Volkswagen Phaeton rendering

The Volkswagen Group had a whole lot and then more to show off at the Frankfurt Motor Show this year. There were about a dozen vehicles rolled out at the pre-show VW Group evening, and then more once the show opened the following morning. For the Volkswagen brand itself, the new production Up! was the main focus, sharing the stage with the Nils concept, the Beetle R showcar and the Polo rally car. But there was, according to the UK's CAR magazine, to be one more major debut.

That additional concept car would have been a preview of the next-generation Phaeton, but apparently VW's corporate strategists opted to hold it back so as not to detract from the Up! runabout. Instead, it will likely show off the concept second-generation luxury sedan at another show in the near future, but the production model isn't expected to come until 2015.

When it does, we'll find out what strategy the Phaeton will have switched to. Insiders suggest it will be downsized to slot in between the Audi A6 and A8 (rather than compete directly with the latter) and could include one or several less traditional (and more practical) bodystyles in addition to a traditional four-door sedan.

We're also likely to be looking at smaller engines than the eight, ten and twelve-cylinder mills currently on offer, all in an effort to sell the new Phaeton to more customers than the current model, one in two of which reportedly stay in Volkswagen's hands as VIP shuttles.
Related Gallery2011 Volkswagen Phaeton