Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Volkswagen Phaeton (pronounced "fay-tun") is a large luxury sedan manufactured by Volkswagen. As of 2004, the Phaeton has the longest wheelbase in the Volkswagen model line. In Dresden, Germany, the car is end-manufactured in a distinctive factory with a glass exterior, the Gläserne Manufaktur.
Its platform is shared with the Bentley Continental GT and Bentley Continental Flying Spur, but as of November 2004 only 132 were sold in the UK. The Bentley Continental GT is outselling it 10:1. The Touareg, another new Volkswagen model designed to move the brand upmarket, has sold 1568 during the same period. This may be because the SUV market is new and popular, and buyers looking for a luxury sedan are more likely to opt for more traditional offerings from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi. Another likely reason is that Volkswagen is still perceived as being a "bread-and-butter" brand and the building of expensive, luxury models, has perhaps shifted it too from its traditional "People's Car" values.
However, in Germany and elsewhere in continental Europe, the Phaeton has found some acceptance after a slow start.
- A 4.2 L V8, generating 335 bhp (250 kW) and a maximum of 317 ft.lbf (430 Nm) of torque at 3,500 rpm
- A 6.0 L W12, producing 420 bhp (313 kW) and generating a maximum of 406 ft.lbf (550 Nm) of torque at 3,250 to 4,250 rpm
There is an advanced traction control system featuring Anti-lock braking system (ABS), Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), Engine Braking Control (EBC), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with brake assist and a draft-free air conditioning.
The V8 variant of the Phaeton accelerates from 0-60 mph on 6.7 seconds. The W12 variant takes 5.9 seconds. Both vehicles are electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph) maximum, as are most German cars. However, with the limiter disabled the W12 Phaeton can reach speeds of 340km/h (212 mph).
The Phaeton is 203.7 inches (5.17 m) long, 74.9 inches (1.9 m) wide and 57.1 inches (1.45 m) high. It has a curb weight of 5,194 lb (2,356 kg) for the V8 and 5,399 lb (2,449 kg) for the W12.
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