Turbocharged direct injection diesel and plug-in hybrid engines will be part of the powertrain offerings for the second generation of the Volkswagen Phaeton big luxury sedan when it is rolled out in the United States for the 2018 or 2019 model year, sources told Automotive News. The return of the Phaeton to the US has already been confirmed by Michael Horn, chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America.
The sources disclosed that the Phaeton will be available in a number of high-powered engines like a 450hp V-8 TDI and a 400hp-plus V-6 gasoline plug-in hybrid. The source, however, said that a top-of-the-line W-12 engine would not be offered in the Phaeton in the US.
While sources say the new Phaeton "is virtually developed and finished," VW is not hasty in replacing the first-generation Phaeton. The current Phaeton did not do well in the US and was scrapped in 2006, although it still sells in China.
The second-generation -- expected to have a starting price of $70,000 – will be underpinned by Volkswagen Group's MLB Evo modular-longitudinal platform that will also underpin next-generation Audi A4, A6 and A8 sedans. It will also underpin the next-generation Audi Q7 and Volkswagen Touareg crossovers.
Depending on what wheelbase is fitted, the new 2011 Phaeton from Volkswagen can measure from 5.06 meters and up to 5.18 meters long. The front end is totally new and was developed specifically for this flagship model.
To remain in line with the current design DNA of the brand, the form of this new model is dominated mainly by horizontal lines. There is a difference however given that when compared to other models from the brand that have been made using this new DNA, the 2011 Phaeton does not show that shiny black radiator grille cover. Instead what it has is a new chrome element.
This particular radiator trim, combined with the newly designed headlights, influences in a major way the design of the new Phaeton. It also helps highlight that independent and uncompromising quality. In more specific terms, the new grille has a more upright position. The use of stricter lines plus that excellent alternation of materials between the matt and polished chrome make the grille even more striking.
This new Phaeton’s headlights and the horizontal linking of its grille continue to be in line with the design criteria of the brand and highlight the width of this model in an impressive manner. The new Phaeton also reveals the three-dimensional moulding of both the bonnet and grille.
This is proof of being class-specific. Having precise edges carry the increased expression of quality on the grille all the way to the sculptured contours on the body. As expected, the class VW badge is in the grille’s center. With the radar sensors of the automatic distance control system (ACC) integrated to it, there’s a new appearance for the surface design.
Positioned on both sides of the grille are the Bi-Xenon headlamps, which will be included as standard features across the entire range. Integrated with these headlamps are the adaptive lights and cornering lights. The headlamps are a completely new generation and not simply in terms of aesthetics but even on a technical perspective. Take the indicator lights and the adaptive cornering lights.
Both make use of stylistically striking and highly visible LEDs. In addition, the new model will make the Dynamic Light Assist available as an option, much like the new Touareg. By utilizing a camera that has been integrated to the rear-view mirror, this rather complex technology is able to determine if there are other users on the road and regulates the carriageway’s illumination accordingly.
In order to keep in line with the changes done on the headlamps and radiator grille, it meant that the bumper needed to be redesigned. Like with the other features, this new design’s guiding principles remain to be the horizontal lines.
The fog lamps have been designed as horizontal and narrow LED strips. Further, the bottom final section of the vehicle’s bumper has been color-coordinated with that of the body. Because of this, the new Phaeton looks more imposing on the road and even sportier when compared to the model before it.