New 2020 VW Arteon: refresh brings hot R and Shooting Brake

Published: 24 June 2020

► VW’s updated Arteon exec
► 316bhp R and new eHybrid
► New fresh Shooting Brake estate

VW has refreshed its stylish Arteon executive car and, in the process, has expanded the range to include a low-slung Shooting Brake estate, hybrid version and a potent R model.

It’s interesting to note that VW is putting a stronger bet on the Arteon despite limited sales numbers; the brand sold almost three times as many Passats in the UK in 2019 than its sleeker sibling. Growing the range could tip the balance.

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‘The Shooting Brake was a no-brainer,’ design chief Klaus Bischoff has previously told CAR. ‘It’s an extremely attractive car.’ Yes, he’s biased – but we’ve always thought the same about the original Arteon.

So what’s new for the 2020 facelift? Keep reading to find out…

Refreshed inside and out

The Arteon’s swooping look has been refined, with Elegance and R-Line upper trims gaining different bumper arrangements front and rear. The DRL signature extends beyond the headlights clusters now, almost like an illuminated moustache. New colours include Kingfisher Blue for Elegance models and Kings Red for R-Line trims.

Arteon front cornering

The cockpit has new trim materials for the dashboard including optional real wood veneers, and all models have at least part-leather seats.

Tech and details from the Golf 8 feature, too, including a capacitive touchscreen steering wheel and slider touchpads for the aircon controls.

arteon interior

It’s, overall, a wholly digitised interior, which adopts the group’s latest modular infotainment matrix (MIB3) via the 9.2-inch touchscreen, and advanced cruise control systems like the brand’s ‘Travel Assist’ tech which can drive at up to 130mph hands-free, under certain circumstances.

Introducing the Shooting Brake

Yes, the much-mooted estate version has finally arrived. The slicked back silhouette of this new Shooting Brake estate has a flatter roofline for better rear headroom.

arteon shooting brake

The boot volume with up to the parcel shelf is 565 litres compared to the hatch’s 563, but with that removed the space grows to 1632 litres (compared to the hatch’s 1557 litres).

There’s an R version, too!

Yes indeed. Available in VW Performance’s traditional Lapiz Blue, the hot Arteon is available in hatch and Shooting Brake versions, comes with a more aggressive body kit and 19-inch wheels as standard.

arteon R twins

Under the bonnet is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo making 316bhp sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch auto. The Arteon R also introduces a new torque vectoring system splits the shove depending on steering angle, throttle input and g-forces. All of the power can be sent to one single wheel if needed. Much to the joy of VW engineers, there is also a setting that completely deactivates the stability control – a rarity in this computer controlled world.

What other specs and engines are there?

The other big news is the introduction of a 215bhp eHybrid PHEV variant capable of up to 34 miles of zero-emission driving. Two other petrol engines below the R with 187bhp or 277bhp with all-wheel drive are available, as are two diesels – a 148bhp and 197bhp, the latter with all-wheel drive.

Arteon group 2020

New 2020 Arteon: price and release date 

VW’s new Arteon range will all go on sale at the same time in the autumn of 2020. Prices for the UK market are yet to be announced, but expect the Arteon range to start at around £35,000.

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By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches