When it was launched back in 2008, the Volkswagen Passat CC was the first car from a non-premium brand that came close in styling and desirability to more expensive premium cars. It was a time when the four-door coupe craze kick started by the Mercedes-Benz CLS was catching on big time, Volkswagen was quick to capitalise on it. However, despite being a much better looking car than everything else in the Wolfsburg carmaker’s line-up, it didn’t go on to be an icon like the CLS, nor did it become the sales success that VW had hoped it to be. Thinking that the association with the Passat could be the reason for this lukewarm market response, Volkswagen dropped the boring moniker after a few years calling it just the CC. But even that didn’t seem to help much, so now it seems to have decided that the next generation should be positioned as an all-new model with a completely new name as well.

Teased in sketches released recently, the new model, called Arteon, has been spotted testing in southern Europe. It’s still wrapped in psychedelic camo, although it’s expected to be officially revealed at the 2017 Geneva motor show, which is just a few months away. From the spy shots, the Arteon lower and longer than the current Volkswagen Passat saloon, and if the teaser sketches are anything to go by it will look a lot more exciting than the family saloon and its current fastback sibling. What’s more interesting is that the Arteon is supposed to preview the design language to be adopted by future models from the German carmaker, which means you can expect them to be more distinctive and less boring than the current range.

While there will be significant changes in the way it looks, we don’t expect anything radically different in the powertrain department, which is likely to comprise a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and a possible hybrid. Along with the recently launched Atlas large SUV, the Arteon is Volkswagen’s big hope of getting back in favour with the all-important American car buyers.