2021 Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake revealed: price, specs and release date

New estate version of Volkswagen’s executive car introduces plug-in hybrid power, lashings of new tech and fresh exterior styling...

Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake

On sale Autumn | Price from £35,000 (est)

Among people, beauty is often equated with success, and if the same holds true for cars, the Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake should go far. With a long, low-slung and gently curved body that's accented by chrome highlights, its looks are undeniably head-turning. Even the name hints at its designers’ intentions, stemming from ‘artem’, the Latin word for ‘art’.

The launch of the Shooting Brake coincides with a facelift of the Arteon four-door coupé, which has been on sale since 2017. As well as the new bodystyle, the update brings the latest advanced driving assistance systems and plug-in hybrid technology to the Arteon range.

Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake

At the front of both version there are new LED daytime running lights. These underline the headlights and extend right across the front grille, acting like a brighter strip of chrome and giving the car a distinctive face. At the back, there are new LED tail-light clusters and a small rooftop spoiler.

The curvaceous rear end of the Shooting Brake is likely to boost the Arteon’s appeal among buyers looking for practicality. At 565 litres when measured to the parcel shelf with the rear seatbacks up, its boot is only two litres bigger than the regular Arteon’s, but its taller profile means it’s able to take bulkier items. Significantly more rear head room is claimed, too, so taller passengers shouldn’t brush their hair on the ceiling like they might do in the regular version.

Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake

2021 Volkswagen Arteon engines

Buyers of either model can now choose a plug-in hybrid as an alternative to petrol or diesel power. With an official electric range of up to 34 miles, the eHybrid uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine and an electric motor for a combined output of 215bhp.

By default, journeys begin in electric mode, but you can change this to preserve the electric range for when you head into an ultra-low emissions zone such as central London. And when you want punchier acceleration, GTE mode utilises the reserves of both power sources together.

Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake

As for the rest of the engine line-up, these are all 2.0-litre units; the diesels have outputs of 148bhp and 197bhp, plus there are 187bhp and 276bhp petrols. Only the least powerful petrol engine is offered with a six-speed manual gearbox; all the others come with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The petrols are said to be 10% more efficient than those previously offered, and the diesels use two-stage catalytic converters to cut NOx emissions by up to 80%.

At the top of the range is a hot new R variant for those who want their Arteon to drive more like a sports car. Its turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine pumps out 316bhp, which is distributed via four-wheel drive and a torque vectoring system. This can split power between the front and rear wheels and from left to right at the back to improve traction and handling.

2021 Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake interior 

On the inside, there’s a customisable 10.25in digital instrument panel in front of the driver, and an 8.0in or 9.2in infotainment touchscreen on the centre console. Many features can be operated using a voice control system.

Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake

The Arteon’s update also ushers in Travel Assist, a system that enables partly autonomous driving at speeds of up to 130mph. It uses adaptive cruise control and can read speed limit signs to choose appropriate speeds for urban driving, roundabouts and junctions.

2021 Volkswagen Arteon pricing

Prices have yet to be announced, but we expect the Shooting Brake to cost around £2000 more than the regular Arteon, which starts at £33,105. That would make it pricey against rivals such as the Audi A4 Avant and Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake. However, Target Price discounts should help to narrow the gap in time; buyers can currently get £6000 off the price of the existing Arteon through our New Car Buying service

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read more: all the cars coming soon >>