Gen-2 Phaeton a victim of Dieselgate
Instead of this, we got ID.4, Buzz, and other ID EVs
The Volkswagen Phaeton might not have been a sales smash, but the brand’s flagship that was built using Bentley and Audi know-how was still an amazing bit of machinery. Six years after the car was dropped from the VW lineup, the automaker admits that a second-gen car was planned. It was almost ready for production before company bosses decided to pursue electric vehicles instead.
For the first time, here is that second-generation Volkswagen Phaeton.
Called the Phaeton D2, the car still looks stunning. And could easily be a part of Volkswagen’s lineup today, maybe without any changes.
The prototype car was built on VW’s MLB platform, an architecture still used for cars like the Audi A4, the Porsche Macan, and the Lamborghini Urus.
Inside, the car had a pair of large digital displays for the instrument cluster and infotainment systems. The planned tech was used for the Touareg in 2018 and looks very much like what Volkswagen is using today in its latest models.
The D2 Phaeton was designed as a mobile lounge inside. With pneumatic suspension and adaptive damping as standard. A 120mm-longer version was also expected for those preferring a chauffeur to drive.
What killed the Phaeton? In 2016, Volkswagen was reeling from the initial impact of Dieselgate. The company’s board decided to go all-in on EVs in an effort to clean the company’s image and tailpipes. That lead to today’s models like the ID.4 and ID. Buzz, but it was not an environment where a large luxury flagship powered by 12-cylinder gas engines made much sense.