Abadala, what you see above is the new 2021 VW Arteon R. It’s a sportier, high-performance version of the revamped Arteon that we’ve come to know and love. But first, the bad news: It’s not coming to South Africa, and we won’t be getting the Arteon Shooting Brake, either. Why? You never loved the Arteon.
And that makes us a bit sad considering the 2021 Arteon is a nice-looking car. However, the R version sure looks sweeter with its powerful turbocharged engine and fancy all-wheel-drive system. Contrary to what we’re expecting, Volkswagen resisted the idea of a V6-powered Arteon and settled for a tuned four-cylinder instead. The former would’ve been a deal maker.
The new Volkswagen Arteon R is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder motor with 235kW of power. It’s essentially the same Evo4 motor you’ll find in fast Seats, Skodas, and other Volkswagen’s across the board. The engine is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
But the icing on the cake is VW’s R-Performance torque Vectoring all-wheel-drive system in the Arteon R. The system not only varies torque split between the front and rear wheels, but it can divide the amount of torque between the left and right rear axle, which is pretty similar to Acura’s famed Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) and Audi’s Quattro Sport Differential.
In fact, the system can divert 100-percent of available torque to either the left or right rear wheel, which can only mean good things for a fast sedan or station wagon. For starters, it means faster cornering and a safer drive, but it really translates to better grip and stability in all-weather driving.
The Volkswagen Arteon R also comes with unique 20-inch alloy wheels, bigger brakes with blue calipers, a performance exhaust system with quad pipes, and smoked taillights. The Arteon R is also fitted with adaptive dampers, redesigned front and rear bumpers, and some mild body kits to complete the go-fast vibe. It also sits 20 mm lower than a standard Arteon.
Meanwhile, the interior is littered with genuine carbon-fiber trim. Sports seats are standard along with a new steering wheel. A 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, Volkswagen’s new MIB3 infotainment system and an 8.0-inch touchscreen all feature amid a redesigned dash and centre console.
The tiller is equipped with a small blue R button to engage Race mode. With more power than a regular Arteon, we reckon the R version will graciously scoot to 100 km/h in under five seconds, which is not bad for a large and comfortable family car.
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