An overview of a modern legend: Volkswagen Phaeton
Back in the 1990s, VW's CEO, Ferdinand Piëch pursued an ambition to create a vehicle for the luxury segment. His first project was unveiled at the 1999 Frankfurt Motor Show. This was the Concept D with a 5.0-liter direct-injected V10 engine and a rather beautiful exterior and interior design. Two years later, the Phaeton would enter production, looking to establish a name for itself among other luxury sedans.
At first, the Phaeton came with a 3.6-liter V6 engine as a standard, but a larger 6.0-liter W12 unit was also available for purchase. The W series of engines were just beginning to be included in mass-produced vehicles at the time.
What was also special about the vehicle, was the design of the entire drivetrain system – brakes, suspension, and steering were designed to cope with speeds that exceed the 155mph limit.
The Phaeton enjoyed tons of attention both in Germany and all around the world, especially China. In fact, the Phaeton was successful enough that the VW team unveiled a second-generation back in 2010. This particular machine featured a larger interior with a 4Motion AWD system, Continuous Damping Control, adjustable suspension, electric seats, and laminated finish.
The success of the vehicle was continued throughout the 2010s: 7,500 were built in 2010 and over 60,000 between 2001 and 2011. Vehicle production was discontinued in 2016, as Volkswagen shifted resources of the Dresden factory towards a focus on electric vehicles.