I’ve always had a fascination with rare vehicles. The Phaeton is one of those oddballs that should never have been produced but the former chairman of the VW group himself wanted it made. Ferdinand Piëch envisioned a car that would be less sporty than the already-existing A8 and more like a comfort oriented limousine. He was also annoyed that Mercedes-Benz was competing with Volkwagen with the A-Class so he figured VW would try to do the same on Mercedes’ turf.
The Phaeton was announced in 2002 at the Geneva Motor show and was sold in North America until 2006. It shares a platform with the Bentley Continental GT and Bentley Continental Flying Spur. It has much in common with the A8 though being heavier, it didn’t perform as well when equipped with the 4.2-litre V8. The 6.0-litre W12 motor was an interesting choice though and that’s what I stumbled upon at Auto Publique in Laval.
Though it was clear North American buyers weren’t going to pay premium prices for a car with a VW logo on the front, the Phaeton was produced in Europe right up until 2016! In 2010 it was even facelifted and received technological updates such as LED daytime running lights, collision avoidance, navigation and adaptive cruise control.
The car remains a rarity on this side of the pond. It’s not even listed as a vehicle you can search for on Autotrader. If you’re looking for a unique piece of automotive history and have $18K to spare this is the car for you!
Dealer: Auto Publique Centre Automobile
2354 Cure Labelle
Laval, QC H7T 1R1