A new, all-electric Volkswagen Phaeton will arrive in around 2020 to fight the Tesla Model S
Darren Moss
22 November 2015

Volkswagen will launch an all-electric Phaeton flagship model as part of wide-ranging changes to its future strategy in the wake of the emissions scandal.

The company says the new luxury saloon, which is expected to arrive by 2020, will be “the flagship of the brand’s profile over the next decade”. The car will feature “pure electric drive with long-distance capability and next-generation connectivity and assistance systems”.

Volkswagen uncovers the Phaeton's replacement at the 2016 Geneva Motorshow - the Phideon

VW insiders say the electric Phaeton will share its platform architecture, drive system and battery technology with the upcoming Audi Q6 e-tron, as previewed by the e-tron quattro concept at the Frankfurt motor show.

The e-tron quattro concept car is powered by three electric motors, with one sending drive to the front wheels and two rear-mounted motors acting on the rear wheels. Total power output is put at 429bhp, while torque is rated at 590lb ft.

While it was initially thought the new Phaeton would be launched before 2020, Volkswagen Group boss Matthias Müller has since confirmed the project will be delayed as the company looks to cut costs in the wake of the emissions scandal.

Müller has confirmed that any VW Group project that isn't deemed essential will be put on hold or cancelled completely, and the firm's commitment to the electric Phaeton cements its position as an essential product as VW seeks to compete with the Tesla Model SThe Phaeton should also come with the latest in autonomous driving technology.

Another product deemed as essential is the next-generation Volkswagen Golf, which is scheduled to launch next year.

Meanwhile, VW is also known to be developing a next-generation modular electric toolkit, known as MEB. The toolkit will be used for both cars and light commercial vehicles. It will allow all vehicle and body types to be developed with either plug-in hybrid or pure electric powertrains.

VW says the MEB toolkit will allow for “particularly emotional vehicle concepts and will enable an all-electric range of 250-500km [155-310 miles]”.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Phaeton

The Volkswagen Phaeton’s decade-old platform needs more than a tweak to be a success in the luxury car market

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Comments
4

22 November 2015
What a shame, as a petrolhead the big VW had more appeal to me with a big W12 out front. The eco mentalists are winning :(

22 November 2015
While I would like to see a W12 as well, you have to think of VW's state of mind at the moment. Why go for a big dirty car in a world where they are being scrutinised heavily? It will never be a big volume selling car, so why not have a USP? I don't see this as the Eco Mentalists winning, more a sensible business case for the car

22 November 2015
VW can have for their future models is electric power. The USA has effectively been conned by VW into believing their "Clean Diesel" strategy which was uncovered as it was always going to be a a complete lie. "Clean Diesel" is a oxymoron if there ever was one! Then VW petrol engines are also found to be affected by their dishonest tactics so the only way to win back the US market seems to be electric cars hence the very early VW press release on the next Golf majored on the e-tron type version rather than any other drivetrain. The problem for VW and nearly all European manufacturers is that whereas the Japanese/Korean/US makers decided at least 10 years ago (more in the case of Toyota) that diesel was going to die so have been developing PHEVs and full electric cars the EU stupidly prioritised diesels. VW, BMW and Mercedes-Benz therefore went heavily down the diesel route and now have a lot of catching up to do. BMW has perhaps the best start but it is a way off Tesla on full electric cars yet and has had to join with Toyota to have a chance at getting fuel cell cars on the road. The House of Commons Select Committee on the environment has called this week for a diesel scrap page scheme and for UK road tax to be liked to NOx. Cities across the UK and Europe are looking at clean air charges for diesels and some London boroughs already charge residents extra for parking permits if they own a diesel. Medical studies are directly linking thousands of deaths a year to specifically diesel emissions. Finally there has been Dieselgate. I suspect that by 2020 diesel cars, vans and buses will have been variously taxed off the roads, banned or simply junked in favour of petrol, PHEV, fuel cell and fully electric alternatives. It cannot happen soon enough.

22 November 2015
Fine, but the problem with launching a Model S competitor in 2020 is the fact the Model S would have been out for 7 years by then. VW is a big company that has either lost touch or has been influenced by the oil companies for to long.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

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