Volkswagen has set its sights on BMW and Mercedes buyers with its all new Arteon sedan. This sexy looking sedan is debuting advanced safety and comfort equipment and drop dead sexy looks in a bid to persuade executives and entrepreneurs who drive a Mercedes-Benz E-Class or a BMW 5-Series to look at owning this sedan on their next purchase.
The Arteon, whose price has yet to be announced, even targets higher income buyers wanting the comfortable, upscale ride of models like Mercedes-Benz’s CLS coupe but at a lower price point.
The Arteon is part of a general product overhaul to revive profit as the German automaker continues to wrestle with fallout from the diesel-emissions cheating scandal that emerged in late 2015.
The Arteon complements VW’s Phideon sedan in China, the nameplate’s largest market, where the marque plans this year to sell more than 3 million cars for the first time. The locally built Phideon went on sale in mid-2016 at a starting price of about 50,000 euros.
Bonnet like that of a sports car
The overall car design appears to develop from the active bonnet (with integrated safety mechanism for pedestrian protection) and the interconnected grille. The fact is that in the automotive world, a bonnet that extends over the entire front end up to the wheel arches is primarily a feature of classic sports cars.
LEDs and radiator grille merge
All of the contoured lines of the bonnet are extended to the radiator grille – and vice versa. The grille, in turn, emphasises the significant width of the Volkswagen Arteon in its cross-slats. There is no Volkswagen radiator grille that is wider or deeper than the one on this gran turismo – it is the ‘face’ of a new Volkswagen generation. The upper cross-bars enclose the LED headlights, and they simultaneously use finely integrated LED light conductors to perform the functions of daytime running lights and position lights, and, in the top version, the indicator light function. The lighting elements, radiator grille and bonnet now form one harmonious unit. The bonnet, which extends slightly over the LED headlights makes a tremendous contribution towards the superior qualities of the front-end design. The bonnet lip runs over the headlights while continuing the lines of the radiator grille further into the sides and to the rear of the Arteon. On the sides, the sharp bonnet lines over the wheel wells give the Arteon an extremely low and sporty look.
Elegant, low, coupé-like
“We have a line”, says Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen Head of Design, “that runs through the entire car and brings the volume of the Arteon even closer to the ground. This line starts in the radiator grille at the front and runs cleanly over the side profile and into the tail lights.” On the car’s sides it creates what is known as the character line. At the rear, it develops into a sharp undercut, which visually reduces the Arteon’s height and carries the strong shoulder section upwards. Above this, there is the long line of windows (known as a DLO – daylight opening) that extends into the C pillar. The door windows themselves are frameless, while the DLO is surrounded by an elegant chrome frame. The DLO gives the Arteon an elegant, low and coupé-like look together with the character line that runs from the bonnet rearwards into the tail lights.
Shoulder section is athletic and muscular
Viewed from the rear, it is easy to see just how dominant the shoulder sections of this fastback are. The muscular form stretches to the side and into the rear bodywork. From a slightly elevated perspective this produces a rear end design which, in its lines – a coupé-shaped glasshouse (roof and glass surfaces) on strong flanks – follows the example of a classic sports car and yet offers the volume of a business class gran turismo. Also creating a powerful image from this perspective is the striking width of the Volkswagen Arteon. Creating an unmistakable design at night are the concise LED tail lights (in the Arteon Elegance and Arteon R-Line they include a dynamic indicator function).
Very expressive colours
The styling lines of the Arteon are as precise as they are dynamic, and they are accentuated by many new exterior body colours. These include the distinctive hues “Curcuma Yellow”, “Atlantic Blue” and “Chili Red”. Fitting in well with the progressive character of the Arteon is “Curcuma Yellow”, for instance – a colour inspired by a sense of lightness and sunshine, and which accentuates the sporty character of the new gran turismo.