Volkswagen Developing New Phaeton

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VW is reportedly taking another stab at the top of the luxury market with an all-new flagship sedan to arrive around 2015.

Back around the turn of the millennium, Volkswagen embarked on developing a top-class luxury sedan to compete with the likes of the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Audi A8. The result was the Phaeton, a luxury sedan that shared its platform with the Bentley Continental and built at a state-of-the-art "Transparent Factory" in Dresden, Germany. Offering all the trappings of a top-tier luxury sedan but without the badge snobbery usually attached, the Phaeton was a dismal failure in the US market. But VW is apparently ready to try again.

Though it remains in production for the European market, the Phaeton was withdrawn from American showrooms in 2006. Now VW is set to take another stab at it with a new Phaeton that will debut within the next few years. The new model is tipped to ditch the current steel construction in favor of more lightweight aluminum. Previous reports suggested that the new Phaeton would go a little down-market and slot in above the Passat-based CC, but positioned below the Audi A8. Whether the production model takes that position or not remains to be seen, but it is expected to arrive around 2015. And when it does, the US market will form a big part of the plans.

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