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TMR Team | Jul, 18 2013 | 4 Comments

Volkswagen's next-generation Phaeton limo, expected to arrive sometime in 2015, could make its global debut at January's Detroit Auto Show.

According to business paper Bloomberg, a Detroit debut for the big sedan is under consideration, highlighting the importance of the US market's acceptance of the new Phaeton.

Speaking with the paper this week, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn said that a brand like Volkswagen "needs a halo project in the upscale segment", separate even to the group's existing prestige brands.

“We’ve seen what happens to brands that don’t have that kind of project," he said.

Earlier reports have suggested the new Phaeton will lead a styling evolution for Volkswagen.

Volkswagen brand design boss Klaus Bischoff, speaking with Britain's Auto Express, described the new Phaeton as a guide for the next generation of VW sedans.

“Flagship models like the Phaeton should act as halo products and influence the way the other cars in the range look, rather than the other way round," Bischoff told Auto Express.

“There will be a specific look for saloons, one for our SUVs, one for the people carriers and one for our hatchbacks."

Don't expect swooping lines and audacious curves to become a prominent feature, however.

Bischoff's boss, Volkswagen Group design chief Walter de Silva, has previously confirmed that the Volkswagen brand will stay true to the sharp lines of its 'clean and simple' philosophy - with the exception of unique models like the iconic Beetle coupe.

As for the Phaeton, Volkswagen will be working to make its flagship model - a more affordable alternative to platform mate the Audi A8 - more appealing to those shopping below the prestige price point.

The first-generation Phaeton was pulled from the US market in 2006, with Volkswagen citing a poor brand image and poor sales performance.

The new Phaeton will most likey be built on the VW Group's MLM/MLB architecture.

The MLM platform underpins most Audis from the A4 through to the aluminium-intensive A8, although the next A8 is expected to move to the rear-drive biased MSB, alongside with the next Porsche Panamera.

The Phaeton will feature extensive use of aluminium to keep weight down on the super luxury sedan. The current car is steel-bodied and considered too heavy.

The current model isn't offered in Australia, and it remains unclear if the second generation will join the local line-up.

 
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