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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Discontinued sedan

Volkswagen nixing Passat after 2022 model year

Racing Green Metallic is one of four exclusive colors for the car.

Volkswagen

After five decades on sale in the U.S., Volkswagen is pulling the plug on the midsize Passat. The explosion of SUVs' popularity and the need to shift production power to electric vehicles are behind the decision, which will take place after the 2022 model year. The cars have been built at the automaker's Chattanooga, TN plant since 2011, but the facility is being repurposed as VW's North American hub for electric vehicle assembly.

Volkswagen is giving the car one last hurrah, however, in the form of the Passat Limited Edition. The car features 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with an Advanced Front Lighting System, and an easy-open trunk. Inside, the cars come with sport seats wrapped in Vienna leather, memory seating, a Fender Premium Audio System, parking assistance, and parking sensors.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition Each car gets a special model tag with its limited production number.Volkswagen


Only 1,973 of the cars will be built, and it will only be sold in four colors, each with its own limited production numbers that have special meaning for the Passat:

  • Aurora Red Metallic with Titan Black interior: 411 units to represent the original vehicle production code
  • Racing Green Metallic with Mauro Brown interior: 423 units to commemorate the Chattanooga 423 area code
  • Pure white with Mauro Brown interior: 524 units to signify the Chattanooga plant's May 24 opening date
  • Platinum Great Metallic with Titan Black interior: 615 units to signify six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales

Pricing for the 2022 Passat starts at $31,290, which includes a $995 destination fee. Adding Aurora Red Metallic drives the price up by an additional $395. Each car will receive a special number plate to designate its place in the limited production run.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition The Passat Limited Edition gets several upscale features. Volkswagen

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Electric vehicle features

The VW ID.4 sounds futuristic

The ID.4 is VW's first electric crossover in the U.S.

VW

The Volkswagen ID.4 is finally here. The electric crossover offers compelling features, decent all-electric range, and a reasonable price. On top of all that, Volkswagen focused heavily on the electric experience with the ID.4, down to the sounds it makes in everyday operation.

Where many automakers seek to humanize electric vehicles with familiar gas engine sounds, Volkswagen hasn't bothered with any of that. Instead, the automaker's ID.4 electric crossover features several sounds that embrace the EV's place in the future of transportation.

On startup, drivers are greeted with a sound that Volkswagen says will alert them that the vehicle is ready to go. It's not at all unlike the flying saucer sounds heard in sci-fi movies decades ago, but it's a nice reminder of the ID.4's future-forward drivetrain.



In motion, VW gave the ID.4 what is known as an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, which helps alert people to the presence of a moving electric vehicle. Since the drivetrain doesn't make the same noises that a gas engine does, EVs can move almost silently at low speeds, so it's important to have some kind of warning sound.

Even the turn signal sounds received scrutiny in the ID.4's design, and while they're still fairly traditional, the sounds are subtle and pleasing overall. Beyond that, VW says it developed a library of sounds for typical vehicle control buttons and other functions that are exclusive to its electric vehicles. The goal, according to the automaker, is that the sound aligns with the vehicles' character, visual design, and features, and that people will be able to recognize a VW EV by its unique sound.

The ID.4 is just the first of several EVs that Volkswagen plans to release here in the United States. Larger family vehicles are on the horizon, and we may even see an electric revival of the legendary VW bus.

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