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The VW Arteon Shooting Brake is joining the Anti-SUV fightback

Slippery 300bhp+ four-wheel drive turbowagon inbound. Did Volkswagen just get sexy?

Oh happy day! Look, it’s a practical-yet-niche new Volkswagen that’s not – we repeat – NOT an SUV crossover with a nonsense name beginning with ‘T’. What we have here is our first look at the new VW Arteon Shooting Brake.

Yes, having filled its ranks with the little T-Cross, the T-Roc and its strange-but-true T-Roc Cabriolet twin, and various versions of Tiguan and Touareg, even Volkswagen has got bored of SUVs. So, it’s bringing sexy back, with a stylish estate version of the flagship Arteon saloon.

The Arteon is really just a Passat in a fancy suit, but it’s a strangely imposing car with supreme build quality and refinement to make a BMW 5 Series or Mercedes E-Class scuttle off to the soundproofing store room. There’s never been an estate version before, but VW seems to have lifted an idea from the Porsche Panamera’s playbook. The Arteon Shooting Brake could fill the void left by the lovely (but slow-selling) Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake, which isn’t being replaced in the Benz range.

Now, the Arteon doesn’t exactly have a reputation for driving swagger, but word is VW has harnessed its R division to give the refreshed Arteon and the new Arteon Shooting Brake a bit more zing.

Lowered Arteons with menacing quad-exhausts have been spied pounding around the Nürburgring, with rumours suggesting the Arteon’s engine bay will be filled with an updated version of the Golf R’s 2.0-litre turbo engine, putting out over 300bhp. Expect a paddleshift DSG gearbox. Expect four-wheel drive. Yep, like the T-Roc R, but lower and meaner. You know the drill.

VW hasn’t made a proper sports saloon since the V6-powered Passat R36 over ten years ago, but in the meantime, the VW Group has done a fine, fine line in go-faster wagons. Audi RS6 Avant, Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo, Skoda Octavia vRS, Golf R Estate… now it’s time for the mothership to have a go. Could this be one of 2020’s secret coolest cars?

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