What could have been: 2nd generation VW Phaeton…
The Phaeton was VW’s crazy dream of producing an ultra-luxurious sedan. Under the VW brand.
A stupid and obnoxious idea that, of course, didn’t work. Especially when you already produce the Audi A8 under the luxury brand you already own.
The Phaeton came out in 2002. And it basically looked like a big Passat from that era.
Which was, of course, not enough to justify the US base price of over $66 000 then.
The factory capacity was 20 000 units a year. After 4 years, only 25 000 had been built.
It was only sold for these 4 years in the US, but soldiered on in Europe like a zombie until 2016!
Since VW suits, as usual, probably refused to admit their mistake.
Now, for some reason, VW has decided to show us what they were actually working on for a 2nd generation. Which was probably scheduled for 2017.
After the 2015 “Diesel Gate”, VW had to shift quickly to EVs. Which means, of course, no more big luxury V8 and V12 sedans that no one buys.
The original Phaeton looked too much like a big Passat. VW didn’t learn anything for the 2nd generation and again, made it look like a bigger Passat.
Although by then the Passat itself was fancier and more luxurious looking.
After all these years of poor sales, it’s amazing they still had the same idea and were ready to repeat the same mistake.
if you put aside the obvious Passat (and US Passat) similarities, the 2nd generation Phaeton does look pretty nice. And does seem luxurious and expensive. And as it should, it makes the previous model look old and dated. (especially inside)
Still, the Audi A8 also looks nice and luxurious. For the same price. And you get the brand cachet for free.
Although the car looks good, it’s nice to see VW didn’t actually repeat the same mistake. Even if they were forced to.
I’m not sure why VW decided to show us what could have been. But I sure would love to see other manufacturers do the same thing!
How about GM showing us what they had planned for Pontiac and Oldsmobile before the 2 brands were let go.
Conversation 1 comment
As lovely as the big VW may have been the buyer would never get the 'same status recognition' as an Audi customer. Plain and simple, at least in the Western Hemisphere.