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Volkswagen has just revealed its new 2011 Phaeton flagship model ahead of the car’s scheduled debut at this year’s Beijing Auto Show. The car will be offered as either a standard wheelbase or extended wheelbase (a popular option in China). All-wheel drive and an air suspension will be standard and customers will have the choice of four different engines, ranging from 6-cylinders to 8-cylinders, all the way up to a big W12.
The two entry-level offerings are both V6 engines, one a diesel, the other gasoline. The gas-powered V6 makes 276-hp, while the turbodiesel V6 makes 236-hp and plenty more torque. The V8 is quoted at 330-hp, while a W12 engine tops the range with 444-hp (nothing new there).
The 2011 Phaeton measures 5.06 meters long (199-inches) and grows by 12 cm (4.7-inches) in the extended wheelbase model. VW will offer two rear seat configurations, with either a traditional bench seat or two individual chairs with a large center console.
The body of the car has been modernized, but isn’t a huge departure from past models. As for the interior it’s a luxurious oasis that would make even a Lexus blush, with 4-zone climate control, 18-way seats and a long list of customizable features.
And while the updates to the car’s look and engines aren’t overly noteworthy, VW has added some technological features like Dynamic Light Assist – which adjusts the amount and range of light from the headlights based on oncoming traffic. There’s also a blind spot assist feature, a navigation system that can integrate info from Google, plus a front camera that can “see” road signs and project the image onto the touchscreen panel on the center console.
Rumours continue to persist that VW will bring back the Phaeton to North America, but considering the car’s past lack of success, don’t count on it.
GALLERY: 2011 VW Phaeton
Official release after the jump: