The Geneva Motor Show earlier this year was the podium on which the new Volkswagen Phideon was presented. Volkswagen had some rough years due to “dieselgate”, but still managed to release some new models for the 2017 model year. One of those is the 2017 Volkswagen Phideon, a sedan that is higher priced than the VW Passat.
The VW Phideon name is a derivation from the Roman goddess of trust and good faith Fides. According to Volkswagen the name should emphasize the elegance and reliability that the 2017 VW Phideon stands for. We know Volkswagen means well, but the name still feels ironic to us.
Although the 2017 Volkswagen Phideon is only going to be sold in China, there is still an extensive review up. That’s because the Phideon provides us with a peek into the future of the next generation Volkwagen Phaeton. The Phaeton is on the European and US market and we are decidedly curious about it.
One good thing about dieselgate is that it created a serious need for Volkswagen to re-invent itself as a brand. That means we can expect VW to go all out with upcoming car releases to catch up their reputation again.
The overall appearance of the VW Phideon is a stable, somewhat sporty, but mostly classic one. The car sits low on its wheels and is significantly Volkswagen in its design. This is especially visible on the front of the car, where the redesigned grille sits solemnly on the fascia. Also seen on the exterior of the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas seven seats SUV, the grille can be called a success already. The grille features wide horizontal slats that connect directly with the headlights. These are quite wide, angular and have full LED lights. The car itself is rather wide and low and that shows in the broad appearance of the front. The hood is nicely creased and the lower air vent is rather wide, also connecting the foglights.
The side of the car is inconspicuous yet graceful. A deep crease runs from the headlight to the rear fender, a bold styling cue. Then, there’s a more shallow crease on the lower part of the doors. The car sits low on its wheels and the side windows have a nice curved outline.
The rear of the car puts together all styling cues perfectly. The rear window has a beautiful steep curve and the deck lid combines all elements. The deep crease across the car ends in the taillights, which are a remarkable new design. The chrome strip on the rear bumper and chrome exhausts are the finishing touch to a successfully minimalistic sedan.
Since the 2017 Volkswagen Phideon is designed especially for the Chinese market, it has a long wheelbase. Long wheelbases are more popular in China than regular-sized wheelbases. As a result, there is more legroom for the rear seat. Because of this the Phideon is exceptionally qualified to function as a chauffeur-driven vehicle.
The rest of the interior looks relatively simple. Competition can be found in the 2017 Genesis G80 interior and tech specs by Hyundai.
The seats of the 2017 Volkswagen Phideon are something special as well. They can be electrically adjusted in multiple directions and come heated, ventilated and with a massaging function. An ambient lighting package also comes in this car to make the cabin a cozy place to retire to. A sunroof is going to be an optional extra.
The infotainment system is a premium one. The digital instrument cluster can project its stats onto the wind screen. This makes for safer driving, since the chauffeur needs not to take his eyes off the road.
First of all, noteworthy is that the 2017 VW Phideon is the first Volkswagen to ride on the MLB platform. MLB stands for Modular Longitudinal Matrix and VW Group has been using it since 2007. The chassis is optimized for safety and driver assistance systems and offers more space for future engines.
The standard engine on the 2017 Volkswagen Phideon is going to be a 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 engine. It will be good for 217 horsepower and comes together with all wheel drive. Later on, a 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine and a hybrid will become available too. Compared to the specs of the relatively comparable 2018 Stinger by Kia, which has a twin-turbocharged V6 engine, this is slightly disappointing.
The Phideon hybrid is most likely getting the 1.4 liter four cylinder and electric motor from the VW Passat GTE. Combined horsepower for that engine lies at 215, while total range is 622 miles (1001 km).
The Modular Infotainment System operates the infotainment screen in the Phideon cabin. This system is optimized to the MLB platform and offers many safety and driving assistance options. Apple CarPlay and Mirrorlink are the standard software features to operate the infotainment system. These systems allow the driver to connect a smartphone and check up on the car’s statistics regularly and remotely.
A noteworthy standard safety feature is a night-vision camera that detects people and animals. The car also comes with Area View, which allows the driver to see the car completely, due to four wide-angle cameras.
Finally, there’s adaptive cruise control and Front Park Assist with automatic steering and braking. Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist make the car semi-autonomous. Then, there is a pro-active occupant protection system that tenses safety belts and closes windows and/or sunroof when an emergency occurs.
Price and release date
The starting price of the 2017 Volkswagen Phideon will match the Chinese price for the Phaeton. In the Chinese VW range it will sit above the Passat and right below the Phaeton, so we think that is a good guess. The car will go on sale at the beginning of 2017 and might be carried over to other Asian markets in the future. Europe and the United States will not get the Phideon, seeing as the Volkswagen Phaeton had a terrible sales number in the US.