VW Phaeton 2: These details still made it into the series

Actually, we would have gotten used to this car long ago. It could appear regularly in the 8 p.m. “Tagesschau”, perhaps “Mutti Merkel” would have disappeared into the night late in the evening of November 19, 2017 with the corners of her mouth pulled down when Lindner burst the “Jamaica” sounding because he “rather not to govern than to govern badly”. But we never saw this car, we didn’t even know it was there. Until now.


Sell ​​your car easily online at the best price

Top prices from verified buyers – personal advice – hassle-free processing thanks to free pick-up!

Braunschweig Airport, in the hall there are three Volkswagen company planes, in front of it he parks: VW Phaeton, built in 2013, eight cylinders, four individual seats, two of them with a large screen in the rear.

The Phaeton successor never went into series production

Review. 20 years ago VW dared to enter the luxury league, from 2002 to 2016 84235 Phaeton were produced in the specially created “Transparent Factory” in Dresden, the “short” Limo was 5.06 meters long, the long wheelbase 5.18 meters .
VW Phaeton 2 study

Urgent celebrity transport! If they had built the Phaeton 2, Audi, BMW and Benz would have had competition.

To understand this motor vehicle, let’s take a look at the electric seat adjustment: They even made the frame for the buttons on the side of the leather seats from metal, not plastic. A car as if milled from solid, a car like a declaration of war on Mercedes.

Now we are faced with the successor to the Phaeton, the car that VW never let go into series production, although the plans were actually completely different.

The VW Phaeton 2 smells of prosperity and well-being

This car is the winning model: dark paint, some gray, some blue, fat 265/35 R 21 tires, cream-colored leather interior, lots of real wood – it smells of wealth and well-being. They just filled up the car for us, i.e. filled it with six liters of Super, that’s all.
To start, you have to open the fuel filler flap, the key is in there, next to it are two buttons, show car on and off. The technical basis is provided by an Audi A8 with a four-liter V8 petrol engine, the designers of this car explain the visual eye-catcher to us.
VW Phaeton 2 study

Sooo much legroom, sooo much luxury! You can watch TV on the individual seats in the back.

Tomasz Bachorski (51) and Marco Pavone (44) are really likeable guys. One, Tomasz, has been interior design chief since 2009, the other, Marco, has been responsible for the exterior since 2017. In 2013 they prevailed with their proposals for the new Phaeton.

Tomasz says: “There were four designs for the interior and four for the exterior.” Even the great Giorgio Giugiaro (83, Golf 1, Scirocco 1 from 1974) is said to have contributed a draft, one to the current Audi chief designer Marc Lichte (52).

Accolade for two VW designers

The day of the decision must have passed like this: “Walhalla”, the large hall in the VW design center in Wolfsburg, chairman of the supervisory board Piëch, VW boss Winterkorn, other board members, division heads, a total of around 25 people.

They walk calmly around the studies, look, compare, approach and distance themselves, allowing everything to sink in. At some point it will be clear: We will continue to work with these drafts inside and out! The accolade for Bachorski and Pavone.
VW Phaeton 2 study

Company jet meets luxury liner: the study of the second Phaeton at VW Airport.

For the next accolade, your current boss travels the 30 kilometers from Wolfsburg to our small car show at the airport. Jozef Kabaň (49), Head of Design at VW, stands in front of the car, nods respectfully, looks at the silhouette, says: “The car still looks very attractive, beautiful proportions, a friendly appearance. Only the front is no longer fresh. ” What knocks him off his feet with this almost ten-year-old design? “The tangible value, the visible quality.”
value, quality. 20 years ago, these were important attributes for VW’s entry into the luxury league. And they were important to the entire brand; the Phaeton passed on to the Passat, the large SUV Touareg only paved the way for its little brother Tiguan five years later.

Huge curved digital landscape in the Phaeton 2

When Tomasz and Marco were working on the second generation of the Phaeton ten years ago, they were already dreaming of seeing their designs on the road: “You want to write VW history,” says the interior expert, “you always have this absolute Willingness to create something special that you see every day.”

What is special about the Phaeton 2 must be seen in the context of its time. We’re looking at a huge curved digital landscape wrapped around the driver.

VW Phaeton 2 study

We are familiar with the curved digital screen around the driver from the third generation of the Touareg. The designers have also saved the automatic selector lever in the SUV.

Tomasz explains: “In 2010 we could already foresee that the screens of smartphones and tablets would keep getting bigger. So that should be the case with cars too. And of course you want to intuitively press a symbol and then something should happen in real time, that’s right the same with the tablet.”

Doubters criticized the digital speedometer

But we’re talking about VW here. So also from doubters who, unlike designers and engineers, do not live in today and tomorrow, but in yesterday and the day before yesterday. And so a little anecdote is circulating. Because you don’t see any instruments in the digital cockpit when the car is off, only a screen, there are said to have been people who commented: “In the car dealership you can’t see whether the speedometer goes up to 260 or 300!”

Then Tomasz points to the Phaeton’s perforated leather seats. “The holes have different thicknesses, which is expensive.” Just like the thing with the “Phaeton” lettering on the backrests of the individual seats. Milled letters, individually sewn on.

Electrically retractable cup holders with temperature control function

There are the cup holders in the real wood center console, which in the first generation could be lowered by hand with a “click” and counter-pressure. For the second edition, they’re doing it electrically; should cool water or warm coffee. The seats should also warm and cool, hence the perforated leather.

VW Phaeton 2 study

Bachorski, Kabaň, Pavone (from left): These three want to make VW tasty again.

But then came the reality. It was 2015 when the earth shook at VW. Boss “Wiko” had to admit that they had been cheated on a large scale when it came to the emission values ​​of the diesel engines, resignation, investigations, fines, pure fear at VW. fear in everyone.

And the end for the actually decided Phaeton. A premium sedan with a combustion engine, of which just 2,924 were built in the fateful year of 2015? No!

However, all the work on the new Phaeton was not in vain. Tomasz: “We were able to save the curved digital cockpit in 2018 for the third Touareg generation.” It still looks a lot like Tesla today and a little like yesterday.

Attention to detail is back at VW

The story of the company’s own Phaeton app, which can be used to pre-cool or pre-heat the car, for example, lives on in other new models.

“It’s part of the nature of our job that we sometimes have to live with a no,” Kabaň lectures. But this no, it also had something of a yes. It’s about the future of VW design, about value and quality. In other words, the topics that were at the top of the agenda for the Phaeton.

Kabaň has been back at VW for two years, and with him the attention to detail. They want more value again, they have recognized that surface quality is important, that plastic can also feel good, that a glass screen looks better than one behind plastic, that controllers should be defied.

The forgotten Phaeton. Luckily they haven’t completely forgotten about him.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button