VW Phideon: A Template Of Things To Come?

Volkswagen Phideon

Volkswagen PhideonVolkswagen have unveiled their all-new Phideon, a luxury model for the Chinese market.

This sleek, lavish saloon was unveiled (along with the T-Cross Breeze) at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. With its long, low body shape, you might look at it and be reminded of the recent Phaeton replacement. Believe me, you’re not the only one!

Volkswagen have made this car in league with their Chinese partners, SAIC. As such it’s only intend it to be sold in this local market. At 5 metres in length, this model appears less of a saloon and more of a stunted limo! Even though this model has been made specifically for the Chinese markets, the rest of us will get a taste soon enough. A spokesperson for VW said that they were debuting the “new face of Volkswagen’s luxury saloons.” This shows an interesting break from VW’s usual niche. When you hear the brand name, you probably get an image of a used Volkswagen; one of their reliable little hatchbacks or superminis. Now, we might be seeing them turning towards a different market entirely. Look at the Phideon’s long, distinctive hood, and its basic, yet characteristic grill and lights. Here we have an interesting blueprint for future Volkswagen saloons.

I’m assuming you don’t have much experience with an unreleased Chinese VW. However, you might have driven VW’s earlier saloon, the Phaeton, which was swept under the carpet in Europe. After that, people who wanted a high-quality Volkswagen had to look at the high-end Touaregs or Passats. Remember the diesel emissions scandal which happened late last year? Following this, the company announced that it’d be replacing the Phaeton with something far more green. This is expected to be another lavish saloon, but electric-only, which is sure to keep the activists happy! Nothing solid has been released as of yet, but the Phideon certainly gives us something to form an idea from. Whatever replaces the Phaeton in Europe, it’ll probably be something like what we’re seeing in the far East.

So, let’s get down to the specs. So far, only two versions of the new Phideon have been announced. The flagship, which was unveiled at Geneva, is all-wheel drive and comes with a 3-litre TSI engine. This will offer you a decent 296bhp. Aside from that, Volkswagen have also announced a 2-litre version, and a plug-in hybrid. They certainly seem determined to tidy up their ecological image! This last electric model isn’t going to be released in-step with its siblings. However, the company’s spokespeople have announced that it’s under development. There are a couple of other things which set this model apart. This will be the first Volkswagen to come with a night-vision camera system. This is one feature expected to become standard amongst saloons in the near future. The Phideon is due to go on sale in China in the third quarter of 2016.

Volkswagen certainly have a great record for reliable, everyday models. Their saloons haven’t been terrible, but we’ll have to wait to see how this new generation performs. Whatever comes out in the coming year, it will certainly be interesting!

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