Thursday, March 10, 2016

Volkswagen Phideon For Chinese Market First, PHEV Coming

Things are a little confused at the top of the Volkswagen model lineup these days. The Phaeton, which once was VW’s largest and most luxurious car, has since gone out of production. At one time, it was supposed to be transformed into Volkswagen’s all electric answer to the Tesla Model S, but those plans have now apparently been scotched.
Volkswagen Phideon
Instead, the company unveiled its new range topping sedan — called Phideon — last week in Geneva. According to CleanTechica, the name is derived from Fides, the Roman goddess of fidelity. The company says the sound of it represents elegance and reliability, although one has to wonder how many Chinese customers are au courant with Roman mythology.
Green Car Congress says the Phideon was developed in Germany with the assistance of VW’s Chinese partner SAIC Volkswagen. Initially, it will be offered with Volkswagen’s tried and true 3.0 liter V-6 TSI engine and all wheel drive. Somewhere down the road, a plug-in hybrid version is supposed to appear. Since VW has announced its intention to add PHEV powertrains to all its models, that comes as no surprise. There is no information about when the plug-in option will be available, however. There may also be a front wheel drive version using the companies ubiquitous 2.0 liter turbocharged engine sometime in the future as well.
Phideon is the first Volkswagen brand car to be based on the Modular Longitudinal Matrix (MLB). That platform brings with it such technical virtues as an air suspension system similar to the one used by Bentley. The Phideon is equipped with latest generation of this technology with five individually selectable driving modes. Another new feature is the electric soft closing system for the doors. Called “Soft Close”, it is said to work it harmony with the stylish, luxurious and noiseless ambiance on board.
The Phideon will be built in China, with the first cars available to customers by the end of this year. The fact that it was shown in Geneva may be a hint that Volkswagen has plans to offer the car in other markets eventually, but there is no word on where or when.

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