Thursday, February 21, 2019

Lotta Ways This Could Go Wrong: 2004 Volkswagen Phaeton W12

The Volkswagen Phaeton was a big luxury cruiser built by Volkswagen on a shared platform with the Bentley Continental GT and Flying Spur.  The Phaeton shared engines with the Audi A8, but attempted to offer a Mercedes S-Class luxury experience at an E-Class price.  Today the Phaeton offers luxury and prestige for the price of a used Kia and maybe you won't get stuck with a huge maintenance bill for rebuilding the W12. Find this 2004 Volkswagen Phaeton W12 offered for $8500 near Dallas, TX via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.


 From the seller:

2004 VW PHAETON 
VIN: WVWAH63D548007998 
condition: good 
cylinders: 12 cylinders 
drive: 4wd 
fuel: gas 
odometer: 114800 
paint color: black 
title status: clean 
transmission: automatic 
type: sedan 
VW PHAETON.114,800 MILES 12 CYLINDER...420 H.P....PLEASE GOOGLE VW PHAETON TO LEARN ABOUT THIS RARE CAR. HAS DOCUMENTATION. JOE


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8 comments:

  1. The only documentation I want to see is an extended warranty to 200,000 miles.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The biggest fault with these isn't the 12-cylinder... it's the fact that it's hard to distinguish the Phaeton from so many other VW/Audi products of the era. In particular it looks like the Passat, which at the time cost 50%-70% less, depending on options.

    How the Phaeton design was given approval at VW is a mystery. Perfect example of how too rigid adherence to corporate branding can actually hurt the brand. Who wants to spend double (or more) on a car that will be mistaken for a base model? So many brands, particularly German ones, fall victim to this practice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Who wants to spend double (or more) on a car that will be mistaken for a base model?I" I
      t's a German thing. For instance on Mercedes-Benz's V12 models there is a factory option number for deleting the badges
      https://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/automobiles/11BADGES.html

      In other parts of the world appearing to be rich can lead to really unpleasant problems.

      Delete
    2. Brand management gets a bad rap sometimes (probably from General Motors emphasizing it over actually building better cars), but the Phaeton is Exhibit A of what can go wrong when you don't make some attempt at managing your brand identity. Building a 12 cylinder, ultra-luxury car, and then slapping it with a nameplate that literally translates as "People's Car" did not make sense.

      Delete
    3. In the Phaeton's case the only Volk that counted was Ferdinand Piëch.

      Delete
  3. It's just a VR6 with a spare, really. What could possibly go wrong??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it took me a while to figure out how those engines are laid out, but you are correct that they are two VR6s sharing a crank.

      [image src="https://static.cargurus.com/images/site/2011/04/20/21/14/pic-8319570067311630410-1600x1200.jpeg?_ga=2.254651080.1366364420.1550870577-1187294508.1536249803" width="400px"/]

      But the whole idea of a VW and a Bentley sharing a platform and drive train is just WRONG on so many levels. W.O. Bentley must be up to around 6000 rpm spinning in his grave.....

      Delete

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