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 RM248,693 on-the-road without insurance, over RM27,000 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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