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Volkswagen Phaeton reminisces, when the canceled flagship Mk II is revealed

It seems the rumors are true. Volkswagen is close to approving a second generation Phaeton The flagship sedan before the Dieselgate scandal changed the company’s priorities.

Here’s the bumpy history of Volkswagen’s ill-fated replacement for the Audi A8.

1999 EASY Concept

Unveiled at the 1999 Frankfurt auto show, the Concept D is an exact preview of the upcoming Phaeton flagship sedan from the C-pillar onwards.

Even so, the rear part with its raised design and rounded outline seems to have been copied from the 2009 Bugatti 16C Galibier concept.

Under the bonnet is a 5.0-litre V10 turbo-diesel engine that produces around 230kW and 750Nm. It is connected to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

Two years later, Volkswagen introduced the D1 concept, which was in fact already in production.

Phaeton first generation (2001-2016)

Developed as part of a plan to take the Volkswagen brand further upmarket, the first generation Phaeton entered the production line in December 2001.

This push includes the launch of Porsche Cayenne-based Touaregand equipment of the unique 4.0-liter W8 engine – a pair of narrow-angle VR4 engines clamped together – to Passat.

Although the Touareg continues to this day, very few people bought the Passat W8 and the engine was discontinued after only three years.

Reports at the time suggested that then-CEO Ferdinand Piech’s plan to turn Volkswagen into a luxury car company was because he was angry at the launch of Mercedes-Benz. A-Classencroaching into the small car segment, where Golf is a great European player.

Mr. Piech is said to have given the engineering team a list of 10 parameters. These reportedly include a draft-free air-conditioning system, the world’s best torsion stiffness, ultimate passenger comfort, Lexus-beating quietness and all-day driveability in 300km/h speed in 50 degree heat while maintaining 22 degree cabin temperature.

Breakthrough technology includes blind spot monitoring, a touchscreen navigation system and sign recognition.

His drive to perfection means the car will cost around 1 billion euros ($1.5 billion) to develop. Some estimates put the overall damage from the project at around €2 billion ($3 billion).

Phaeton rides on a front and rear-wheel drive platform codenamed D1, shared with Bentley Continental coupe and convertible, and the Flying Spur sedan.

Like Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Audi A8and Lexus LSPhaeton is available in both short (5.05m) and long (5.1m) wheelbase forms.

The focal point in the range is the 6.0-litre turbocharged W12 making 331kW and 650Nm, but its 5.9sec 0-100km/h time isn’t as quick as it should be.

With a steel body and Piech’s claim, the Phaeton has an initial weight of about 2.2 tonnes, or about 500kg more than the similarly sized aluminum Audi A8.

Other petrol engines available include the 3.2-liter VR6, 3.6-liter VR6 and 4.2-liter V8, while the turbo-diesel family includes a variety of 3.0-liter V6 and 5.0-liter V10. liter.

The company originally planned to produce 20,000 Phaetons per year. All in all, only 84,253 were made during the 15 years of the car’s life. Thanks to its long production run, the Phaeton has been provided with four updates over its lifetime.

It is made in a purpose-built transparent glass factory in Dresden, Germany. After the Phaeton malfunctioned, the Dresden factory was converted into an electric vehicle factory, first for e-Golf and now ID.3 . electric hatch.

Although the Phaeton was produced with right-hand drive, the car was never sold in Australia.


The Phaeton was not a sales success in the US, where it was discontinued a few years after being marketed, as well as in Europe. However, it did reasonable business in China.

Volkswagen China has developed a kind of successor. Released in 2016, the Phideon is manufactured in a non-transparent factory, runs on the MLB architecture, and is available with enhanced four and six-cylinder engines, as well as plug-in hybrids.

Unfortunately no V8, V10 or W12 engines are offered in the Phideon.

Second generation ‘D2’ concept

This week, Volkswagen took the unusual step of revealing a second-generation Phaeton concept that appears to be production-ready.

Compared to the original car, the second generation Phaeton uses more bars and has a much sharper design, although some cues, such as the grille and the thick C-pillar shape, are taken.

With a fully digital instrument display, capacitive buttons and a giant touchscreen for the infotainment and climate control systems, the concept’s interior has a modern industrial feel to it. other technology. Clear Touareg Volkswagen isn’t the only Volkswagen that wants a flashy Innovision cockpit.

At the back, a large dashboard separates the two seats and has screens that protrude from the backs of the front seats.

Although it is based on the MLB front- and all-wheel drive architecture with vertical engines, used by vehicles such as Audi A6, Volkswagen Touaregand Bentley BentaygaVolkswagen has not confirmed which powertrain it plans to offer on the second-generation Phaeton.

Plans to put this car into production were officially shelved in 2016 as the company decided to “focus on the electric mobility attack”, after the Dieselgate emissions cheating scheme was revealed at the end of the year. 2015.

Investing in a high-end, low-displacement sedan to compete with the Volkswagen Group’s luxury brands seems imprudent as executives are arrested, investigations across multiple jurisdictions continue. profanity and ghosts have to pay billions of euros in fines and settlements. .

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