New Model News

Refreshed 2021 Volkswagen Arteon gets sleeker body lines, redesigned cockpit

Volkswagen has given the Arteon a signficant refresh for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen's flagship car has gotten a refresh, and it's more than just your typical facelift. The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon has gotten a fresh body design, redesigned interior, and new high-tech comfort systems. There's also a second body style, but the U.S. isn't getting it.

For 2021, the U.S. market Volkswagen Arteon features a simplified trim lineup—SE, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line. The Arteon Shooting Brake, a wagon (or estate, depending on where you're reading this right now), is designated for sale outside of North America. So too is the new plug-in hybrid powertrain version of the model.

2021 Volkswagen Arteon The car's side profile features a character linen that wraps from front to rear.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

At the front, there are sharpened design elements. A long, wide hood stretches bringing the eye up and then out toward the wheel arches. The grille sees the front end encroaching further into its territory, which emphasizes the model's wideness. Mid-grade models come with LED daytime running lights that connect across the grille.

Lower, the front apron has been modified to feature three chrome bars instead of four. The outer and bottom of the apron now match the vehicle's body color (except the lateral air intake grilles).

Some features vary by trim level. The Arteon SE gets two additional air intakes in the front and a chrome bar integrated above the front spoiler. The Arteon R-Linen features one larger, continuous, bottom air intake above the front spoiler that is surrounded by a C-shaped section on the outside in front of the front wheels, which has been painted in the main vehicle color.

A character line runs around the entire car, visually connecting front to rear. VW badging throughout the model features the company's new design, the Arteon lettering has been redesigned, and the "R" badge is in the new design.

2021 Volkswagen Arteon new VW badging is apparent throughout the car.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen is adding three new paint jobs to the mix for 2021: Oryx White, Kings Red Metallic, and Lapiz Blue.

For the U.S. market, the Arteon continues to be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available on select models.

The Arteon cabin's cockpit has been completely redesigned, as has the entire dashboard. There are fresh surfaces, air vents, and finishers. The center console, infotainment area, climate controls, and top sections of the door interiors also have been given a thorough once-over. Fabrics and materials inside the model have been upgraded.

2021 Volkswagen Arteon Volkswagen has upgraded the interior, previously a low point for the car.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Gone are the hard plastics and rubberized materials that made up the previous edition's dashboard. New leatherette surfaces with decorative seams match the design of the ones in the Volkswagen Touareg, which is no longer sold in the U.S. Midrange and up models get translucent aluminum décor with 30-color ambient lighting.

The fresh Volkswagen multifunction steering wheels features digital touch surfaces. In combination with the Travel Assist system, the steering wheel rim additionally features touch-sensitive surfaces which, once Travel Assist has been activated, detect whether the driver has at least one hand on the steering wheel for safety reasons.

Tri-zone automatic climate control is now available and controlled via a touchslider. Seat heating, windscreen and window defrosting functions, as well as other air conditioner regulations are also controlled using new touch-sensitive surfaces in the center console.

2021 Volkswagen Arteon VW has put its next-gen steering wheel in the model.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The Arteon is equipped with the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, which allows the driver to configure the 10,25-inch instrument display. Three visual layouts are available for the driver to choose from. The system uses its parent company's MIB3 infotainment system. An 8.0-inch touch screen is standard. Wireless charging is available.

2021 Volkswagen Arteon New interior finishes allow for unique style lines.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Buyers can opt for a premium Harman Kardon sound system that uses a 700-watt, 16-channel Ethernet amplifier to power a total of twelve high-performance loudspeakers. One loudspeaker acts as the center speaker in the newly designed dash panel while another operates as a subwoofer in the trunk. The remaining treble, mid-range, and bass loudspeakers have been arranged in the doors. A variety of sound system settings such as Pure, Chill out, Live, and Energy, are available to be chosen.

The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon goes on sale later this year.

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Domino's and Nuro announced their partnership in 2019 — and now the robots are hitting the roads.

Photo courtesy of Nuro

After announcing their partnership to work on pizza deliveries via self-driving robots in 2019, Dominos and Nuro have officially rolled out their technology to one part of town.

Beginning this week, if you place a prepaid order from Domino's in Woodland Heights (3209 Houston Ave.), you might have the option to have one of Nuro's R2 robot come to your door. This vehicle is the first do deliver completely autonomously without occupants with a regulatory approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to a news release.

"We're excited to continue innovating the delivery experience for Domino's customers by testing autonomous delivery with Nuro in Houston," says Dennis Maloney, Domino's senior vice president and chief innovation officer, in the release. "There is still so much for our brand to learn about the autonomous delivery space. This program will allow us to better understand how customers respond to the deliveries, how they interact with the robot and how it affects store operations."

Orders placed at select dates and times will have the option to be delivered autonomously. Photo courtesy of Nuro

Nuro Domino's delivery vehicle

The Nuro deliveries will be available on select days and times, and users will be able to opt for the autonomous deliveries when they make their prepaid orders online. They will then receive a code via text message to use on the robot to open the hatch to retrieve their order.

"Nuro's mission is to better everyday life through robotics. Now, for the first time, we're launching real world, autonomous deliveries with R2 and Domino's," says Dave Ferguson, Nuro co-founder and president, in the release. "We're excited to introduce our autonomous delivery bots to a select set of Domino's customers in Houston. We can't wait to see what they think."

California-based Nuro has launched a few delivery pilots in Houston over the past few years, including the first Nuro pilot program with Kroger in March 2019, grocery delivery from Walmart that was revealed in December 2019, and pharmacy delivery that launched last summer.

From being located in a state open to rolling out new AV regulations to Houston's diversity — both in its inhabitants to its roadways, the Bayou City stood out to Nuro, says Sola Lawal, product operations manager at Nuro.

"As a company, we tried to find a city that would allow us to test a number of different things to figure out what really works and who it works for," Lawal says on an episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. "It's hard to find cities that are better than Houston at enabling that level of testing."

You can find out which self-driving vehicles are being tested in your neck of the woods by clicking here.


This article first appeared on AutomotiveMap's sister site InnovationMap.

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The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is on sale now.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG
The all-electric range of the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 has been confirmed. The model is the first modern electric Volkswagen to be sold in the U.S. and a model that the German automaker is resting a lot of hopes on for the future of sales in the country.

The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro with all-wheel drive will achieve an EPA-estimated 260 miles of all-electric range on a full charge. The ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition, which have more features and equipment and therefore weigh more, achieve an estimated 250 miles of range.

The EPA-estimated fuel economy for ID.4 Pro RWD is 107 MPGe in the city; 91 MPGe on the highway, and 99 MPGe combined. The ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition does slightly worse achieving 104 MPGe in the city, 89 MPGe on the highway, and 97 MPGe combined.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4: Exterior The "1st" badging denotes the vehicle as a first edition model. Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

These new numbers come as part of a second round of EPA testing. Original testing found that the model did not quite hit its target.

How does that compare to other EVs? The Nissan Leaf Plus offers 226 miles of all-electric power. The Hyundai Kona Electric delivers 258 miles. Volvo's XC40 Recharge has just 208 miles of all-electric range but the Tesla Model Y can go up to 326 miles on one full charge.

First out of the Volkswagen gate will be ID.4 models with an 82-kilowatt-hour battery and rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor. That system delivers 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque.

At a public DC fast-charging station with 125 kW charging, the ID.4 can go from five to 80 percent charged in about 38 minutes. With purchase, ID.4 owners receive three years of unlimited charging at Electrify America DC Fast Chargers at no additional cost.

The 2021 ID.4 is on sale now, with pricing for the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro starting at $39,995 MSRP, before a potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500. The Pro S carries an MSRP of $44,495. The limited-run ID.4 1st Edition, which sold out the day the vehicle was launched, carried an MSRP of $43,995.

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