The VW Phaeton, which is the current flagship model of Volkswagen’s full size luxury sedan lineup has not sold well since it entered the United States market in 2004. This is because of the expensive sticker price for the vehicle and the strong competition with other luxury sedans sold in the US market like the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. As a result of the VW Phaeton’s poor performance in terms of sales, the Wolfsburg Germany-based car maker announced that it would discontinue the production of the luxury sedan in North American market after the launch of the 2006 model year.
But according to several reports from various sources including Blommberg News, Andreas Meurer, spokesperson of Volkswagen of America said that the company is considering to bring back the VW Phaeton to roll out in US dealer showrooms once again.
Moreover, in an interview with Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn in Financial Times Deutschland, he said the VW Phaeton needs to be sold worldwide in order for the vehicle to become successful. But Martin Winterkorn said he is not referring to the current Phaeton model. He said the luxury sedan will have its successor that is scheduled to arrive anytime soon and will to roll out in worldwide automotive markets. Maybe Volkswagen will include luxury coupes with elegant VW cabriolet part inside and out.
Meanwhile, in the recent 77e Salon International de l’Auto Geneve (77th annual Geneva International Motor Show), Volkswagen AG launched a redesigned version of the VW Phaeton featuring numerous new technical features and modified equipments inside and out. These include the new V6 TDI turbo-diesel engine that complies with the most stringent European emissions standard, the EURO 5 standard that goes into effect in 2009. A wide range of petrol engines are also offered. The luxury sedan received new exterior additions like chrome accent strips, bi-xenon headlamps, dynamic and static cornering headlamps, automatically activated LED daytime running lamps, and 19-inch alloy wheels.
In addition to the new exterior components, the Phaeton’s interior also gets new enhancements including voice-controlled Bluetooth telephone system, DVD based navigation system, as well as new advanced safety equipments that provides superior driving safety aside from the elegant and luxurious driving feel. These include tire pressure control system, low-beam lamp, and the new Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). The Adaptive Cruise Control system features different options to further increase ACC’s functionality. The Front Assist function utilizes a radar sensor to monitor the distance to vehicles in traffic in front of the Phaeton, while the Side Assist lane change assistant manages the area at the back and next to the vehicle via radar sensors in the rear bumper.
This revamped VW Phaeton model will roll out in European market later in May 2007. As for the issue about Phaeton’s return in the US market, car enthusiast should watch out for upcoming Volkswagen press releases to have an update.