Volkswagen launches flagship Arteon sedan at Chicago Auto Show

The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon made its North American debut today at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. The upscale sports sedan replaces the European-styled CC sedan as the new flagship sedan for the brand. It’s wider, longer and lower with 18-inch wheels, available all-wheel drive, and a 268-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The wheelbase is 5-inches longer and it has shorter overhangs than CC to give it that athletic, sport coupe appearance favored by German luxury brands. Clean lines, a wrap-around hood, seven-slat broad grille and sloping roof line in fastback style makes it look more Audi than VW.

It's a tricky time for sedans, and the Arteon is making its own niche as a premium offering that is larger and nicer than the Passat midsize sedan, but not quite as nice as the Audi A5.

"While the market is moving to crossovers and SUVs, we still think that exciting and convincing passenger cars are vital," Hinrich Woebcken, Volkswagen CEO of North American, said at the unveiling. 

The midsize car segment is still the third largest segment behind crossovers and pickup trucks, accounting for 16.2 percent of the market. 

It's loaded with convenience and safety technology, including digital cockpit, which was first used in Audi models. Digital cockpit takes just about everything available in the 8-inch touchscreen and places it in the customizable instrument cluster. Navigation commands on the map can be displayed and enlarged in the space where the tachometer and speedometer were, making it as safe as checking your speed.  

It will be available in the U.S. this summer. Starting price is expected to begin under $40,000. 

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