Like the cut of the Arteon R's jib? You'll need £51k to access it…

By Sam Sheehan / Friday, May 28, 2021 / Loading comments

The Arteon R fastback and Shooting Brake models run the same 320hp all-wheel drive setup as the latest Golf and can crack 62mph in 4.9 seconds while deploying the same torque vectoring, rear-bias tech. Both versions come fully-kitted, as well, which helps to explain why VW is charging from £51,615 for the fastback and £52,435 for the Shooting Brake. Which means you’ll need to overlook a host of premium-badged alternatives to own one from new. 

The money buys you VW’s latest turbocharged four banger, which produces 310lb ft of torque from 2,100rpm and is mated to a seven-speed DSG as standard. The Arteon R also gets VW’s XDS electronic differential lock on its front axle as standard, as well as DCC adaptive dampers and 19-inch alloys with Michelin rubber. Expect plenty of mechanical performance, and strong stopping power, thanks to a braking system with 357mm discs up front. That’s bigger than a 911 Carrera’s.

As we all noted at reveal, the look is typically understated, but there are a few R-specific features, like brake calipers finished in blue, a different radiator grille, arear bumper with a diffusor and quad chrome exhaust tailpipes. Inside is where the biggest uplift in R spec comes, because both variants get VW’s most premium sports seats with Nappa leather against contrasting blue stitching, as well as 14-way electric adjustment and a massage function. The wheel is heated and wrapped in leather – yes, it gets VW’s divisive touch sensitive buttons – with extended shift paddles behind. Then there are bits of black carbon and stainless steel trim.

Tech wise, you get VW’s top-level 10.25-inch TFT screen, three-zone climate control and a plethora of driving assistance features, including adaptive cruise and travel assist, which can take control of the pedals and most of the steering effort at speeds of up to 130mph.  Handy for the M40. You also get a sunroof as standard in the fastback, with the Shooting Brake and its longer roofline receiving a full panoramic jobbie. Oh, and there’s a 30-colour ambient interior lighting system and tinted windows, to really jazz things up.

Plainly VW has gone heavy with the standard spec to deliver a safety margin from cars like the incoming BMW M440i Gran Coupe. Whether or not the promise of Golf R-like capabilities – packaged with much more practicality – convinces the buying public that the asking price is well judged, we will have to wait and see. VW claims a combined fuel economy of 30.7mpg for the fastback and 30.4 for the Shooting Brake, meaning both versions should be relatively affordable to run. They will need to be. 


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