Volkswagen Phaeton

The Phaeton was the concept of Volkswagen's chairman Ferdinand Piech. Ferdinand Piech asked the VW engineers to design a model that would surpass the market leaders such as Mercedes Benz and BMW. The Volkswagen Phaeton was the result of this task. It is a large luxury sedan manufactured by Volkswagen and served as the flagship of the Volkswagen line-up. It faced competition from other high-end flagship sedans such as the Jaguar XJ, the BMW 7 Series, the Lexus LS430 and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The initial development of the Phaeton began with Piech dictating a list of ten parameters the car needed to fulfill. Most of these specifications are not publicly known, but Top Gear reported one of them as being that the Phaeton has to be able to be driven all day at 186 miles per hour while the exterior temperature is 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Further, the climate control system should not let the interior temperature rise above 71.6 degrees F. The Phaeton does still have the standard electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. The Phaeton is built upon the D3 platform, which it shares with the Audi A8, the Bentley Continental GT and the Bentley Continental Flying Spur. The D3 platform is fabricated from high strength steel while the Audi A8 is made in a different factory, and on a different platform using an aluminum space frame. By 2005, the Phaeton had the longest wheelbase in the Volkswagen passenger line. The best news yet is that the Phaeton is hand-assembled in a distinctive eco-friendly factory with a glass exterior, called the Glaserne Manufaktur in Dresden, Germany. This factory also assembled the Bentley Continental Flying Spur until October 2006, when assembly of the Bentley was moved to Crewe, England. It is really inspiring to see a large corporation take the appropriate steps toward environmental stewardship.