Hot new Volkswagen Arteon R line-up storms in

New Arteon fastback and Shooting Brake get 316bhp and a price tag starting at £51,615

  • Arteon R line-up powered by the same 316bhp petrol engine as the Golf R
  • Available as a fastback hatch and a Shooting Brake estate
  • On sale now starting from £51,615

The new Volkswagen Arteon R line-up is now on sale. The new flagship performance car is powered by a 316bhp petrol engine, with prices for the fastback hatch starting from £51,615, increasing to £52,435 for the Shooting Brake estate.

Best motorway cars

The rakish design of the Arteon R fastback and Shooting Brake pits them against the Kia Stinger GT-S and Audi S5 Sportback. While indirect performance rivals will include saloon and estate versions of the Audi S4 and BMW M340i.

2021 Volkswagen Arteon R: styling

To set the Arteon R apart from regular versions, VW has given it a sporty makeover with 19-inch alloy wheels, a new front bumper with larger air intakes, a new radiator grille and ‘R’ badging. Rear privacy glass is also fitted, along with a tweaked rear bumper, a rear diffuser and a quad-exit exhaust system.

Buyers can spec the Arteon R in ‘Moonstone Grey’ as a standard colour, or one of six further metallic and pearl paint finishes ranging from £395 to £1,075. Larger 20-inch alloys can be specced for £565.

Interior and technology

Interior upgrades include Nappa-leather upholstery and electrically adjustable front sports seats with embossed ‘R’ logos. A heated and leather trimmed steering wheel is also fitted, with touch-sensitive switches to adjust the car’s driving modes and a pair of large gearshift paddles. Other changes include contrasting blue trim for the seats and doors, as well as a set of stainless steel pedals.

Standard equipment includes 30-colour ambient interior lighting, a panoramic sunroof and three-zone climate control. Onboard tech is lifted from the regular Arteon, with a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster sitting alongside a 9.2-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An eight-speaker stereo system is standard, but buyers can upgrade this to a premium Harmon Kardon version for an extra £1,235.

There’s plenty of standard safety equipment too, with a rear-view camera, rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assist. VW’s Travel Assist system is also fitted, which can take control of steering, braking and acceleration on a motorway when supervised by the driver. Optional safety features include a head-up display for £530.

Engines, performance and economy

Both versions of the Arteon R are powered by the same turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 316bhp. VW’s 4MOTION four-wheel drive is also standard on both models, sending power to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Both the Shooting Brake and fastback are capable of identical performance, sprinting from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.

Like the Golf R, the Arteon R is fitted with VW’s R-Performance torque vectoring system, which is capable of distributing the engine’s power across the front and rear axles, or sending up to 50% of its power to the rear wheels in the sportier driving modes. It can also send power to the rear wheels individually during faster corners, reducing understeer for a sharper turn in.

Despite their flagship performance billing, both versions of the Arteon R can officially manage fuel economy of around 30mpg and CO2 emissions starting from 207g/km.

Read our Volkswagen Arteon review for more details, or see where it places on our list of the best executive cars.

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