Today Volkswagen announced a series of strategic decisions that will define the course of the German automaker’s future direction with regards to their diesel strategy, advanced technologies, and the development of a standardized electric architecture. The press release was mostly boring boardroom chatter until the mentioning of the next-gen VW Phaeton having an all-electric powertrain.
The management team redefined the current project and specified a pure electric drive with a long-distance range. In addition to the zero emissions mandate, the project will encompass leading edge technology of connectivity, active and passive safety systems, while be presented in an emotional design.
The Phaeton is VW’s flagship model and the first generation model was packed with every piece of advanced technology to make it brilliant, and expensive. As alternative choice for the young executive, the Phaeton holds its own with excellent build quality, luxurious equipment, and solid performance on the road.
The first Phaeton went on sale in June 2003, configured with a base 3.2-liter V6 or optional 6.0-liter W12 gasoline engine. Before the end of the year, VW offered a 4.2-liter V8 gasoline engine and 5.0-liter V10 TDI diesel. Beginning second quarter of 2004, a long-wheelbase model with all engines, except the the 3.2L V6, was added to the line-up. Six months later, the 3.0 TDI arrived, which soon became the most popular trim.
Last year Automotive News reported the next generation Phaeton was due to arrive in the U.S. by 2018 or 2019 with a set of high powered engine choices ranging from a 400 horsepower V6 gas plug-in hybrid powertrain, to a 450 horsepower turbocharged V8 diesel engine.
CEO Dr. Herbert Diess said, “We are very aware that we can only implement these innovations for the future of the Volkswagen brand effectively if we succeed with our efficiency program and in giving our product range a new focus.”
Diess continued, “Together with my Board of Management colleagues and the entire team we are working at top speed on these issues. Time and again, the Volkswagen team has proved it stands united and is fully focused on shaping the future, particularly when times are tough. We have now laid the further foundations for that.”
The VW Passat is a full-size family sedan and although nicely appointed, can’t quite match the level of the Phaeton. Watch Nathan’s review of the Passat to see if it has enough German panache to stand out in the crowd.