Following the demise of the Phaeton in 2016, the Touareg was promoted to flagship standing in lots of elements of the world. The state of affairs is a bit totally different in China the place the native VW-SAIC three way partnership developed a brand new fullsize sedan to cater to the native market. The Phideon was launched in 2016 and had its finest 12 months in 2018 when gross sales hit 24,471 models earlier than plummeting to 14,019 automobiles final 12 months.

VW is giving its range-topping mannequin a facelift, however the adjustments are quite delicate and unlikely to maneuver the needle. The illuminated badge is among the many novelties, flanked by an LED daytime working gentle strip that extends on the edges to satisfy the reworked headlights. The designers additionally tweaked the entrance bumper by including chrome inserts and modifying the world across the fog lights, however nothing to write down residence about.

Whereas it’s no CN-spec Audi A6L on the within, the 2021 Phideon comes properly outfitted with a small fridge between the rear massaging seats, whereas on the entrance it now has an enlarged 9.2-inch infotainment touchscreen. VW-SAIC will promote the automotive with lots of package, together with an evening imaginative and prescient system and a head-up show. There’s even an optionally available air suspension setup for a silky easy journey worthy of a automotive with premium aspirations.

The mannequin 12 months changeover sees a simplified powertrain lineup because the Phideon is dropping the plug-in hybrid 2.0-liter in addition to the beefy 3.0-liter V6. It means Chinese language clients can be caught with a 2.Zero TSI producing 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet (350 Newton-meters) of torque. The output is distributed completely to the entrance wheels by way of a seven-speed DSG, so no extra AWD now that the V6 4Motion variant is lifeless.

VW-SAIC will launch the up to date Phideon within the Folks’s Republic subsequent month.

For a real Phaeton substitute, we would have to attend till later this decade when the flagship could possibly be reborn as a purely electrical sedan. VW briefly talked a couple of potential EV replacement again in 2017, however we haven’t heard something on this subject since then. The corporate has greater fish to fry given the SUV-hungry state of the market, which means a sedan shouldn’t be precisely a high precedence for the R&D crew.

Connected beneath is a statement made in March 2017 by VW Group boss, Herbert Diess, about how the corporate had to return to the drafting board with the next-gen Phaeton improvement after discovering how superior the Tesla Mannequin S was at the moment:

“We had been fairly far superior with the following Phaeton but it surely turned clear it wasn’t sufficient of a leap forwards. A contemporary massive sedan needs to be aggressive and have a bonus over the Tesla, which is the benchmark and in lots of areas dominates the phase. Now, if we return there, we’ve to take Tesla severely, and naturally that’s what we’re doing with our electrical technique.”