The 13-year old VW Phaeton has been axed in many important global markets due to its poor sales, a result of the aged design and high price. A complete redesign has been long-awaited but reportedly delayed to work on ways to lower production and material costs. The infamous ‘Dieselgate’ scandal that came to light in September had put serious doubts on the low-selling luxury saloon’s future, as to whether it will enter second generation or not, and the timeline in case it does.
However, parent company Volkswagen Group confirmed that the VW Phaeton will enter the second generation. In a statement about the brand’s strategic decisions taken by the newly-formed Board of Management, the German auto giant revealed that the second generation VW Phaeton will be all-electric. During its entire lifecycle so far, there hasn’t been a single electrified variant – not even a conventional hybrid one. In next generation though, it will become a dedicated all-electric model.
The all-new model is said to arrive around a year after the fourth generation Audi A8 arrives in 2017. A speculative rendering (featured image) from AutoBild previews the 2018 VW Phaeton’s exterior in a high-riding, crossover-ish imagination. Volkswagen Group, in its statement, said that the 2018 VW Phaeton will have “an emotional design”.
The German publication says that the 2018 VW Phaeton will share the Volkswagen Group’s second generation modular longitudinal platform (MLB 2) with the Audi Q6 e-tron (name unconfirmed) and the Porsche Mission E concept’s production version.
Technical differentiation will be there in aspects like the design of batteries and the power the electric motors produce, the report suggests. According to a report released in June, the next-gen Phaeton will have a plug-in hybrid variant. This would probably make the model reach a volume production level. U.S. and China are major markets for plug-in hybrids and so they’ll will be the main markets for the 2018 VW Phaeton plug-in hybrid variant.