We may have thought that the days of executive contenders from Volkswagen were long since gone — gone since the days of the ill-received and poor selling Phaeton.

But no, some three months ahead of its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, the Wolfsburg concern has provided us with the first look at what the company describes as the “fascinating contours” of its new top saloon, the Arteon.

The Arteon, we have been told this week is a totally new model which will sit above the Passat in the company’s model line-up which also, according to VW, “emphasises emotionality in the upper mid-class”, whatever that means.

By way of explanation — or at least as much of a one as we are going to get — VW says that in addition to a new and very emotive outline, the company is also introducing with the Arteon a highly expressive, horizontally accentuated brand look.

“The bars of the radiator grille extend here into the three- dimensional front headlights, while LED lighting elements additionally emphasise the striking layout and demonstrate dominance,” VW says.

It also revealed that the “four-door saloon impresses both through revolutionary design and great practical value in use”, while the doors’ frameless windows reflect the typical stylistic elements of a grand tourer, the top-hinged and wide-opening tailgate provides optimum access to the huge boot.

Tobias Sühlmann, exterior designer, explains: “At first sight, the Arteon arouses enthusiasm through its expressive design. It then surprises through its practical virtues. This combination is unique!”

Whatever about that, VW says the name Arteon — with the emphasis put on the first syllable — is made up of two component parts: ‘Art’ describes the saloon’s harmonious lines and emotionality; the ending ‘eon’ identifies it, in the same way as Volkswagen’s current top model for the Chinese market, the Phideon, as a premium model.

The new Arteon will be publicly unveiled for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show next year and its launch will then follow in summer 2017. We have not been told anything about potential pricing.


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