Volkswagen brand said its new top model, the Arteon, will introduce its new "progressive" design language.
The four-door, coupe-like model will be positioned above the Passat midsize sedan when it goes on sale in Europe next summer after its debut at the Geneva auto show in March. The Arteon replaces the Passat-based CC.
VW today released a sketch of the Arteon, which shows the car has stayed close to the Sport Coupe Concept GTE unveiled at the 2015 Geneva auto show.
In a statement VW said the Arteon will introduce a "highly expressive, horizontally accentuated" brand look. The main feature is a wide grille whose bars extend into the headlights.
The Arteon will have a rear hatchback like the Audi A7 rather than a lid hinged below the rear screen as the CC has. This provides "optimum access" to the huge trunk, VW said in the statement.
The Sport Coupe Concept GTE was based on the same modular transverse matrix platform (MQB) architecture as cars such as the VW Golf and Skoda Superb, although VW hasn’t said whether it has used that platform for the Arteon. The concept’s exterior dimensions were similar in size to the Mercedes CLS and the BMW 6-series Gran Coupe.
VW didn't disclose which engines it will offer with the Arteon. It's likely to get the same gasoline and diesels as the Passat and, like the Passat, a plug-in hybrid version.
German press reports said the Arteon likely will start at 33,000 euros in Germany.
VW is evaluating whether to sell the Arteon in the U.S., a VW of America spokesman said. If approved, the Arteon would likely arrive stateside in 2018, he said.
VW said the name Arteon is made up of two component parts: "Art" describes its "harmonious lines and emotionality." The ending "eon" identifies it as a premium model, in the same way as VW's top model for the Chinese market, the Phideon.
The Arteon will be built at VW's factory in Emden, Germany, replacing CC production. The CC is a low volume car. VW sold 5,931 CCs in Europe through October, down from 9,264 in the same period in 2015, according to JATO Dynamics market researchers.
Ryan Beene contributed to this report