Despite being an unmitigated flop in the US and not doing too much better in Europe, VW’s flagship has found a much better reception in China, where long wheelbase sedans are proving a hit with more affluent consumers. In fact this has led to certain manufacturers introducing LWB versions of smaller cars, notably BMW with it’s 3-Series.
Given the relative popularity of the Phaeton in China, as well as VW’s long established presence there, a second generation model makes more business sense now than it did before.
As we previously reported, much of the car’s engineering will be shared with the next generation Audi A8, which will mean some form of aluminum monocoque construction. That said, despite the reduction in mass and smaller displacement engines, likely four and six-cylinder motors, plus the possible option of a Plug-in Hybrid driveline, the new Phaeton will actually be dimensionally larger than the old, with even the short version sporting a 196-inch wheelbase.
The next generation Phaeton is set to bow in 2015 and aimed at the same kind of buyer as its predecessor. It’s “a sedan for the person who’s successful but doesn’t feel the need to show it,” remarked a VW spokesperson. “Volkswagen doesn’t change course between generations of a car. It’s always easier to keep the customers you have than to lose them and go find new ones.”
Whether sticking to the same principles proves a wise move for the second generation Phaeton, remains to be seen. Nonetheless, you can’t help but admire VW for doing so.
[Source: Auto Motor und Sport]