Volkswagen launches new luxury flagship Phideon at Geneva; plug-in hybrid drive planned; first VW brand car based on MLB
Volkswagen unveiled the new Volkswagen Phideon luxury sedan ahead of the Geneva International Motor Show 2016. The future of Volkswagen’s premium segment will go into production in China initially for the China market in the third quarter of 2016.
The new Phideon was developed in Germany with the assistance of VW’s Chinese partner SAIC Volkswagen. The sedan will be offered with high-efficiency turbocharged gasoline TSI engines, and a plug-in hybrid drive is also planned.
Phideon is positioned above the Passat and the Magotan, which is available in China. Volkswagen’s design team derived the Phideon almost directly from the C Coupé GTE concept car, which was presented at Auto Shanghai in 2015, with only minor changes. (Earlier post.) From a technical perspective, Phideon is the first Volkswagen brand car to be based on the Modular Longitudinal Matrix (MLB). Its name—Phideon—is a construct standing for elegance and reliability, and phonetically and symbolically evokes Fides, the Roman goddess of fidelity.
The top-of-the-range model—the Phideon 3.0 TSI 4MOTION, which comes with four-wheel drive as standard—is powered by a 3.0 liter V6 turbocharged direct injection gasoline engine that produces 220 kW/295 hp. This efficient TSI develops maximum torque of 440 N·m (325 lb-ft). In addition to the planned plug-in hybrid model, the new five-seater will also be available as a 2.0 TSI (with four-cylinder engines) with front-wheel drive.
Convenience and driver assistance systems – high-end technologies. The new Phideon continues the Volkswagen tradition introduced to the top segment with the Phaeton of a chassis equipped with an air suspension system, similar to the systems used by fellow Volkswagen Group brand 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”, which harmonizes perfectly with the stylish, luxurious and noiseless ambience on board.
MLB assistance systems. This new sedan has the full technology spectrum of the Modular Longitudinal Matrix (MLB) at its disposal. When it comes to driving information, this includes features such as a head-up display (which projects information onto the windshield) and a camera-based night vision system that warns the driver if there are people or animals on or near the road, even in pitch-black darkness or in fog, allowing the driver to react significantly faster.
When maneuvering, Area View—a system with four wide-angle cameras—improves all-round visibility. Other assistance systems include ACC (adaptive cruise control); Front Assist (surroundings monitoring system); Park Assist (assisted parking with automatic steering and braking); Lane Assist (camera-based lane-departure warning system); Side Assist (lane-changing assistant); the proactive occupant protection system (which tensions the safety belts and closes the windows or the sunroof) and Light Assist (which automatically dips the high beam).
The new Volkswagen also features connectivity provided by the integrated Modular Infotainment Platform (MIB). CarPlay (Apple) and MirrorLink (Android) can be used to integrate almost any common smartphone, using various apps to control the infotainment system.