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Volkswagen has revealed its CC-replacing Arteon five-door gran turismo (GT) in Geneva, an all-new model that will sit above the Passat in the German manufacturer's range.
The Arteon is a fastback, with a large opening hatch leading into a boot that's anything between 563- and 1,557 litres in capacity. It's a long car, at 4,862mm from tip to tail, but proportionally the wheelbase is stretched (2,841mm) to simultaneously maximise interior space and minimise the front/rear overhangs. Along the sides are defined swage lines, flared wheel arches and alloys in sizes up to 20 inches, while the back is neat and attractive too. However, the obvious big talking point here is the front-end design - and we think it's absolutely superb. The LED headlights and daytime running lights all merge with the bold, horizontal grille strakes, and the end result is incredibly elegant and yet also sporty. Bravo, Volkswagen.
It's a Volkswagen cabin and so it's going to be excellent, with the Arteon's dash looking not too dissimilar from that found in the current Passat or the Audi Q7 - including the air vents that are part of a full-width design feature, a tidy instrument cluster that can be digital if you opt for the Active Info Display and a 9.2-inch infotainment glass touchscreen. Additionally, there's a Head-Up Display and Gesture Control, plus a wealth of driver assistance aids.
More importantly, the rear bench accommodates three people, not just two, and Volkswagen promises its striking new GT has 'excellent rear legroom' as a result of that wheelbase stretch. Trim levels announced so far, which should hopefully carry over to Ireland, are the basic specification and then either luxury-focused Elegance or the sports-oriented R-Line. We reckon Elegance is going to be the one to go for here, maximising the opulence of the Arteon.
Familiar engines from the wider Volkswagen Group power the Arteon. There are six in all, split three-and-three petrol (TSI) to diesel (TDI), and all of them are four-cylinder units with turbocharging. Power goes to either the front wheels or both axles on cars with 4Motion badging, while gearboxes are a six-speed manual and an optional (or, on the higher-powered models, standard-fit) seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic unit.
For the TSIs, choose from a 150hp 1.5-litre engine with Active Cylinder Technology (it can run on two cylinders when needs be, to save fuel) or the 2.0-litre motor, which has either 190- or 280hp. The 2.0 is DSG-only and the 280hp variant has 4Motion drive as well. Switching to the TDIs, all of them are 2.0-litre units, the single-turbo engines delivering 150- or 190hp, the twin-turbo churning out a useful 240hp. Here, DSG is an option on the first two and standard-fit on the third, while 4Motion is available as a cost extra for the 190hp TDI and is mandatory on the 240hp powerplant.
Economy for all models has not been ratified yet, but as a guide the most powerful variants of each fuel-type use 7.3 litres/100km (38.7mpg) with 164g/km CO2 (TSI), or 5.9 litres/100km (47.9mpg) with 152g/km CO2 (TDI).
Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen's head of Design, said: "The Arteon combines the design elements of a classic sports car with the elegance and space of a fastback. An avant-garde, business-class gran turismo, it speaks to the heart and the head alike."