BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Advertisement feature
View the latest news

The 316bhp Arteon R is a big, fast, handsome VW

Arteon R gets trick all-wheel drive and yes, it comes as a Shooting Brake

Published: 23 Jun 2020

Facelifts are usually boring. But this one isn’t. Not only has VW turned the Arteon into a handsome Shooting Brake, it’s also introduced a new rather rapid R version. Just as we predicted.

While VW very seriously considered giving the Arteon R a VR6 (to the degree it had a couple of running prototypes), it eventually settled on the latest ‘Evo4’ version of the same 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol as Every Fast VW/Seat/Skoda Ever. Here it makes 316bhp and 310lb ft from 2,000rpm, which is plenty, and drives all four wheels through a seven-speed DSG gearbox. Expect a top speed limited to 155mph, and 0-62mph in around five seconds.

Advertisement - Page continues below

The all-wheel drive system is clever. It debuts new tech called “R-Performance Torque Vectroing”, which as well as varying the torque split between the front- and rear-axles, can split it between the two rear wheels. So in a tight right-hand bend, for example, it can direct 100 per cent of the torque to the left-rear wheel. Much like Audi’s Sport Differential.

The Arteon R sits 20mm lower than the normal car on standard-fit adaptive dampers and 20-inch alloy wheels, behind which you’ll find hefty R-spec brakes with blue-painted callipers. Out back there’s a bespoke exhaust with quad tailpipes, plus tinted taillights. Sportier bumpers and skirts complete the look. You can have it as a ‘Fastback’ saloon or Shooting Brake.

Inside there’s carbon trim and sports seats, plus a little blue ‘R’ button on the steering wheel that takes you straight to the car’s sportiest mode – ‘Race’. And look at those paddles – much better than the crappy little plastic buttons we’ve had till now.

Other than that it’s just a regular, facelifted Arteon. You can read about how it’s different from the pre-facelift car – of which there was no R or Shooting Brake version – by clicking on these words.

Advertisement - Page continues below

You like?

Top Gear

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

More from Top Gear

See more on Volkswagen

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine