Volkswagen Arteon Preview

What it is: A stylish four-door– hatchback replacement for the aged Volkswagen CC. If its name is a portmanteau, we take it to mean art for the ages.

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Why it matters: The Arteon is to the car side of VW’s showrooms what Atlas is to the truck side: a new flagship responsible for accelerating the brand’s return to relevance.

Platform: VW’s ubiquitous MQB transverse-powertrain components, set up for sedan use.

Powertrain:  A turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-liter inline-four packing 270 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque (substantial increases over the outgoing CC’s turbocharged 2.0-liter) with an Aisin eight-speed automatic transaxle sending output to the front wheels. VW’s 4MOTION all-wheel drive will likely be optional.

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Competition:  Acura TLX, Audi A4, BMW 320i, Buick Regal, Cadillac ATS, Infiniti Q50, Lincoln MKZ, Volvo S60.

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What might go wrong:  Given the importance of this model to VW’s global fortunes and how well it performed in prototype test drives, we see minimal chance of derailment.

Estimated arrival and price: Following its official debut at this year’s Geneva motor show in March, the Arteon will arrive in the U.S. this summer with an estimated $37,000 base price.

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