Concept and market
Concept and market
Volkswagen Phaeton - Innovative upper-range saloon and a new kind of Service
- 5-meter saloon convinces both technologically and visually with a new aesthetic
- Phaeton drivers stay mobile - with the world's best mobility guarantee
The 2002 Geneva Motor Show is the venue for the world premiere of Volkswagen's entirely new upper-range saloon, the Phaeton. In this demanding segment the corporation is offering a motor vehicle which will enhance the market both technologically and visually. The Phaeton, 5.06 metres long and 1.9 metres wide, will be available with innovative engines (including a W12 petrol unit and the world's most powerful passenger car diesel, the V10 TDI), four-wheel air suspension as standard, the 4MOTION four-wheel drive system (depending on equipment) and a 4-zone Climatronic air conditioner as standard. The completely new air conditioner also enables the two outer rear seats to enjoy individual air temperature adjustment. A new additional feature is that this Climatronic functions via indirect and thus draught-free ventilation.
The styling of the new saloon is absolutely independent; all elements of form have been thought out afresh. Harmonious, powerful body lines emphasise the dynamic properties of the Phaeton. In the interior a refreshingly clear and well-balanced elegance predominates, which also underlines the Phaeton's consistently innovative character.
With the Phaeton, Volkswagen is introducing a unique mobility guarantee
However, Volkswagen has not only developed a remarkable car; parallel to this, a unique manufacturing and Service concept has been created. Unique in the manufacturing sense is the new Transparent Factory in Dresden. With a differentiated quality assurance system and an unparalleled support and care arrangement for interested customers wishing to pick up their own cars, it has been made possible for the first time to witness the creation of one's very own vehicle. Unique in the Service sense is the Phaeton ServiceÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â® which has been created specifically for Phaeton customers. This takes the form of a care model universally unparalleled in its comprehensiveness, which cuts in at vehicle handover and remains effective over the Phaeton's entire vehicle registration period (hundred-per-cent "long life" mobility). All repairs are coordinated via a controlling national (export markets) and an international Technical Service Center (TSC). Every Volkswagen dealer automatically contacts the TSC whenever a Phaeton comes into his Service division. The aim of the Service chain: optimum care of the vehicle and its driver.
In this way the customer can at all times and on any day in the year avail himself of the concentrated know-how of the manufacturer. An important point: the Phaeton driver remains mobile. If his car has to be repaired, a replacement Phaeton is made available. In addition the Phaeton ServiceÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â® comprises many further services, such as the pick-up and return service taking the Phaeton to the Service point and back.
In the world market upper range, 230,000 cars a year are sold
Equipped with this perfect Service system, the Phaeton is entering the so-called D segment of a market in which new-registration fluctuations are subject less to the economic cycle than to the models on offer. The German brands in particular have for years posted constant growth in the upper range world-wide. Globally annual sales are some 230,000 vehicles, and the trend is rising. The biggest share in the world market volume is held by North America, followed by Western Europe and Japan. The age and wealth structure of upper range drivers is undergoing a fundamental change. As a result of job-related developments, ever-younger decision-makers are moving up from the automotive middle range to the upper range. Yet these people are not the only new customers whose demands and expectations must be met by contemporary upper-range cars. Nowadays the over-50s and over-60s also have younger and more open-minded attitudes than was ever the case before.
Volkswagen confronts this clientele with a saloon which was conceived as independent and innovative, which meets the highest quality demands, and whose functionalism is self-explanatory. Together with the hitherto most thoroughgoing mobility guarantee in the world, the Phaeton ServiceÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â®, the new Phaeton is aimed at a customer group which expects perfection not only from the vehicle, but also from the Service; Volkswagen offers both.
Volkswagen Phaeton - New shapes, well-thought-out functions, attention to detail
- Exclusive interior design reflects the consciousness of a new generation
- Draught-free air conditioning, convincing ergonomics, noble materials
The thoroughgoing technological and design concept of the Phaeton is readily revealed in the interior. Opening the door of the Phaeton for the first time, one discovers - with the exception of the brand badge on the leather-covered steering-wheel - an entirely new Volkswagen. And yet the Phaeton quickly generates a feeling of familiarity, as it was conceived unequivocally, functionally and with unusual attention to detail. The dominant impression is one of clear straight lines, timeless and yet up-to-the-minute design elements, a logical approach to operation and great visual clarity. At night the cockpit and the rear are bathed in a subdued, warm light from background sources. The inside door handles are also illuminated.
Wood in the timeless sporty style of classic yachts, hand-selected
For the Phaeton Volkswagen has selected the choicest and most pleasant of materials. The upper part of the dashboard consists of a structured base body, available in a range of different colours, which is shaded to eliminate glare. The lower part of the cockpit and the doors are in a material which is a colour contrast to the upper part, and generally lighter. The steering wheel (axially and vertically adjustable, on the V10 TDI and W12 a multi-function steering wheel with stepless electrical adjustment) and the gearshift are sheathed in leather and wood.
Especially exclusive, because they are selected and worked by hand, are the fine wood veneers in the horizontal centre part of the dashboard, on the centre console and on the doors. In addition on the top model, the Phaeton W12, the automatic gear selector lever and the centre console between the seats are veneered. Chrome is used for example for the instrument surrounds and that of the analog clock set in the centre of the dashboard.
No draughts, no misted-up windows, four individual temperature zones
In the area of comfort elements, a special place is taken by the new 4-zone Climatronic air conditioner. A system which, in comparison with previous available systems, offers three main advantages: in the Phaeton the occupants of the rear left and right-hand seats can also adjust the air conditioning to suit themselves individually; the resulting four adjustable zones are what accounts for the designation of 4-zone Climatronic.
Furthermore the cooling or heating air - absolutely uniquely in the international competitive field - reaches the defined zones completely draught-free via automatically opening and closing vents. In addition an effective humidity control has been integrated which automatically prevents misting-up of the windows.
The technological concept and the working principle of the new Climatronic, equipped with an automatic air recirculation function, is as follows: The intake air is purified by two particle filters with activated carbon. A fan distributes the main airflow. Then the 25 electric positioning elements in the air conditioner provide ideal control of the air distribution.
In principle, ventilation is indirect. The usual air vents visible at the front cannot in this case be seen; they are masked by covers finished in fine veneer. However, if for reasons of special climatic conditions a direct ventilation is necessary, this can be had in the front part, ensuring a fast heating-up or cooling-down. This direct air flow is only needed for short bursts, however; when a certain temperature has been reached, it is more important that the air be distributed indirectly, that is to say draught-free and not directed at the driver or front passenger. For this reason, once a defined condition has been reached, the new Climatronic immediately changes back to the indirect mode, the direct airflow vents closing automatically and being entirely masked by the veneered covers. Then a ventilation band covering the entire width of the interior provides an imperceptible air circulation via vents on top of the dashboard. Naturally it is also possible to change manually between the direct and indirect ventilation modes.
The engineers also paid particular attention to the rear of the vehicle, making individual temperature adjustment available for the two outer seats. The level of the individual air temperature zones is adjusted by means of seven airflow temperature sensors. The temperature in the rear can be directly selected from front and rear. Also significant for the air conditioner is the fact that the windows remain free of mist under practically all conditions.