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Old 03-16-2007, 02:00 PM
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Arrow Will Volkswagen Re-launch Phaeton in North America?


Will Volkswagen Re-launch Phaeton in North America?

When it was introduced to the world in 2002, Volkswagen's Phaeton was amonumental step forward for the brand, as it had never built such a large, luxurious, elegant, or expensive vehicle. With its sights set on the S-Class and 7-Series, the Phaeton brought build quality and features to match and in some ways exceed the best, but also bore the Volkswagen name and image, a double edged sword. Though the Phaeton undercut all its rivals by amounts difficult to ignore, and enjoyed envious links to the Bentley Continental and, to a lesser extent, the Audi A8, its sales were slower than slow, and depreciation was cliff-steep. In the end, Volkswagen pulled the plug on the Phaeton for North America at the end of 2005.

Several sources have reported that Volkswagen is considering bringing its ultra luxury sedan back to North America. During an interview with financial news provider, Bloomberg , Volkswagen of America's spokesperson Andreas Meurer said that the company has intentions to reintroduce the Phaeton to the U.S. market. Furthermore, the Financial Times Deutschland reports that in an interview with VW's CEO Dr. Martin Winterkorn, that in orderfor the car to be successful it needs to be something sold worldwide. The article does mention that the vehicle in question will not be the current Phaeton, but rather its successor, which is slated to arrive before the turn of the decade.

Phaeton aside, Volkswagen's move upscale has been successful. The Touareg, for instance was a surprising hit, and Passat carries the image of being more than just an average midsize car. In order to give Volkswagen an edge in the high-end luxury market, it'll need to do something to differentiate itself from the usual suspects. The Phaeton was a fantastic luxury sedan, a demonstration of what the brand is capable of doing. If VW, moving forward, is able to mate those particular qualities with a different body style, such as a fastback or wagon, or is able to offer TDI power, or perhaps even a combination of a diesel and hybrid drivetrain, it would be differentthan any other luxury vehicle out there. It would gain attention and interest simply by being unique.

With regards to the four-door model, however, Volkswagen showed off the brand new 2008 model at Geneva bearing a mild facelift that includes adaptive xenon headlamps, LED daytime running lights, new LED tail lamps, and a restyled front grille that puts it more in line with the rest of the VW lineup.

Besides receiving a new V6 TDI engine that makes more power and meets the 2009 Euro5 emissions standards, it's been outfitted with the latest safety gear. Second-generation adaptive cruise control with the "follow to stop" ability is now an option, while VW's Front Assist collision mitigation and Side Assist blind spot radar warning system are new as well. A DVD-based navigation system with Bluetooth rounds out the changes.

North America-bound or not, the Phaeton is still an impressive car that Volkswagen can be proud of despite dismal sales numbers.

Source: [url=http://car-reviews.automobile.com/news/will-volkswagen-re-launch-phaeton-in-north-america/2730/]Automobile.com[/url]
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