VW Phideon-02

This is the Volkswagen Phideon that is debuting at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Developed in Germany with the assistance of VW’s Chinese partner SAIC Volkswagen, which will also manufacture the car, the limo will be launched in China in the third quarter of 2016.

The Phideon can be seen as a Phaeton for China, as it will sit above the Passat and Magotan in that market. The first Volkswagen to be based on the group’s Modular Longitudinal Matrix (MLB) platform (only Audis and the Porsche Macan before this), the Phideon is 5.05 meters long, 1.87 meters wide and 1.48 meters high. The overhangs are short, and the wheelbase is over three metres long.

This means that the Phideon is close in length to the standard wheelbase premium limos, not the LWB versions sold in Malaysia. The latest G11 BMW 7 Series, for instance, is 5,098 mm long with a 3,070 mm wheelbase; while the W222 S-Class is 5,116 mm long with a 3,035 mm wheelbase.

VW Phideon-03

Based and looking a lot like the C Coupe GTE Concept from last year’s Shanghai show, the Phideon sees the debut of the new face of VW’s luxury sedans. VW says that its latest model was designed as a sporty five-seater that appeals both to keen drivers and as a chauffeur-driven limousine.

The range topping model, the Phideon 3.0 TSI 4Motion, is powered by a turbocharged 3.0 litre V6 engine with 300 PS and 440 Nm of torque. It will also be available as a 2.0 TSI four-cylinder with front-wheel drive, and a plug-in hybrid variant is being planned.

Features include seats with ventilation, heating and massage; a wraparound ambient light strip that can switch between three colours; air suspension; electric soft-closing system for the doors; head-up display, LED headlamps and a camera-based night vision system that warns the driver if there are people or animals on or near the road, even in pitch-black darkness or in fog.

Area View – a system with four wide-angle cameras – improves all-round visibility. Other assistance systems include: adaptive cruise control; auto parking; lane-departure warning; lane-changing assistant; Light Assist (auto dips high beam) and a proactive occupant protection system which tensions the safety belts and closes the windows/sunroof.

On the connectivity front, the Phideon’s Modular Infotainment Platform (MIB) can be used to integrate compatible smartphones via the three major smartphone platforms — CarPlay (Apple), Android Auto (Google), and MirrorLink.

If you’re wondering, the name Phideon is a construct standing for elegance and reliability, and phonetically and symbolically evokes Fides, the Roman goddess of fidelity.