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April 22, 2010

BEIJING SHOW PREVIEW: VW to show revised Phaeton

Volkswagen is to show an updated Phaeton at the Beijing Auto Show – which opens to journalists tomorrow (April 23).

Volkswagen is to show an updated Phaeton at the Beijing Auto Show – which opens to journalists tomorrow (April 23).

Built in Dresden, VW says the new Phaeton features a new face, comprising a pair of bi-xenon headlight units complete with LED running lights and a new grille featuring two pronounced horizontal bars ‘to lend the car a more imposing stance’. 

Elsewhere, new front wings and a reprofiled bonnet are joined by a revised front bumper, complete with chrome strips and a set of LED foglights.

At the rear, a set of light units fitted with intricate lenses sit above a redesigned bumper.  There are also new alloy wheels.

Inside, a new steering wheel and a colour electronic display ahead of the driver are joined by fresh trim finishes and, for the first time on a Volkswagen, the option of Google Maps on the RNS810 satellite navigation system.  Feeding power and information between these and other vehicle systems are over 2,000 separate cables measuring 3.2 km connecting to 60 control units.

The air conditioning system on the Phaeton remains one of the most advanced in the world, VW says. 

As well as featuring a humidity monitoring function to avoid the vehicle misting up in all conditions, the Phaeton W12’s 4Zone climate control system is designed to be capable of maintaining a steady interior temperature of 22 degrees Celsius while the vehicle is at a constant speed of 186 mph in an ambient temperature of 50 degrees [we look forward to putting that to the test – ed].

Two wheelbase options will be offered (120 mm differentiating the two) and a choice of two engines – a 3.0-litre V6 TDI diesel developing 240 PS and a 6.0-litre W12 petrol engine producing 450 PS.

The new Phaeton goes on sale this August with prices and specifications set to be announced nearer this time.

The Phaeton is viewed by many as a technically impressive model, but sales of what some dubbed ‘Piech’s Folly’ have been much lower than VW had initially hoped for.

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