Volkswagen is set to introduce the Arteon – a fastback version of the Passat sedan, and also a more affordable version of the Audi A5 Sportback – here in Malaysia next year.
Details remain scarce but you can be certain that it will be priced above the Passat 2.0 TSI sedan’s RM195,390. That would also mean that the Arteon will be priced close to a Mercedes-Benz C200 (from RM259,888) or a BMW 318i (from RM202,800).
However it makes up for the price premium by delivering far better driving performance, sexier fastback styling, a more spacious cabin and boot, and an equally German heritage.
The 2.0 TSI 4Motion R-Line model on display here at the Premium Auto Car Expo in Setia City Convention Centre in Setia Alam is a Singapore market model (hence the ERP tag on the windscreen).
The engine pushes out 280 PS, which is 60 PS more than the Passat 2.0 TSI and 50 PS more than the Golf GTI, although torque remains the same at 350 Nm. Drive is sent to all four wheels via 4Motion and a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission.
In some markets, that same 2.0 TSI is also offered with a lower 190 PS/320 Nm tune. There’s also a 1.5-litre TSI engine that pushes out 150 PS and 250 Nm.
Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) is not saying much else at the moment, but more details can be expected starting early next year.
Apart from its fastback body, the biggest difference between the Arteon and Passat are the frameless doors in the former. Inside, the Arteon is largely similar to the Passat.
The boot opens like a hatchback, and has a cargo capacity of 563 litres, which is 23 litres less than the Passat sedan.