VW Phaeton Eyes U.S. Drivers, Again

  • Paul Meyers

The original VW Phaeton was not quite ready for prime time when it arrived in the U.S. market back in 2004. It was a bold effort from the German manufacturer to take on the likes of the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and Lexus LS model lines. But it failed to impress those interested in purchasing a Volkswagen Group product, even with its enticing engine offerings—a 330 hp V-8 and a 414 hp W-12. Fewer than 3,000 cars were sold in the three years it was offered here before the German automaker decided to pull the plug in 2006.

But VW never stopped production of the car for other markets, and the Phaeton continued to trudge on, with face-lifts and model refreshes helping it along the way. The most recent redesign came for the 2011 model year, which gave the car the longest wheelbase of any passenger car in the Volkswagen lineup. With these changes also came news that VW had the American market in mind for the future of the Phaeton.

This move certainly makes more sense than it did back in 2004, as the economic climate has shifted. Even Hyundai is now offering a comparable car with the Equus, for buyers interested in escaping luxury badges and scaling back. There is no word on pricing—as the car is still a few years out—but when (and if) the Phaeton finally makes its return, VW will likely price it well below the $78,750 price tag of its corporate cousin, the Audi A8. (800.374.8389; www.vw.com)

From Around the Web...
Debuted on June 23, only 50 examples of the dual-tone tribute will be produced…
Mostly a mystery at this point, the collaborative concept should materialize by 2018…
The working example features one-off componentry and the signatures of Carroll Shelby and Bill Ford…
The most iconic modern classics to hit the road with this summer…
In May, some of history’s most important bikes descended on Carmel Valley, Calif.…
Meticulously made over, the marque’s flagship model now comes in two new trim packages…
Photo by Christian Martin
A selection of 115 classics, many that competed at the famed endurance race, will roll out for sale…
Introduced today by the luxury marque, the bespoke marvel will be a driver and day planner in one…
On a full charge, the 95 hp bike can travel up to 125 miles…
The members-only track and facility comprise the only year-round playground of its kind in Canada…