NEWS

Waiting for VW's Luxury Arteon Sedan? Better Luck Next Year

Volkswagen is delaying the U.S. launch of its all-new Arteon flagship sedan, which will be the most luxurious and most expensive VW sedan, until “early 2019” because of certification delays in Europe.

Related: 2019 Volkswagen Arteon Already on the Right Track

Volkswagen says the latest model year of the sedan has been delayed in the U.S. because European Union regulators are implementing a new set of emissions rules — the European Union’s WLTP, or the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure.

“This is because of delays in the certification process caused by a backlog in meeting WLTP worldwide emissions testing,” a VW spokesman said.

The car was first unveiled at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show and went on sale earlier in Germany.

The sleek Arteon, which still will be a 2019 model, replaces the departed, coupelike CC sedan in the U.S. VW lineup. It is bigger than the CC, and the U.S. powertrain will be a 268-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional on all models, and it will offer VW’s latest multimedia and safety technology. Also offered will be a sportier-looking R-Line trim level.

Given the way sedan sales are plummeting industrywide in the U.S., the delay may not be a huge loss for Volkswagen. And VW’s sales of its compact Jetta, despite a well-done 2019 redesign, are down 36 percent so far this year compared with 2017; sales of the Passat mid-size sedan, which has a new model on the way, are down more than 34 percent. Meanwhile, sales of VW’s latest Tiguan and Atlas SUVs (Cars.com’s Best of 2018 winner) have driven the brand’s 7 percent overall sales gain so far this year.

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