2011 Volkswagen PhaetonEnlarge Photo
Since the end of the previous ill-Phaetoned run in the U.S., there have been many rumors of its return. Despite exiting America, the Phaeton has continued sales elsewhere in the world; it hasn't been dead, just gone. The next generation of the car, due in 2015 according to CAR Magazine, could very well be the one we will get.
Launching in calendar year 2015 means the Phaeton will most likely be a 2016 model, and it'll have suitably 2016-levels of equipment, according to the report. It will be based on one of Audi's modular platforms, with "extensive" use of aluminum and plug-in hybrid options both likely. A five-door coupe variant, a la BMW's 5-Series GT, or perhaps more appropriately, the Audi A7, could also evolve from the new Phaeton.
How it will make a space for itself among existing Volkswagen Group vehicles, however, both in terms of form factor and price point, remains a mystery. The same mystery is widely considered to be what stalled the previous Phaeton in the U.S. and led it to less-than-stellar sales elsewhere.
Design on the new Phaeton is said to be nearly complete, at least as far as the exterior goes: it was intended to show at the Frankfurt Auto Show earlier this month, but was pulled to keep the airwaves exclusive to the Up. Instead, the Phaeton preview, dubbed Concept D, will show its face elsewhere. Perhaps in Los Angeles?
We'll keep tracking the scent of the next Phaeton, as we're curious to see which direction Volkswagen will take--and whether the new version will have any better chances of succes than the last.