The VW Phideon has been revealed, previewing a new design line VW says it plans to incorporate onto future high-end saloon models. The Phideon is a Chinese market luxury saloon based on the same platform as the Audi A6.
The 5050mm long Phideon will go on sale in China in October, filling a niche previously occupied by the first-generation Phaeton.
Conceived to offer a number of advanced functions not previously available on any VW model, it will be positioned above the Chinese-market Magotan, a car closely related to the US-market Passat.
VW design boss Klaus Bischoff says the distinctive front end styling of the Phideon will heavily influence the look of future luxury models from the German car maker, including the second-generation Phaeton.
Boasting a characteristically restrained but highly technical appearance similar to the latest European market Passat, it was designed at Volkswagen’s main styling studio in Wolfsburg expressly for the Chinese market.
“The new Phideon, with its flowing and yet precisely drawn lines, exudes the highest presence. The progressive design corresponds to the high level of its technical innovations,” said Bischoff.
At 5050mm long, 187mm wide and 1480mm tall, the Phideon is a mere 5mm shorter, 35mm narrower and 30mm higher than the standard wheelbase Phaeton.
Power for the four-wheel-drive Phideon on show in Geneva this week comes from a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine delivering 296bhp and 295lb ft of torque.
As with the Audi A6 produced and sold in China, though, production versions of the new Volkswagen luxury saloon will also offer the choice of front-wheel drive and a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine.
A petrol-electric hybrid powered variant of the upmarket Phideon is also expected to be revealed at the Beijing motor show in April.
The new Volkswagen rides on a chassis closely related to the Audi A6. Chinese buyers will be able to choose between a standard steel sprung or option air suspension – the latter offers five different driving modes.
The Phideon is described as Volkswagen’s most advanced production car to date. It has a host of technical features brought over from the Audi A6 and its larger Audi A8 sibling, with which it shares its electrical architecture. Included is a head-up display unit, camera based night vision, an area view system with four wide angle cameras to allow ease of manoeuvrability in tight spaces, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning, as well as a host of new features providing smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink.
The Phideon will be produced in Shanghai, at the manufacturing base of Volkswagen’s Chinese market joint venture partner the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation. Despite competing in a class currently unoccupied by any Volkswagen model in the UK, Wolfsburg officials say there are no current plans to establish sales of the new luxury sedan here.