Volkswagen Plans More Affordable Phaeton Revamp

May 19, 2014 02:27 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma (j.ecarma@autoworldnews.com)

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Volkswagen Phaeton

The luxury sedan still sells in Europe but wasn't popular enough to stay in the U.S. market. (Photo : Volkswagen)

Volkswagen is looking to roll out a more affordable version of its luxury Phaeton in the near future.

The first-generation Volkswagen Phaeton had a more than $100,000 price tag, but the automaker hopes to compete with sedan models like the Chrysler 300 or Ford Taurus SHO with the update, Edmunds.com reported.

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2014 versions of the Chrysler 300 and Ford Taurus SHO start at $48,175 and $40,805, respectively, and the revamped Phaeton will likely be geared toward their same market.

Volkswagen is looking at "what will we need to compete for those type of customers," Kevin Joostema, Volkswagen of America's general manager for product planning, told Edmunds.

The updated, more affordable Phaeton hasn't been confirmed for production, but consumers could be seeing a less expensive model within the decade.

While the luxury sedan continues to sell in Europe, the hand-built Phaeton hasn't been sold in the U.S. market since sales stopped in 2006. The car was priced near BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen's Group's Audi models, and American consumers weren't ready to spend $100,000 on a brand associated with mass-market vehicles.

"There are a lot of opportunities" for the Phaeton, Joostema told Edmunds. "It would be like it was last time, a new place for the Volkswagen brand."

A potential conflict for the revamped model is whether or not the Phaeton would be competing with Audi models in that pricing segment.

"Those are some of the things that have to be planned out, strategized," Joostema told Edmunds.

Expected to share a platform similar to the Audi A8 or A6, the new Phaeton will likely run on a wide range of powertrains, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid and diesel options.

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