China-Only Volkswagen Phideon Debuts in Geneva
This Volkswagen flagship model brings insights into future developments, even for models outside the China market.
The result of a joint venture between Volkswagen’s German and China design teams, the Volkswagen Phideon is the new flagship model of the company that will be going for sale at the end of 2016. Unfortunately, despite being shown at the Geneva Motor Show, it will only be available in China. Don’t fret, though since the Phideon provides an inkling of what might be behind VW’s next global flagship model, the second-generation Phaeton…when it launches before the end of the decade.
For the exterior, the car’s front grille aims to be a new design used to distinguish all future flagship VW sedans. Whereas in the interior, with the car being over five meters long, has plenty of room for back-seat passengers. The dashboard and interior architecture is sporty and elegant, including electrically adjustable seats, integrated seat ventilation and heating as well as a massage function. A wrap around ambient light strips that can switch between three colors creates a permeating and cool atmosphere.
But this one is all about the tech. It happens to be the first VW to use a night-vision camera and to get HUD (projecting information onto the windscreen) as standard. Probably out of consideration for humongously crowded megacities like Shanghai, the Phideon allows the driver to have a 360-degree view of his or her surroundings for maneuvering. All this is on top of active driver safety systems including lane departure warning. Infotainment features that support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included.
As for the rest, Volkswagen hasn’t provided any figures but the car on display in Geneva, the range-topping 3.0TSI, boasts a 300PS turbo-charged V6 engine and permanent all-wheel drive. Milder, two-wheel drive gas-powered models plus a plug-hybrid version are also planned. It also uses the same air-suspension set up found in Bentleys.
Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design Volkswagen Brand took note that the car was “designed in Europe for our style-conscious Chinese customers.” We should be seeing some of its European flair in those Asian streets soon enough.