Volkswagen Phideon Replaces the Phaeton in Geneva, Is a China-Only Flagship

This year's edition of the Geneva Motor Show is like the Twilight Zone for the fans of the Volkswagen brand. There's no big party, and Winterkorn isn't on stage to boast about growing sales. Instead, we are presented with an interesting flagship sedan that will only be sold in China. Thank you, Dieselgate!
2016 Volkswagen Phideon 9 photos
Photo: Volkswagen
2016 Volkswagen Phideon2016 Volkswagen Phideon2016 Volkswagen Phideon2016 Volkswagen Phideon2016 Volkswagen Phideon2016 Volkswagen Phideon2016 Volkswagen Phideon2016 Volkswagen Phideon
Only time will tell if the Phideon will be a direct replacement for the decade-old Phaeton or the two will learn to coexist. In China, old and new versions of the Skoda Octavia or Ford Focus are sold alongside each other. But the Phideon certainly cuts the mustard as a flagship.

Even the press release admits this is the first Volkswagen to be based on the Modular Longitudinal Matrix (MLB). So it's like an Audi A6 with a longer wheelbase in Passat clothing. But it's not an Audi knockoff, as none of the body bits are shared with the quattro folks.

Not only does the engine sit differently under the hood of the Phideon compared to the smaller Passat, but it's of a different type as well. All these Chinese flagships will get TSI turbo engines that culminate with a 3.0 TSI V6 rated at 300 PS, 347 pound-feet (440 Newton meters) of torque available with AWD. Does VW even make such a thing?

There will also be lesser variants that use a 2-liter TSI with front-wheel drive. A model with a plug-in hybrid drive is also planned for the future, Volkswagen promises.

How big is the VW Phideon?

The total length is quoted at 5.05 meters or 16 feet and 7 inches. That makes it just 1cm shorter than the Phaeton (European model), but still not in the same league as the Maserati Quattroporte or Mercedes S-Class. All the proportions are big, as the overall width is 1.87 meters (73.6 inches), and the height is 1.48 meters (58.3 inches).

The design leaves us with nothing to say except comparing it to the Passat or Jetta facelift. As for the name, Volkswagen says it's derived from Fides, the Roman goddess of fidelity. That's a nice way of thanking the Chinese for buying the Phaeton all these years.

Video thumbnail
Video thumbnail
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Mihnea Radu
Mihnea Radu profile photo

Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories