Site editor Marcus Efler
VW shows a luxury sedan for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show. Site already drove the Phaeton
The typical body movement of VW technicians has recently become a slight flinch if they are addressed in the name of your latest product. It is accompanied by an annoyed breath. “Yes, how do you find the Phaeton?“One asks – twitch, take a deep breath, twenty -one, twenty -two … "Well yes, the name actually fits quite well" is the answer. Or something like that.
You have to understand that. The people of VW constructed the first luxury sedan in the company history and true to the motto "The competition is already there, so we have to be better" a silk soft, extremely quiet twelve -cylinder engine developed. A sovereign, air -sprung, four -stage adjustable chassis. And then the bosses name the whole splendor after a Greek gods, whose name is hard to pronounce (correct: FA-Econ) and that, as is common in Greek myths.
So speaks, writes, you only giggle about this name. Too bad actually. Because there is a lot of good to report about the car. The design, for example: Here too, VW has met the self -made specification – namely to offer understatement. Although with over five meters as long as the old, once scolded in the "show" Mercedes S-Class, the VW is by no means bulky.
Or the technical equipment: The Phaeton is the only automobile automobile that combines air suspension with all -wheel drive. The VW in series offers many details that Mercedes and BMW can be paid for -such as navigation system -. Complemented with a lot of more practical, partly playful ingredients. This is how VW boss Ferdinand Piëch, who gave himself his farewell gift as CEO with the big car, praises the "make-up mirror with two enlargements-one for the lady, one for the Lord".
If the Lord of the lady intends to open the door, he has to be very profane with the key with a remote control from the jacket: a chip card with radio signal a la Mercedes is pretty much the only extra that VW holds ahead of its wealthy clientele. "Customers don’t want something like that," believes Sales Director Robert Buchelhofer.
The difference to the competition is clearly noticeable in the interior. Where the Mercedes S-Class creates homeness with an invitingly curved dashboard, the 7 Series BMW is waiting for operation with cool aesthetics, where the Phaeton defines the new center in the luxury class: stylishly with lots of wood and leather, almost something in the way of the group daughter Bentley.
In the center console, the chauffeur finds a central rotary button that regulates all functions from the audio system to the navigation system. That sounds like the complicated I-Drive of the BMW, but is much simpler and easier to use. "Our concept is designed in such a way that all functions can be used while driving," explains Buchelhofer.
This works, for example: press the button for air conditioning, and rotary knobs and eight buttons around the monitor are automatically covered with appropriate functions. VW did without a touch screen: "Such fingerprints on the umbrella," says development board member Martin Winterkorn, "that looks terrible."
Pressed button on the top means "train -free cooling". Edel -covered whirring in front of the ventilation grilles, the cold air hisses only through a slot below the windshield. Because the Phaeton-especially in the planned long version-should also serve as a chauffeur car, each of the fund inmates can individually regulate the air flow for their place.
When the car driver accelerates to well over 200 km/h, the boss takes a relaxed manner to the phone. There is still only a gentle noise behind the double glazing. Possibly the spoiled clientele may enjoy even faster tempos: the Wolfsburgers think about whether they offer the 420 hp, 2.2 -ton ship even without the discount that is common at the competition at 250 km/h.
Very quick or neat? Such choice only have the few customers who are worth the fun of the original twelve-cylinder engine in W-shape 100,000 euros. The big business with the large car is planning VW with the half-expensive, front-driven six-cylinder model and later a V10 turbodiesel.
Only every tenth VW dealer will offer the Phaeton. 20,000 buyers annually apply – and as low as possible losses in the A8 of the subsidiary Audi. VW brand board member Detlef Wittig is aimed at “especially Mercedes drivers”: “These are often people who drove VW before their career and like the brand.“Happed side effect: Manager with service-Daimler, who still hold an A-Class as a private car for women and children, should completely overflow.
In any case, the Wolfsburgers are not lacking in forwarding urge. They learned a little humility when they invited potential customers to Dubai for VIP test drives. They found the car great, but complained about the showy, bright blue emblem in the steering wheel – even before the start of series production in May it is exchanged for a small, black.
Front/all-wheel drive. Luxury limousine
Motor V6/W12; 3.2/6 l
Afford. 177/309 KW (241/420 PS)
Length x width 5.06 x 1.90 m
Top. 245/286 km/h
Consumption* 10.2/13.2 l/100 km
Price ca. 54000/100000 euros
+ balanced chassis, smooth-running W12 engine, complete. Furnishing
Overloaded steering wheel; high weight
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