2006 Volkswagen PhaetonEnlarge Photo
Volkswagen is working on a new generation of its Phaeton flagship sedan, and it’s to be sold in the U.S. market once again. However, the German auto giant isn’t rushing things so it’ll still be several years until we see the car. The last we heard, the new Phaeton will arrive in time for the 2018 or 2019 model year, meaning a reveal is unlikely to take place before the 2017 calendar year.
That must seem like an eternity for anyone waiting for a new Phaeton—the car hasn’t been sold here since 2006—but to tide things over we have some new details to divulge. According to Automotive News’ (subscription required) sources, the new Phaeton will be offered with high-performance powertrains combining turbocharging, hybrid and direct-injection technologies.
A plug-in hybrid version combining a V-6 gasoline engine and electric drive system is said to offer more than 400 horsepower. This is said to be followed by a V-8 diesel engine good for about 450 horsepower, and topping the range is said to be a W-12 engine. It’s not clear which of these powertrains will be offered for the U.S. market, but it’s unlikely we’ll see a 12-cylinder engine offered locally.
Unfortunately, all of this performance will come at a cost. The expected starting price for the new Phaeton is around $70,000. That may seem steep but don’t forget that Kia’s K900 in V-8 trim is priced from $60k and the Equus from sister brand Hyundai starts a few grand above that figure.
The platform for the car will be a version of the VW Group’s new MLB Evo, which debuts in the 2016 Audi Q7 and will eventually underpin next-generation versions of the A4, A6 and A8 Audi sedans. Drive will be to the front wheels only in standard form but versions in the U.S. should feature all-wheel drive as standard.
Before the arrival of any new Phaeton, VW will be introducing a major update for its Passat sold in the U.S. Expect this update to be introduced for the 2016 model year. Also, an updated version of the Touareg is being introduced for the 2015 model year.