In a rather strange turn of events, the German automaker Volkswagen has decided to use the Geneva International Auto Show to present the Phideon – a successor to the Phaeton but only when considering the rather distant Chinese market.
The oddity is that since the Phideon is a China-only flagship it hasn’t received the world premiere locally and instead the automaker chose an international venue such as the Geneva Motor Show. Questions aside, we’re happy that at least the Chinese customers will get a replacement for the obsolete Phaeton through this all-new fullsize sedan that will sit in the Chinese range above the locally sold Magotan. By the way, we can resolve at least one query – about the new moniker – which Volkswagen says it’s derived from the Roman goddess of fidelity called Fides. This is also the first model from Volkswagen’s namesake brand to use the Modular Longitudinal Matrix (MLB) architecture and even though it’s going to live its life in China only, the Phideon is actually a German development and design effort.
Length stands at a grand 197 inches (5.05 meters) and since we’re dealing with a true flagship the wheelbase is also majestic: spans at more than three meters (118 inches). The rest of dimensions are just as imposing: width of 73.6 inches (1.87 meters) and height of 58.3 inches (1.48 meters). Since we’re talking about VW we should not have expected any surprises in terms of design, with the Phideon looking like a stretched Passat with some tweaks here and there to justify the designer’s paycheck. There are no pictures of the interior yet but we have been tipped the massive doors have an electric soft-closing system. Inside the owners will find heated, ventilated, and electrically adjustable seats with massaging functions. There’s also an air suspension, three-color ambient lighting and safety systems include a head-up display along with a night vision system. Other goodies include the adaptive cruise control (ACC) as well as front, side, lane, and light assistants, infotainment system with MirrorLink, Android Auto, and CarPlay.
Under the hood sits a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine packing 300 horsepower (220 kilowatts) and 347 pound-feet (440 Newton meters) of torque and sending power to the wheels via an all-wheel-drive 4MOTION system. Volkswagen will also offer the Phideon with a base turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with forward wheel drive and a plug-in hybrid version later during the model’s lifecycle. Production will be handled by the company’s Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation joint venture and sales will commence during the third quarter of the year.