Well isn’t this a pleasant surprise? It’s the Volkswagen Arteon—a “five-door gran turismo” that’s set to sit above the capable yet impossibly dull Passat in VW’s lineup. In effect, it’s the replacement for the fine-looking CC—VW’s take on the Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4-Series Gran Turismo. A conventional, three-box sedan with a hatched-back and coupe-like roofline inspired by the Sport Coupe Concept GTE of Geneva 2015.
And doesn’t it look interesting? The front end is certainly a departure for VW. It could’ve stuck a swoopier rear end on a Passat, but no. It’s instead given us something that looks like no other VW. And whatever you think of the way this thing looks, you’ve got to respect them for putting the effort in.
Underneath the Arteon is the familiar MQB platform that also underpins, well, just about every other big VW. Longer, lower, and wider than the Passat, the Arteon will come with the normal array of gasoline and diesel engines—highlights are the 1.5-liter TSI ‘Evo’ from the face-lifted Golf, and the 276hp 2.0-liter turbo four from the fast Superb and Leon Cupra, among others. The most powerful engines get seven-speed DSGs and 4Motion AWD as standard—these are variously available as options across the range.
Inside too is standard-issue VW, with the busy ‘Active Info Display’ digital dials and 9.2-inch infotainment screen with gesture control. We hope VW’s improved on both since we tried them in the face-lifted Golf.
Also worthy of note is the active safety tech on offer. The latest generation of VW’s Emergency Assist system knows when the driver is having some kind of medical emergency, and is able to slow the car and move over into the slow lane autonomously. Lane Assist now reacts to swerving trucks, and the car’s LED headlights are linked to the GPS so they know where corners are, and can adapt accordingly.
The Arteon launches mid-June in Germany, and orders can be placed straight after the car’s reveal at the Geneva Motor Show.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.