Volkswagen Arteon facelift launched in Malaysia – R-Line 2.0 TSI 4Motion, 280 PS, 350 Nm, RM247,671 –

Having opened the order books last month, Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) has launched the facelifted Arteon today. As announced previously, the refreshed five-door coupé arrives in R-Line 2.0 TSI 4Motion form, adding a lot more power and all-paw traction.

This repositioning comes with a consequent price premium, as the car now retails at RM247,671 nett, nearly RM28,000 more than before. As it was previously, the Arteon is assembled locally in Pekan, Pahang, so it benefits from a full sales and service (SST) exemption. Included in the price is a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty and three years of free servicing.

Power comes from an EA888 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, now uprated to produce 280 PS from 5,100 to 6,500 rpm and 350 Nm of torque between 1,700 and 5,600 rpm. That’s 50 Nm down on the European-spec model, but those outputs still represent significant increases of 90 PS and 30 Nm over the outgoing front-drive car.

As always, the mill is mated to a seven-speed DSG wet dual-clutch transmission, with drive now sent to all four wheels through the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. So equipped, the facelifted Arteon shaves more than two seconds off its zero-to-100 km/h time, completing the century sprint in 5.6 seconds.

Visually, the Arteon has been updated with a redesigned grille that incorporates an LED light bar linking the daytime running lights, along with new taillights graphics with “dashes” and an inverted L-shaped design. The R-Line trim adds a more aggressive front bumper design with body-coloured air intake blades and a black rear diffuser with fake quad tailpipes. The car is also the first in Malaysia to get the new VW logo.

A comprehensive remodelling of the interior sees the addition of new angular air vents and a silver strip that runs around the front half of the cabin, plus the ditching of the analogue centre clock. There are also new touch-sensitive switches for the climate controls and the redesigned steering wheel, as well as an expanded 30-colour palette for the ambient lighting system. The ErgoComfort seats, meanwhile, feature a more aggressive design with integrated headrests and an embroidered R logo.

Standard equipment remains largely identical and includes full LED headlights, LED taillights with sequential indicators and the same 19-inch Montevideo two-tone alloy wheels as before. Inside, the Arteon continues to be trimmed in Nappa carbon-print leather upholstery and comes with a rebranded 12-speaker, 700-watt Harman Kardon (previously Dynaudio) sound system.

Also fitted are keyless entry, push-button start, power-adjustable front seats with driver’s side memory, triple-zone auto climate control, auto lights and wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a 9.2-inch Discover Pro infotainment touchscreen with gesture control, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) adaptive dampers, a 360-degree camera and a hands-free powered tailgate.

Safety-wise, the Arteon gains lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, joining the usual six airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, stability control, post-collision braking and ISOFIX rear child seat anchors. However, even with the new front-facing camera for lane keeping, the car still isn’t offered with autonomous emergency braking, which is a shame especially in 2021.

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