Volkswagen's Delicious Arteon Wagon Not Coming To US

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Nor will the plug-in hybrid, nor the high-performance Arteon R. Bummer.

Volkswagen's youthful successor to the flagship CC, the Arteon, is already going under the scalpel for 2021, receiving an extensive update after little more than a year on sale in the US. But even bigger than what's coming for the US-market VW Arteon is what the automaker has cooked up for global markets: a delicious-looking station wagon with four doors, a hatch, and long, classic proportions. Volkswagen has dubbed this new model the "Arteon Shooting Brake," even though the term "shooting brake" typically refers to a three-door wagon based on a coupe model.

But then, the badge on the Arteon's predecessor, the CC, stood for "Comfort Coupe" in spite of the car's quadruplicity of doors. The Shooting Brake moniker keeps with that theme.

Volkswagen
Volkswagen

Alas, if you're one of the diminishing number of US customers who prefers a wagon over a sedan, you're out of luck when it comes to VW's refreshed flagship; Volkswagen has no plans to bring the Arteon Shooting Brake to the US market. The reason, according to Volkswagen Group of America's Senior VP in charge of Product & Strategy, has to do with America's stringent road homologation rules.

"The challenge we face… is to bring any particular car into the United States, you have to redo homologation, and because on the shooting brake your body style changes, you've effectively got to go through the entire [crash safety validation] process" all over again, Hein Schafer said on a call last Friday. "So the cost of bringing a different body style variant to the United States is extremely high."

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Schafer concluded: "I think because of the uniqueness of the shooting brake, although all pedalheads including myself would die to drive one, you have the difficulty that you are talking very very low numbers and very very high cost."

Sadly, the cost of doing business in one of the US's most heavily regulated industries is such that it spoils the business case for a breadth of exciting passenger cars, and the new plug-in-hybrid Arteon is steering clear of the US for much the same reason. Nor are we slated to get the high-performance 316-horsepower Arteon R.

Had the Arteon sold significantly better in the time it's been on the market, it might be a different story. But for now, at least, the Arteon sportback with a 268-horsepower turbo-four is all we get.

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Volkswagen

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