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.