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

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.

‘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 mustache. New colors include Kingfisher Blue for Elegance models and Kings Red for R-Line trims.

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.

It’s, overall, a wholly digitized 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.

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

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 come with a more aggressive body kit and 19-inch wheels as standard.

Under the bonnet is a 2.0-liter 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 that 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 hybrid 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 types of diesel – a 148bhp and 197bhp, the latter with all-wheel drive.