Mercedes-Benz’s line of shooting brake models is proof that sometimes style wins out over practicality. For instance, cars like the CLA Shooting Brake and former CLS Shooting Brake serve up four doors and a wide-opening hatch, yet their plunging roofline results in diminished cargo capacity compared to a conventional wagon.
Soon, Volkswagen will give the segment a go with an Arteon-based shooting brake. A shooting brake is the traditional term for a coupe with a rear hatch, and since the German automakers are happy to call anything with a curved roof a coupe these days, they’re more than happy to attach the shooting brake term as well.
A prototype for the new Arteon shooting brake has been spotted. The tester looks to have a slightly longer wheelbase than the Arteon sedan, and there’s heavy disguise hiding the true design of the rear-most pillar.
2019 Volkswagen Arteon
The Arteon shooting brake is expected to be revealed late this year alongside an updated Arteon sedan. The Arteon may have only reached the United States in 2019 but has been on sale elsewhere since 2017, and thus is approaching the midpoint in its life cycle.
Also included with the update will be a new Arteon R performance flagship. This model is expected to come with all-wheel drive and a turbocharged V-6 pumping out close to 400 horsepower. Standard Arteons should continue with front-wheel drive and 4-cylinder power.
While VW sees a market for a shooting brake in some markets, sales in the U.S. are doubtful. After all, we’re talking about a niche body style for an already niche product. Blame it on trends or blame it on perceptions, but as most automakers will tell you, Americans just don’t like wagons—no matter what name you give them.