback called the Arteon at the Geneva Motor Show. Based off the Sport Coupé Concept that Volkswagen showed at Geneva just two years ago, the Arteon will be the range-topping model within VW's sedan range and will use VAG's MQB platform—the modular architecture that underpins a handful of other VAG cars, including the Audi A3 and the Volkswagen Golf, Tiguan, and Passat.
Regarding its looks, Klaus Bischoff, head designer at Volkswagen, said, "The Arteon combines the design elements of a classic sports car with the elegance and space of a fastback. It’s an avant-garde business-class Gran Turismo that speaks to the heart and head alike." Furthermore, the production Arteon's design isn't all that far off from the Sport Coupé Concept, something that's a bit of an anomaly these days.
At launch, a total of six powertrain options will be available—three gas-powered units and three diesel units, all of which are turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder units that range from 148 hp to 276 hp. 4Motion, VW's all-wheel drive system, will come standard on the 276 hp gas-powered car and the 236 hp diesel car, and Volkswagen's dual-clutch transmission (DSG) will come standard on half of the available powertrains.
Two trim levels will also be available—the Elegance and R-Line. The Elegance's focus will be on luxury, whereas the R-Line, like it has in the past, will be geared towards driving performance and sportiness. Both trim levels will feature "Active Info Display"—VW's version of the digital cockpit that's found in new Audis—which is a TFT screen whose tasteful, futuristic looks render needles and gauges obsolete. Adaptive cruise control, a dynamic cornering light system, and emergency assist—a program that slows down the car and changes into a nearside lane if the driver suddenly becomes ill—will come standard.
There's no telling whether the Arteon will help save Volkswagen from its Dieselgate woes, but given its handsome looks and use of new technology, the beleaguered automaker looks like it's is well on its way to a strong recovery.