The Volkswagen Arteon is, by now, quite known for being the first of likely many steps in the German marque’s turn toward a posher image and demographic. As a four-door ‘coupe’ (it technically has five if you count the hatch boot) and successor to the CC (née Passat CC), it also had an obligation to merge the sporty with the luxurious.
While VW has addressed the former somewhat with the range-topping forthcoming 206TSI R-Line variant, equipped with their latest EA888 2.0-litre turbo petrol (206kW/350Nm) and 4Motion all-wheel drive, firmer suspension, and bold alloys that measure 19- up to 21-inches in diameter.
For most, that will be plenty of dynamic endowment to justify its premium price tag, but for those remaining few, nothing short of a dedicated R model will suffice, especially since that raw output is identical to that of the more austere Passat B8.
While we don’t have that yet, the closest alternative so far appears to have just emerged from prolific German tuners and close associates of the VW Group, ABT Sportsline. Their new fettled version appears to be called the ‘A5’ in their catalogue - likely an internal designation - which is ironic as the Arteon is expected to be priced somewhat uncomfortably close to the Audi A5 Sportback.
ABT-tuned cars can get much wilder than the coat of exterior customisation they’ve furnished upon this interpretation, but this time they’ve quite cleverly worn their cap of subtlety when penning their Arteon spin-off. Aside from some choice visual differences to give the car a more commanding stance, accentuated by the 245/40 ABT SPORT ER-C alloys and the lowered ride height, backed by ABT’s own sports suspension components, this is still relatively conservatively styled.
However, what is emphasises by the ABT Arteon is just how ‘right’ Volkswagen’s original design is. The tuning house, therefore, left many of the visual cues to shine in their own right with the silver metallic paint working very well with the scattered dark highlights to give the Arteon an even more weaponised look and straying even further into Audi’s corporate brute aesthetic.
They’ve also had a stab at the engine, fortunately. The turbo-four, thanks to the fitment of ABT’s adapted AEC engine control unit, is now able to extract a 247kW and 420Nm, a roughly 20 percent improvement over the VW’s aforementioned factory tune. ABT ensures that the motor’s newfound muscle does not have any adverse effect on reliability, saying that the A5’s powertrain will have an “unchanged service life”.
No mechanical or software calibration changes to the all-wheel drive system or the 7-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission have been mentioned, but some small influence here has likely been exerted over the supplanted standard ECU by ABT’s own. Also left unknown are any acceleration or top speed improvements over the Arteon 206TSI R-Line, which as standard would sprint to 100km/h in 5.6 seconds and reach a limited top speed of 250km/h.