Volkswagen Phaeton is a premium luxury sedan manufactured by the prestigious German automaker VW.
It was introduced in the year 2002 at the Geneva Motor Show as the brand’s premium class vehicle and was marketed all around the world.
Its direct competitors in the luxury segment include the Audi A8, BMW 740Li, and the Mercedes Benz S550. The vehicle is fairly elegant and sophisticated just like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, while BMW 7 Series and A8 are more sport-oriented.
Phaeton was basically introduced by VW Group in order to compete with the other prestigious market leaders like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz, especially in the growing Asian markets, since they never had anything luxurious to offer, beyond the Passat and VW Jetta sedan.
Volkswagen Phaeton is based on the company’s Group D1 platform, which is shared with Bentley Continental Flying Spur, and Continental GT. Certain features like its smooth automatic transmission and engines were also shared with new Audi A8. The stand-alone D1 is a steel platform and was specially designed for Bentley Continental, and Phaeton.
After 2007, several power-train options were introduced in the next gen. Phaeton featuring 4motion permanent 4-wheel drive system. The front wheel drive configuration was available in 2003 and 2004 models.
The new Phaeton received Electronic Stability Programme with anti-lock braking system, anti slip regulation, e- brake force distribution, engine braking control, and emergency braking system.
2009 and 2011 Phaeton Facelifts
For the year 2009, exterior and interior updates were seen, along with few minor facelifts for better alignment than its competitors.
It got redesigned centre console with revamped materials and controls.
For 2009, it also got a new Fuel Stratified Injection which greatly enhanced the fuel efficiency and power that complied with the Euro-5 standards. Other changes included 3 alloy wheels and slight modifications to the radiator grille.
2011 VW Phaeton
For the year 2011, VW Phaeton received another facelift, and it was showcased at the Beijing Motor Show. It was offered with a refreshed front fascia that resembles present VW styling cues.
The facelift also included new bi-xenon headlights, new bumper, and rear fog lights. Its new interior region flaunts the latest technologies, though it still retains 2009 MY layout. It has also got two different versions: long wheelbase and normal wheelbase.
New Phaeton is also offered with five seat layout as well as optional four seat layout. In the five seater model, front seats can be modified in 12 ways.
It has got standard features like air suspension, all-wheel drive, and four-zone auto climatic control. It has also got multifunction steering wheel that can be ordered in wooden or leather finish.
VW Phaeton Vs BMW 740Li Sedan
When compared to its mainstream rival BMW 7 Series 740Li Sedan, price of Volkswagen Phaeton is slightly lesser. Moreover, Phaeton has a more powerful engine than that of the BMW 740Li Sedan. It is equipped with a 3.6 liter 280bhp V6 engine, whereas its rival is integrated with a 3.0 liter 321.8bhp twin turbo engine.
Coming to their exterior dimensions, both the vehicles are almost comparable. Both the vehicles have spacious seating for five passengers.
Volkswagen Phaeton Price in India
The ex-show room price of Phaeton in India starts at Rs. 76, 29,128 and that of 740Li Sedan starts at Rs. 81, 30,000. But, since Vw doesn’t have a strong presence in this segment, not too many buyers really prefer it over the likes of BMW 7 series, Audi A8, and Mercedes Benz S Class, and it’d still be matter of few years before VW manages to find a good customer-base in this segment.
2015 Volkswagen Phaeton
The second generation of Phaeton now looks more like reality than a speculation. True, the long wheelbase flagship sedan was seen biting dust on US soils and it did not fair any better in Europe as well, but the VW sedan was a run away hit in China where the long wheel base design seems to have struck a chord with many buyers. In fact it turned out to be a trend setter; so much so that other biggies like BMW are also not shying away from rolling out LWB editions of their 3 Series line.
Looking at the immense popularity of the vehicle in China, it definitely makes sense in coming out with the second generation of Phaeton sedan. As per what we hear the newer generation of the sedan will be largely inspired and based on the next gen A8 from Audi, which means we might see aluminium monocoque kind of construction in this one as well. The net length of the vehicle is also expected to grow with even the smaller version of the vehicle coming with a wheelbase of 196 inches.
We might also see some mass reduction and smaller powerplants joining the line and a possible Plug-in hybrid version might also sneak in. The vehicle is expected to see the light of the day sometime in 2015 and would cater to the interests of the same kind of buyers as before.
VW Phaeton Photo Gallery