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First Details On Next-Gen Volkswagen Phaeton, U.S. Market Crucial

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First Details On Next-Gen Volkswagen Phaeton, U.S. Market Crucial

By Viknesh Vijayenthiran

Editor

June 18th, 2010

The Phaeton flagship sedan may have been a major flop for Volkswagen but officials are keen for a launch of a successor. The car was priced similarly to BMWs and Audis but it wore a humble VW badge, and there was nothing particularly exciting or innovative about it either. It had mundane styling, poor dynamics and a much heavier chassis than its Audi A8 cousin--need we go on.

Yes, by all accounts, the Phaeton was a flop and nowhere did it perform more badly than in the U.S. where the decision to drop the car came just two years after launch. Since going on sale back in 2003, VW managed to find a local home for just 3,354 cars in total, but despite the poor result the automaker is considering bringing the next-generation Phaeton to the U.S.

A significantly refreshed version (pictured) will go on sale in Europe later this year, however, the car destined for a U.S. return will most likely be an all-new model.

For the next-generation Phaeton, VW won’t be so ambitious. Instead of targeting the likes of the 7-Series and A8, and their respective European buyers, VW will be going after American and Chinese buyers. This means the Phaeton will be growing in size, and it’s styling will also be made more flamboyant.

A platform change is also on the cards, with the current Audi A6’s underpinnings likely making the cut. The engine lineup will most likely be trimmed, with the V-6 and V-8 units remaining and a new hybrid option being added, the same from the 2012 Touareg Hybrid. Gone will be the W-12 monster and V-10 TDI units.

Whatever the outcome, don't expect to see the new Phaeton in showrooms for at least a couple of years.

link:

http://www.motorauthority.com/blog/1046301_first-details-on-next-gen-volkswagen-phaeton-u-s-market-crucial

VW to make a new Phaeton

18 June 2010

Volkswagen is abandoning its bid to make the Phaeton a rival for the 7-series and S-class in Europe — and it will tailor the next generation of the car to the US and China instead.

The Phaeton, which has sold in tiny numbers since its launch in 2002, has just been facelifted and given some of the internet connectivity originally seen on the latest Audi A8, another of its rivals.

Read Autocar's facelifted VW Phaeton first drive

But VW is already planning to switch the next Phaeton to a new platform, and insiders admit that its styling and mechanical make-up will be steered towards the US market, where sales of the car ended in 2009, and China, where VW expects to sell 3000 of the current model this year.

“There’s no doubt that the Phaeton absolutely has to go back to the US,” said our insider. “This is being reflected in the next version. It will look much more like a car for America.” That’s likely to mean a slight increase in size and far more ostentatious styling than the current, ultra-conservative look.

VW is considering a number of options for the car’s underpinnings. The most likely source is said to be the extended version of the Audi A6 that’s sold in China. But our insider refused to rule out the possibility of using the A8’s aluminium platform. “Everything is open to us,” he said.

The focus on markets outside of Europe is likely to ensure that all three of the current Phaeton’s petrol motors — V6, V8 and W12 — survive into the next incarnation. There will also be a hybrid version, which is likely to use a version of the petrol-based powertrain from the Touareg hybrid.

Diesel options are likely to be a 3.0-litre V6 and possibly a V8, which could give the car a performance oil-burner to replace the discontinued 5.0-litre V10 TDI.

link:

http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle.aspx?AR=250482

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“There’s no doubt that the Phaeton absolutely has to go back to the US,” said our insider. “This is being reflected in the next version. It will look much more like a car for America.” That’s likely to mean a slight increase in size and far more ostentatious styling than the current, ultra-conservative look.

The current Phaeton is 199 inches long. The long wheelbase model is 203.7 inches long. It is as big as a Buick Lucerne. If they do this, it will force GM to come up with a larger car for Buick or do something. LaCrosse is not going to cut it. Cadillac is coming out with a larger car than XTS anyway. It will force Fords hand too. They will have to have something larger than Lincoln MKS and Ford Taurus. I see a trend here. They have figured out a way to build larger cars and make them fuel efficient.

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