So farewell then, Volkswagen Phaeton, at least from the British market.

You never achieved big or even respectable sales here - mostly because you lacked a prestigious badge and looked like a big Passat - but we’ll miss you because those of us who had the pleasure of a drive (or better still, a ride in your sumptuous rear compartment) were never in doubt that you were a 24-carat sophisticate.

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

Our consolation is that at this very moment there are 50 of your number on sale secondhand around the country, mostly healthy-looking cars at prices starting below £3000.

Most are practical V6 diesels, but we’ll remember you best for the barmy 6.0-litre W12 version, which seemed so wrong for the brand that in older age it has become gloriously right and understandably rare.

The Phaeton and I go back a long way. I was one of a few dozen Car of the Year jurors rather hurriedly smuggled to a snow-covered Finnish (I think) test track in the winter to try the car just before its launch at the 2002 Geneva Motor Show.