• Oct 25, 2006
Earlier reports suggested that Volkswagen may be canceling the range-topping Phaeton sedan. Some opined that it'd be right to do so – the big saloon was never the runaway global success Volkswagen had hoped for. It seems customers, in the United States especially, weren't prepared to drop that kind of dough on a VW.

Such rumors are now looking to be just plain wrong, as Volkswagen prepares not just one, but two sequential replacements for the uber-sedan. The first is a minor facelift to update the Phaeton's styling to be more like – perversely – the Polo supermini (and also like the Passat and Golf for that matter). The front bumper, headlights and hood are all revised, and inside the CD navigation system is replaced by a DVD version.

The facelift is just to tide the Phaeton over until its complete replacement comes in 2009. The all-new sedan is expected to take on more coupe-like styling, in the same vein as the Mercedes CLS. The 2009 Phaeton will also go down-market a bit so as not to compete with the Audi A8, but still positioned significantly higher than the Passat.

With cars like the Bugatti Veyron and the all-conquering Audi racers dominating Le Mans, we all know what happens when the people at the Volkswagen group set their minds to something, so this ought to be interesting....

(Follow the link for more pics of the revised Phaeton caught in the wild)

[Source: World Car Fans]



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  • 15 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Phaeton is a great care. I am waiting to afford a used one. Maybe a 2004 with the W12 engine. They go for 45,000 now. thats a lot of car for the money. I would keep it for a long time and drive my ford ranger on the side.
      • 8 Years Ago
      VW reached a little too far pushing the Phaeton in the market.I thought it'd be much more realistic to introduce a car positioned above the current Passat as a value alternative to the E-class/5 series/A-6 segment.I guess they were afraid they'd cannibalize the Audi sales.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Why should someone pay several dollars for a VW car in their Audi price range. "

      Because it's a different kind of car. It's basically a bespoke (is that the right word?)car with many of it's pieces hand made and custom by the owner's request. Audi does not offer a program like this, although they really should.

      Grant it, I don't think VW has any business in this particular market, but the w12 Phaeton is one of the best cars I've ever riden in. It's a fantastic automobile. I saw quite of few of them in Europe last year. I've only seen a handful in the US.
      • 8 Years Ago
      VW is a stupid company.
      They make cars branded Volkswagen which means "People's Car" and then create a luxury model that most luxury buyers wouldn't consider in part because it's called a people's car!

      A "People's Car" should be cheap crap that almost anyone can afford. What's killing the Phaeton is its nitwit VW logo that screams CRAP FOR THE MASSES!


      • 8 Years Ago
      There's simply no reason for VW to be in the market. When paying top $$$ for a luxury car, those superficial aspects such as price, brand and styling factor in heavily in purchasing decisions. Between an Audi A6 and a next-gen Phaeton, I'd opt for the A6 just on branding alone (unless it'd have amazing classic styling).

      VW design philosophy itself is a "People's car" ethos, which directly clashes with what people look for in a luxury car. Audi already occupies the understated luxury segment, so there's nowhere VW can go. Stick with Polos and Rabbits, please.
      • 8 Years Ago
      VW has been all over the board lately with this brand and Audi. They're just greedy and still trying to ride on the success of previous years. Why should someone pay several dollars for a VW car in their Audi price range. Part of it is image and VW's brand does not represent luxury. That Phaeton and VW are sooo tired!
      • 8 Years Ago
      VW = The Rich people's car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      VW/Audi front end? Tell me how the A6 and Passat share a front end/face (besides both having A front end).

      At any rate I'm glad the Phaeton doesn't have that gross chrome bra of the Rabbit/Jetta/Passat/AllNewVWcars. VW failed trying to copy the 7 series, perhaps the sexy lines of the CLS will prove more popular...
      • 8 Years Ago
      VW doesn't want it to be associated directly with the passat or the A8, not wanting to appear to 'down market' or in direct competition with their fellow VAG company
      • 8 Years Ago
      I wonder why it doesn't have the new VW/Audi front end?
      • 8 Years Ago
      "18. VW = The Rich people's car."

      ----------------------------
      Not really. I think rich people prefer car brands with more class and with a better record for reliability.

      Plenty of "rich" people own Hondas and Toyotas because those cars are better for the money and are less likely to be troublesome.

      VW was good 40 years ago when it was a cheap BUG and hasn't been worth considering since.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I could have sworn I read somewhere when the Phaeton first launched that Volkswagen was planning on taking a huge hit on the first-gen Phaeton, and that it wouldn't be until at least the second-gen that the model breaks even.

      With more distinctive styling and a lower pricetag, I'm sure the second-gen Phaeton will sell considerably better. The question is, after the flop in the US, will they bring it State-side?

      One of the problems with the Phaeton was that it was pretty much a heavier, less-stylish Audi A8 at almost the same price. A lower-market Phaeton Mk2 will prevent that from happening.
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