2003 Volkswagen PhaetonEnlarge Photo
Now the new chief of VW’s American unit, Michael Horn, has stated that a new Phaeton will be sold in the U.S. in 2018 or 2019. He revealed the news during an interview with Bloomberg at this week’s New York Auto Show.
Only a month ago another senior VW exec, product development boss Heinz-Jakob Neusser, confirmed that a new Phaeton was in the works. He said the car would be based on the VW Group’s next-generation MLB platform, nicknamed MLB Evo, which will also underpin a host of Audi models.
We’ve also heard that VW has finalized the design of a new Phaeton but was still sorting out suitable technology for it. The car is expected to feature a weight-saving aluminum body and downsized engines, most likely with some form of electrification offered as an option.
Despite the Phaeton never previously selling in significant numbers, the car provides a platform for the VW brand to introduce new technologies that will eventually flow into other, more affordable models. The full-size luxury sedan segment has also seen non-traditional brands like Kia and Hyundai join the fray in recent years, so the timing may be right for VW to return to the segment.