Does U.S. patent signal that we're getting the hotter VW Arteon R?

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CarBuzz found a Volkswagen patent application for front and rear bumpers for the VW Arteon R sedan filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. VW submitted the papers in August 2020, and the USPTO approved the request just yesterday, October 5. VW doesn't sell the hottest version of the Arteon here. CarBuzz believes the application indicates VW's intention to bring the Arteon R to the U.S., perhaps as soon as early next year.

It's hard to know what's going on, but we're not ready to go that far. Our guess is that if VW does anything with its newly protected pair of bumpers here, the bumpers will either go on the standard R-Line or a more extreme version of the R-Line package, or they'll be used to create a U.S. version of the Arteon R out of what we already have. We think this because in August, VW upped the output of our Arteon's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder to 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, and swapped out the eight-speed torque converter automatic for a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission like the one found in Europe's Arteon R. Furthermore, next year the current entry-level SE trim gets renamed SE R-Line, so every U.S. Arteon variant that we know of for the moment will be an R-Line.

We can't see how doing anything more would make sense for VW, seeing that the Arteon has sold 4,865 units through the end of September this year. As a relatively pricey sedan, it doesn't have the kind of sales ceiling worth splurging for. The entry-level 2022 SE R-Line starts at $41,190 after destination, a $3,000 price increase over the 2021 SE trim thanks to the increased power and standard content, but that still comes with front-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive SEL R-Line will cost $45,810, and the SEL Premium R-Line will cost more, perhaps crossing the $50,000 mark if the present price spread holds. But we also guess that more power and a more aggressive look will entice many of those who've been on the fence about taking an Arteon home.

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