Since its ignominious departure from the US car market in 2006, there have been any number of on-again/off-again rumors about the Volkswagen Phaeton returning to our shores. With that said, VW's aggressive goals in terms of worldwide sales dominance would seem to countenance all manner of new product; taking a second stab at a halo-luxury car for the US, included.

At least that's the gist of a new report from Bloomberg, which dangles the idea of a new Phaeton potentially being "shown to US consumers in January," or just in time for the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

Short on specifics and citations, the Bloomberg report seems to rely on the expansionist behavior of VW as a whole over the last few years, and a few statements of positivity from VW CEO Martin Winterkorn. The publication quotes Winterkorn as saying, "A brand as large as Volkswagen needs a halo project in the upscale segment." Bloomberg also states that Winterkorn was "confirming" the Phaeton's return to the US.

The supposedly Detroit-bound Phaeton demonstrator could come in concept form, as a way of better judging public reaction to the reintroduction of the sedan. Pending a greenlight, the next-gen Phaeton is likely to share architecture with the Audi A8, with the potential good for a hybrid version, as well.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 93 Comments
      strada_gt
      • 1 Year Ago
      Phaeton will help with sales but an inexpensive VW Bus, reincarnation of The Thing and bringing Amarok would not ?
        icon149
        • 1 Year Ago
        @strada_gt
        please don't forget the Karmann Ghia, we need a modern spin on the Karmann ghia!
        iamderekw
        • 1 Year Ago
        @strada_gt
        The thing! You're right!
        Street King
        • 1 Year Ago
        @strada_gt
        It wont help anything. They're only doing it because it wont cost them anything to develop. Its just going to be an A6 (or whatever Audi) with a switched around interior and body. Pure $$$ profit in their eyes
          Georg
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Street King
          the chassis (VW D1 platform) of the Pheaton is not shared with Audi... the only other car models using Pheaton chassis are the Bentley Continental GT and Continental Flying Spur. U get a high end luxury car chassis for a real bargain price...
      gtv4rudy
      • 1 Year Ago
      I find it astounding that a car company in this day and age would take the chance to revive an already near death super luxury model, especially money losing one.
        adam1keith1980
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gtv4rudy
        It's wonderful. Every other car companies are ran by marketing and finance people, not engineers. The original Phaeton was designed to be the best car in its class at the time, and no doubt it will also be the best in its class the second time around. The challenge is the dealerships (especially in North America) and badge snobs.
          Alex740
          • 1 Year Ago
          @adam1keith1980
          VW is run by marketing and finance guys as well, that's why they are more concerned with becoming number 1 in sales by cheapening their American products and not worrying about fixing their poor reliability reputation. It's a very 1980s GM business plan.
      waetherman
      • 1 Year Ago
      VW doesn't need a halo luxury car - they have Audi for that. What VW needs is to make the brand about moderately priced, reliable, and possibly even fun to drive cars. Let the 30-somethings buy Audi, get the 20-somethings in a VW. The best way to start with that would be to put another 40 horses in the new New Beetle and give them at least a semblance of a halo sports car. Or bring the damn Sirocco to the US, already.
      vi_per
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is actually not a bad luxury car. Just two problems: - Exterior looks too generic - Most importantly, why do they insist on using the VW badge?? Worst corporate decisions ever. Mercedes can make a cheaper car because Mercedes is firmly anchored as a luxury brand in people's minds. But VW will always be anchored in minds as a economical car. When will VW management ever realize that?
        Robbie Jay
        • 3 Months Ago
        @vi_per

        Kind of like the Toyota LS.  They had to dream up a new name for the Luxury Export US.

      ccweems
      • 1 Year Ago
      In 2004 the jump from the 275hp W8 Passat to the 330hp V8 Phaeton might seem a reasonable proposition after a bottle of schnapps. Comparing the 2013 Passat with a 170hp I5 engine to a current Phaeton with a 420hp V8 (Audi A8) would take more than the entire contents of a hospital pharmacy (the ones with the good stuff) to speak of them in the same breath. So it looks like there will be little trade up traffic. How can anyone expect that any mid range owner (5 series, E classe) of the luxury brands would darken the cappuccinoless customer lounges at VW? Ok, now you are bottom feeding - does VW think it can duke it out with Hyundai with those customers not impressed by German luxury brands and looking for a deal? I think not.
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ccweems
        I think this actually makes a lot more sense as a Hyundai Genesis and maybe Equus competitor than as an Audi/BMW/M-B competitor. That said, I would take an Equus over this any day of the week -- even if the prices were equal.
        msspamrefuge
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ccweems
        Minor point - wouldn't the jump actually be from the 280-hp (300 in some markets IIRC) VR6 Passat/CC?
      TurbosForAll
      • 1 Year Ago
      No sense at all. Can you imagine Bentley, Jaguar or Rolls trying to sell an econobox to compete against a Jetta? Well, that's how it looks VW with it's Phaeton. If I want a VW-sourced big luxury car, how about an Audi A8? I mean, the Phaeton is not a bad car at all, it just doesn't fit in the same showroom with other cars that have been recently -and badly- cheapened to increase sales figures. So how is it gonna be in VW, the cheap way, or the luxury way? But it definitely can't be both.
        Robbie Jay
        • 3 Months Ago
        @TurbosForAll

        Sell it out of a different showroom like a Maybach.

      KAG
      • 1 Year Ago
      A very nice car on the inside, Limo like rear. But, I think people didn't pay attention to it with the Audi A8 near the same price, to bad.
      RGT881
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's a good time to bring it back. I believe the market would be way more receptive to a luxury VW, again don't forget about the Equus and Genesis. So...
      rsxvue
      • 1 Year Ago
      If VW is so hell bent on being number one in sales, how come they never gave the US cars such as the sirocco, RS6, RS6 Avant, their small vehicles that other parts of the world get? Obviously this would cost money, and some of the models might cannibalize sales from each other, but I think the overall effect would be an increase in sales. Anything it takes to be number one right?
      Judah Richardson
      • 1 Year Ago
      At least the Phaeton carries on in the class' tradition of bland, uninspired styling. The 7-Series is the only one of these cars I'd consider buying.
      anon
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks nice if it\'s a roomy or roomier than the Passat (and way better than the CC-which they probably would have to discontinue since it would be model duplication) It\'d be a candidate for a buy by me. But then again how is this not overlapping with their Audi product line?
      eyeflyistheeye
      • 1 Year Ago
      What's Winterkorn smoking? A brand like Volkswagen doesn't need a luxury flagship when they already have Audi. That's as asinine as Toyota bringing the Crown Majesta to the US and wondering why it won't sell at $60k. Hyundai's different with the Equus since they have no luxury brand. Volkswagen needs affordable excitement in their lineup. Bringing the Scirocco and the Amarok over would help greatly in that regard. Unless Eastern European mobsters start buying in fleets, I don't see what need there is for the Phaeton in America.
        Robbie Jay
        • 3 Months Ago
        @eyeflyistheeye

        The Toyota LS does okay in the US.  I think they call it something else in Japan.


        BTW, Japanese executives all drive German cars--surprised?

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