Volkswagen has reportedly confirmed that it will at last introduce a new-generation Phaeton limo - but we will likely never see a production BlueSport roadster.
Speaking with UK mag Autocar, Volkswagen product boss Heinz-Jakob Neusser said that a "class-leading, smooth and luxurious" new Phaeton is on the way, but that a business case for the BlueSport could not be made.
Talking at the Geneva Motor Show, Neusser said that development of the new Phaeton would lean heavily on the technologies used in Volkswagen's other premium brands.
“We use all the technology and develop it for other VWs and group brands,” Neusser said. “It’s actually got a very attractive business case.”
Neusser's Phaeton comments follow a Bloomberg interview with Volkswagen Group chief Martin Winterkorn last year that a new flagship VW model was in the works.
Winterkorn said the Volkswagen brand "needs a halo project in the upscale segment", separate even to the group's existing prestige brands.
Past reports have suggested the new Phaeton will also lead a styling evolution for Volkswagen, but don't expect swooping lines and audacious curves to become a prominent feature.
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.
Volkswagen will also 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.
Neusser also told the magazine that the company has been unable to arrive at a suitable business case for the fan-favourite BlueSport concept.
Conceived by his predecessor Ulrich Hackenberg, the BlueSport was a mid-engined and rear-wheel-drive compact roadster that won many fans at its 2009 unveiling.
It has been reported in years since that the BlueSport could debut in Porsche and Audi forms, creating new entry-level opportunities for each brand.
Neusser said that the company likes the idea of a small entry roadster - something to compete with the Mazda MX-5 - but that "the segment is so small" that it cannot be easily embraced.
Reports as recent as May last year suggested the BlueSport could at last be destined for production, but Neusser's comments this week appear to be the concept's final coffin nail.
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