Bloomberg News is reporting that with fading interest in the Passat (which could or could not be true) that VW wants to explore bringing its luxury Phaeton back to the United States. The VW Phaeton made its first appearance in the early 2000’s and only lasted a couple years with dwindling sales. “A brand as large as Volkswagen needs a halo project in the upscale segment,” VW CEO Martin Winterkorn told Bloomberg. The Phaeton is Volkswagens most expensive model, selling in Germany, at 70,000 euros ($92,100) and previously it sold in the U.S. for $66,700.
It could compete with the $75,100 A8 from VW’s Audi unit.
Rumors are that the Phaeton will be gracing America in January 2014 at the Detroit Auto Show.
Left Lane News gives us What we know so far:
Ulrich Hackenberg, VW’s chief of research and development, confirmed late last year that the next-gen Phaeton will be offered in the United States shortly after it debuts in Europe.
The next Phaeton will ride on the same platform as the Audi A8 and it will be largely built out of aluminum in order to shed as much weight as possible. The car will also grow a little, with the short-wheelbase variant expected to stretch no less than 196 inches long.
Rumors claim that a plug-in hybrid drivetrain will be offered to further reduce emissions, but the German automaker has yet to confirm this.
Like the current model, the next Phaeton will be aimed at a low-key target audience.”The new one will have the same positioning [as the old one]: a straightforward sedan for the person who’s successful but doesn’t feel the need to show it. Volkswagen doesn’t change course between generations of a car. It’s always easier to keep the customers you have than to lose them and go find new ones,” explained a company insider in an interview with German magazine Auto, Motor Und Sport late last year.
This is one of those reports, that we will believe it when we see it. With Volkswagen already owning the Audi brand, bringing a luxury car such as the Phaeton to the U.S. just doesn’t seem practical. Guess we will see what January brings!