We can expect a new Volkswagen Phaeton Mk2 to be launched in 2015. Its architecture will come from Audi. The new VW Phaeton, dubbed VW631, is to be built on MLM Evo (modular longitudinal matrix) which allows for a plug-in hybrid option, a body structure that uses a major amount of aluminum, and a layout that’s a lot more advanced and is less nose-heavy.
In the past, VW chairman Martin Winterkorn has black-flagged the Avantissimo (A8-based) and the Passat Variant Plus (A6-derived) but there’s a lot of potential for a second more practical bodystyle aside from the four-door notch that’s nearly compulsory in this segment.
A five-door coupé version would be highly practical but the Volkswagen brand is likely to be better off with a more pragmatic shape that might be more spacious than a Superb Combi, as sleek as an Avant, and as lavish as the present Phaeton, says Car. What’s certain is that the Phaeton MkII model would be slotted between A6 and A8 and will have a price that’s lower than that of the current Phaeton.
In addition, it will be offered with a four-cylinder, a hybrid and a couple of high-output sixes. Volkswagen spent plenty of hours and money to market the Phaeton but it was never quite successful and it was outperformed by the A8, 7series and S-class.
In fact, about every second Phaeton has been used internally, whether as demonstrator, a courtesy car or a VIP shuttle.
VW explained that one reason why this high-end model failed is because it’s an unknown product in a segment that’s very prestige-conscious. But there are other factors named. These include the extremely conservative styling, the relatively poor ride comfort, the uninspired handling and the range of V8, V10 and W12 engines that are heavy and uneconomical.