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The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon, the marque’s new fastback flagship in the U.S. designed to offer the space and amenities of a midsize luxury sedan, made its North American debut at the Chicago Auto Show this week. Positioned above the Passat in the VW lineup, the Arteon will replace the CC sedan.

Based on the MQB architecture shared with models like the new Atlas, the Arteon is longer and wider than the CC sedan — the wheelbase alone tops the CC by more than 5 inches — but features shorter overhangs front and back. Volkswagen aimed for a sleeker and sharper look when it came to exterior design, while also giving the Arteon more interior space. The new sedan’s exterior visually communicates luxury through details such as chrome window surrounds, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, LED headlights and a wide chrome grille while also featuring sportier, coupe-like elements such as frameless side windows and dual trapezoidal exhaust tips. In short, the Arteon aims to take the style of the outgoing CC a step further while also offering improved accommodations for its passengers, creating a standalone model quite different in packaging from the long-serving Passat.

When it comes to performance, the 2019 Arteon will debut with a turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter TSI engine, good for 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission sending power to the front wheels or four wheels when coupled with Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive. Standard on all trim levels will be the DCC adaptive damping system that manages the suspension’s compression and rebound rates to improve dynamics.

2019 Volkswagen Arteon interior

The Arteon will offer an 8-inch infotainment screen as a standard feature, while the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit will be an option.

2019 Volkswagen Arteon first drive

Inside, the Arteon will feature an 8-inch infotainment screen as standard, while offering the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit as an option. When it comes to interior options the Arteon will also offer a panoramic sunroof, Dynaudio premium sound system and a powered trunk lid which can be opened by the driver with a motion of the foot under the rear bumper. In terms of safety tech the Arteon will feature a blind spot monitor, forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking as standard items, in addition to optional safety features like active land lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control with stop and go (for traffic jams), an overhead view camera, parking steering assistance and automatic post-collision braking, in addition to other available items.

“The Arteon is Volkswagen’s brand shaper,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of Volkswagen’s North American Region. “This car is the spiritual successor to the CC, but it is bolder and faster. Arteon has the style and performance of a luxury Gran Turismo for about the price of a fully loaded midsize sedan.”

Expect to see the Arteon on sale starting in late fall of 2018. Pricing for the three trim levels — SE, SEL and SEL Premium — will be announced closer to the start of sales.

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