• Sep 16th 2009 at 7:01AM
  • 37
2010 Volkswagen Phaeton Exclusive - Click above for high-res image gallery

When it comes to the Phaeton, we really don't care what anyone else thinks. The only justification we'll offer is that back in the early 2000s, VW's ubermensch Ferdinand Piech took off the calf-skin gloves and dropped the mother of all gauntlets. He told commanded engineers to build A) the very best high performance hypercar the world had ever seen, and, B) an equally superb luxury sedan. The results, as you may have guessed, were the Veyron and the Phaeton. A little bit of this high high-falutin' zeitgeist rubbed off on the Touareg as well -- especially the twin-turbo TDI V10 monster.

The whole Phaeton can'o'worms is quite messy in the States. To put it bluntly, the grand sedan completely failed. Still, anyone that's spent so much as thirty seconds in the back seat knows that the Phaeton's failure in WalMart country had nothing to do with the Phaeton. Proof? Volkswagen, who by year's end is projected to be the largest automaker in the world and therefor knows a thing or two about cars, is bringing the Phaeton back to our red, white und blue shores. This particular Phaeton Exclusive (featuring the universe's glossiest, deepest and darkest black paint) is actually sporting the 2007 facelift. But you can rest easy, secure in the knowledge we'll be getting the new Phaeton when it returns to the US in 2011.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      The best part about this car is that nobody knows what it is. An Audi driver could be cruising along in an A6, even an A8, completely unaware of the superiority of the Phaeton as it glides past under the radar.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This should work well in these less prosperous times. Instead of shouting, "I'M RICH BEYATCH!" in a Bentley Continental, get a Phaeton W12 instead, and only automotive cognoscenti will know that they are basically the same thing, only the Bentley looks like a $200K car, and the Phaeton looks like a last-gen Passat. The most understated car of all time could only have come from the Germans.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can imagine that the woman on the nav screen is saying something like, "Slow down, you're going to get us all killed!".

      Every once in awhile I see a Phaeton on the road, and I just shake my head, knowing VW's poor reputation for quality and reliability.

      If they really want it to look upmarket, they should put Wolfsburg crest emblems on it. Remember when those were on all Volkswagens? They should never have gotten rid of those.
      • 6 Years Ago
      For the sake of my own selfishness, I'm hoping that most of what's been said here is true and the revived US Phaeton fails miserably because that will mean I can pick one up on the cheap when they start coming off lease.

      I like the car. It caters to a unique market, and it would fit me very well. I enjoy luxurious European sedans, and I earn enough that I can afford something in the 5-Series or A6 vein, but I have to be very careful of the message my vehicle sends. My position rolls up to some penny-pinching finance folks who don't think a person of my age "deserves" to own a nice car.

      My superiors, of course, make much more than I do, but they have children they're putting through college and houses they shouldn't have bought so their perspective on disposable income is skewed. If I show up one morning and pull into my parking space in a BMW while my boss is getting out of his Honda Accord, I might as well just paint a bulls-eye on my back because they will scrutinize every single thing I do to see if my workload justifies my car.

      Used A8Ls are a bargain for what you get, and I really want one, but just the other day my boss said he was thinking about getting something new and said, "Have you heard of an Audi A B?" To which I replied, "You mean the A8?" "Nice car," he said," Looks VERY expensive, though." So what's a guy to do? Get a Phaeton, take the badges off, and let everyone at the office think, "boy, the Passat is a lot bigger than I thought."
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think it would actually be even funnier if you removed the Phaeton badges and replaced them with Passat ones.

        Considering that your boss called the A8 an AB, I doubt they'd have a clue as to what you did.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks very elegant. Sadly the VW badge will scare away buyers in this luxury category.
        • 6 Years Ago
        this car is a rebodied Bentley , a very nice car , but i doubt it will sell this time around. some people who prefer discretion will get it and that's about it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think the most inconspicous luxury car... ever? I love it, the
        American market doesn't know what it's missing! However as a display
        of wealth it is pretty useless... so i don't think it will fare much
        better the second time round. You get a lot more flash for your cash
        from all its competitors, and even the Hyundais.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yup, I don't know anyone who'd want to spend this much on a Volkswagon. Its a Fair price for an Audi A6 or A8, but for just a VW, its silly.

        Then again, if Hyundai is moving Genesis then it only proves that "a fool and his money are soon parted"

      • 6 Years Ago
      As much as I dislike Walmart, you can't blame this one on the supposed ignorance of the unwashed US masses. When you plop a car with this kind of price tag on it (and unimpressive exterior styling) down in the showroom next to an $18K Golf, people are not going to take it seriously. It is not only about snob appeal. People find it difficult to plunk down giant sums in an atmosphere that otherwise feels low-rent.

      Hyundai would have had the same problem if they had priced the Genesis in the stratosphere, but instead they wisely took more of a stair step approach with the pricing, and the result is a car that is successfully perceived as a luxury value.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The other difference is that Hyundai does not have a luxury division whilst VW does. Why would anyone buy the VW version of the A8 for essentially the same price?

        This would be the same as if Toyota sold a Toyota branded LS that cost the same as the Lexus LS.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "...and in 2005 just 820 units were sold in the United States." I don't know anyone who'd shell out six figures for a Volkswagen, regardless of how nice it is. Most Americans who spend that much money on a car want to feel special and have a special experience buying it; for most of them the VW dealership is not that place. Not to mention we're talking about a car company that consistently ends up at the bottom of reliability ratings.
      • 6 Years Ago
      and its a 2+2! very nice, hope that interior finds its way into the cc
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is it a coincidence that the VW Phaeton, Bentley Mulsanne, Bugatti Sedan and new Audi A8 are all in the news at the same time? I mean, I know there's a huge auto-show going on, but the VW group has got some seriosly good PR going on.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nice stealth car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nice car!
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Phaeton proves that Ferdinand Piech is an egomaniac.
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