VW's RS6: Arteon Shooting Brake
Why swoopy coupe estate is a brilliant idea
As you might have seen in the last few hours, Volkswagen has released a handsome teaser of its upcoming Arteon Shooting Brake. I have to say, as a VW enthusiast, I strongly believe this is a great move. If the styling and interior is spot on, this is the car that could truly establish VW as a premium brand. Although the Golf is a high quality product, it is never considered by many as a plush rival to the A Class or Audi A3. In terms of premium cars, the Passat has always been more of a Mondeo alternative than a 3 series or A4 rival. Although VW is “the people’s car” they have always had a high quality feel to their cars. (Most of the time anyway). Wolfsburg has shown us that they can produce luxurious metal, with the Touareg and Phaeton. But the problem was and has been, that VW have never really been good at sustaining that premium brand image. For example, the W12 Phaeton was an engineering masterpiece. But it was hugely expensive when new, which meant that not many bought them, which explains why the Phaeton is no longer with us. Of course, VW has hinted in the last few years that a new Phaeton might be in the works, but we all know it doesn't make sense.
It might seem odd then, that the Touareg still stands. It’s because the original was an honest, cheaper Cayenne, with a well built interior. I mean, compared to the Cayenne the first Touareg is quite handsome. What the Toureg had, and still has over it’s rivals is its under the radar, discreet appearance. The Toureg is inoffensive, unlike the X5, Range Rover, Q7, Cayenne and all of the other swanky brash SUVs. That has obviously appealed to buyers, as the Touareg is still selling quite well, despite the high price. VW has taken advantage of this, and has recently revealed the Touraeg R. A hybrid, fast Touareg, which is essentially a cheaper Porsche Cayenne e Hybrid. But this shows VW is heading in the right direction. Introducing electrification to the SUV market could prove a huge success if they nail it.
And so back to the Arteon. The Arteon range will be updated, along with the new addition of the Shooting Brake. It is a good looking thing the Arteon, especially on the largest wheels. The reviews have mostly been positive, too. But not as good as they could be. It lacks that specialness to justify the near £40,000 price. But from what I have read, VW could solve that, with an R variant. An Arteon R could be a cut price RS6, maybe with the hybrid powertrain. With the new RS6 looking slightly over the top, the Arteon Shooting Brake could be the better looking car. And with VW’s R treatment, it’s unlikely to be a bad car.