It’s been on sale for 13 years, but the time has finally come for Volkswagen’s Phaeton to bow out of the UK market. The BMW 7 Series rival has already been killed off in the US, but has been kept going in Asian markets due to its continuing popularity in countries such as China.
According to a VW spokesperson, the Phaeton “in its current form” has been withdrawn from UK markets primarily due to imminent Euro 6 emissions legislation. The strict efficiency measures mean it is no longer financially viable for VW to update the sole engine left in the range, the 3.0-litre V6 TDI diesel.
But it’s not all bad news for fans of the luxury VW, as design chief Klaus Bishoff told us at the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show that an all-new Phaeton will launch in mid to late 2017. He stated that “small details” from the swoopy China-only C-Coupe GTE concept will be carried over, but the front-end design of the Phaeton will be unique. It will also be larger than the outgoing model.
Further details of the 2017 Phaeton are yet to be revealed, but we can expect turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines to feature for the first time, alongside V6 versions – and there’s even likely to be a plug-in hybrid model. We can’t say for sure whether the Phaeton will ever receive the mighty W12 engine again, which made it (in unlimited form) a near-200mph car back at the 2002 launch.
Form VW boss Ferdinand Piech cites the Phaeton as one of his greatest achievements, despite relatively slow sales and costing more than £1billion to design and develop. We expect with Piech’s presence no longer felt in the Volkswagen Group, the new model will be a more considered investment.
How do you feel about the Phaeton’s UK departure? Let us know in the comments below