Come 2015 when Volkswagen announces the next-generation Phaeton, it will also debut a new design language that will influence the entire VW range, according to Design Director Klaus Bischoff.
The design boss himself admits that the new design language that debuted with the VW Golf VII was a mistake. Unlike most companies where the design of the flagship product influences the rest of product range — the "top-down" approach — with the Golf VII, VW used the bottom-up approach that, according to Bischoff, didn’t bode well with the market.
If there is something that we’d criticize about the current design language is that the entire VW lineup looks eerily similar. For the future design language, Klaus promises that there will be a specific look for saloons, one for the SUV lineup, one for the people carriers and one for hatchbacks. We hope this change flows over to Audi as well.
With Klaus Bischoff promising such changes, the future of this German giant looks bright. Though it’s easy to make promises, delivering them is the actual challenge.
Despite the sluggish sales of the flagship Phaeton since its launch in 2003, VW is intent on designing and developing the next gen flagship right from scratch.
Talking to Autocar at the Sao Paulo Motor Show, R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg confirmed that there will be a 2014 Volkswagen Phaeton that will feel ’very new’ as compared to the current gen, which we think is very boring in terms of design and driveability. You would never feel excited when you step into a Phaeton, unlike its competitors like the Mercedes S-Class or the Jaguar XJ. It’s a car that, frankly speaking, one wouldn’t look forward to sitting and driving when you go to work or for a long drive. It’s been sitting on the same old platform for the last 10 years with little tweaks to the design and changes to the engine line-up. For VW to make the Phaeton a success in the luxury saloon market, little tweaks just isn’t enough. Now though, believing what the R&D chief has said, that’s about to change for good.
Apart from the confirmation, he also revealed that it would be underpinned by the new modular MLB platform for large sedans in the VW Group, underpinnings which will also be used beneath the next-generation Continental family from Bentley and Panamera family from Porsche. Good to see that VW is intent on making it a success.
With that, the Phaeton will be marketed as a car for those who like the ride comfort of a Bentley, but can’t afford one.
How ironic is it that the next-generation Volkswagen Phaeton, a German-born vehicle if there ever was one, will be sent to the US and Chinese markets and not to the vehicle’s home continent of Europe. It’s even more perplexing considering that the first-generation Phaeton was such a sales flop in America (the company only managed to sell 2,253 units in the country).
According to Autocar, the new Phaeton looks to be a car that will be made for America and China where the high-end VW sedan is rumored to come with a platform that’s similar to the Audi A6L, a car that incidentally was released exclusively for the Chinese market.
As far as the US-bound Phaeton is concerned, Volkswagen is looking at building the car with a styling and mechanical set-up that’s geared towards the US market, which would mean that the Phaeton is more likely to come as a bigger size and a more aggressive approach that’s far from the previous models of the Phaeton, which were more on the conservative side.
As far as seeing the next-generation Phaeton in Europe is concerned, VW is still likely to release units in the market, but for now, the emphasis is to tailor the car for the US and Chinese markets, which VW is hoping will have a better showing than the previous incarnation ever did.
Volkswagen unveiled the new Phaeton today at Auto China 2010 in Beijing. The new luxury sedan features Volkswagen’s new design DNA, meaning a new front section with a new chrome grille, restyled headlights, a three-dimensional moulding of the grille and bonnet, new Bi-Xenon headlamps. The car’s rear has been also redesigned and gets new LED rear light clusters, a new, three-piece chrome bar, modified side trim strips, narrower LED indicators in the wing mirrors and new 18-inch (‘Experience’) alloy wheels.
The 2011 Phaeton will be offered with a choice of two wheelbase options, two back seat versions (three seats / two individual seats) and four engines (a turbo diesel and three petrol engines).
The engine line-up will include: a V6 petrol engine delivering 280 HP, a V8 with 335 HP and a W12 with 450 HP. The diesel engine is a V6 TDI with 240 HP.
The luxury sedan will be offered with Dynamic Light Assist (camera-based dynamic main beam regulation) and a navigation system that, if desired, can integrate online data from Google into the map display.
Updated 06/07/2010: Volkswagen today revealed new images of the new generation Phaeton. Check the gallery to see them all!
Volkswagen stopped selling the Phaeton on the US market back in 2006 simply because, priced at more than $60K, the car just wasn’t what it was meant to be. That being said, it seems the German company has improved on the flagship sedan and wants to give it one more try. The new Phaeton will go on sale as a 2011 model and will be priced at around $55k.
Spy photos shot while the Phaeton glistened and gleamed at a photo shoot reveal a new front bumper, grille, headlight-units, and re-designed taillamps in the rear. Under the hood there will be a wide range of engines with a V10 TDi motor rumored as a possibility.
After the sedan makes its world debut on the European market, the company will also analyze the possibility of getting it back to the US although it might be a tough sale considering the redesigned Mercedes Benz S-Class, Audi A8, and Jaguar XJ making their grand appearances. Let’s just hope, for Volkswagen’s sake, that the new Phaeton is more car than the old model.
Lets face it: the Volkswagen Phaeton was never a very successful model. But Hofele-Design has found a solution to make it look better than ever. Their tuning program is called Mythos Royal and includes both cosmetic and performance modifications.
Hofele-Design has started with a new fascia with a redesigned front bumper and reshaped bonnet that houses a different grille. At the rear they added a discreet boot lid spoiler and a new apron with integrated trapezoidal tailpipes. The exterior package is finished with 20" alloy wheels.
For the interior Hofele added a two-tone color scheme inspired by the Bentley models.
It seems that for a while, Volkswagen had no intentions of bringing back the Phaeton back on US soil. Sure, there were discussions involved, but nothing amounted to anything serious. While most of us were pining for the Phaeton to make its way back to America, it wasn’t until Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO of Volkswagen America, made sure that our calls weren’t falling on deaf ears when he announced that the Phaetons will once again return to run on US highways.
In an interview with The Detroit News, Jacoby all but confirmed that the Phaeton, as well as a number of other cars from VW’s compact car (possibly the Polo) and SUV segment, would all be sold in the U.S. On the flip side, Jacoby hasn’t given a definite timetable for the Phaeton’s re-introduction to the US market, stopping short of saying that a return was imminent.
In any case, the word has finally come from the horse’s mouth, and for those who have been yearning for the Phaeton’s US comeback can now breathe easy.
Volkswagen revealed the 2009 Phaeton, a model that comes with new technical features and also upgraded powertrains.
New to the Phaeton engine lineup is a considerably more efficient V6 gasoline direct-injection engine (FSI) with 280 hp. Compared to the previous engine, the V6 FSI offers a performance gain of 39 hp, on the one hand, yet it consumes 0.4 liters less fuel per 100 kilometers on the other. A common feature: All four gasoline and diesel engines on the Phaeton (240 hp to 450 hp) fulfill the new Euro-5 emissions standard.
Other changes to the 2009 model year car now being launched include: three new types of alloy wheels (17, 18 and 19 inch), a slightly modified radiator grille, three new car colors ("Silver leaf metallic", "Beryllium gray metallic" and "Mocca-anthracite pearl effect"), the new leather color "Corn silk beige", the new wood accents "Poplar grain latte macchiato" and "Vavona", white switch illumination instead of red, accent and switch trim in the new "Warm gray" color, an upgraded car key, makeup mirror in the rear on the long version, dampers optimized for low-friction, ceramic brakes (front) on the Phaeton W12 as well as a rearview camera (Rear Assist).
Volkswagen will unveil an all-new Phaeton in 2009. It will come in three different body versions: first will be the sedan, and almost a year after it the coupe and the cabriolet versions. It comes as a response against the upcoming Audi A8 and BMW 7-Series; while the cabriolet version has bigger targest: the Mercedes SL.