2021 Volkswagen Arteon R spied

Is VW getting ready to make a muscled-up Arteon? It certainly looks like it.
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Volkswagen appears to be working on a powered-up version of its Arteon four-door coupe.

A prototype snapped with big wheels and brakes, and an angry-looking exhaust system, is a strong indicator the car could get a proper performance flagship to sit above the 206TSI R-Line.

The biggest indicators as to the Arteon's performance potential is the bigger brakes. The oversized rotors are drilled and the calipers are blue, the latter of which is a Golf R calling card.

Down back, the biggest performance giveaway is the exhaust. Rather than the slim, chromed units standard on even the R-Line Arteon, this prototype wears four AMG-style exhaust pipes – and quad pipes are another Volkswagen R calling card.

Trainspotters will notice the deeper front splitter and angrier outboard air intakes up front, but we'd suggest the production R will get a body that's better differentiated from the standard model.

As for what will power the hotter Arteon? Volkswagen hasn't confirmed anything yet, but a more powerful take on the Golf R's four-cylinder turbocharged engine is one option.

Alternatively, our spy photographer has suggested a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 engine could feature, putting more than 295kW to all four wheels through a dual-clutch transmission.