Welcome to the layer cake son.
The Volkswagen Phaeton is a car rarely seen on the roads of UAE, or anywhere else in the world for that matter. In the past, I guess, it was a mixture of underwhelming external design and a high price point, which when competing against the likes of the Mercedes S class or Audi A8, seems like an uphill battle. However, with the 2012 redesign of the Phaeton, Volkswagen hopes to breathe new life into this platform that seemed destined to wither away with time.
The new 2012 Phaeton carries over the same corporate design on other Volkswagen vehicles, like the Touareg, Tiguan, Jetta, Golf, etc. Ironically the Golf GTI, which started this design phase, remains the most distinct from all the other 2012 redesigns, whereby the SUVs and sedans look too close to each other.
Coming back to the Phaeton, the second thing you’ll notice is how big the car is. Well, it is an executive luxury sedan, so it’s supposed to be big. Accordingly our long-wheelbase V8 model was stretched out to an impressive 5.2 meters.
The rest of our tester Phaeton had a piano black finish which looked beautiful with the rather minimalistic look of the car. There are chrome trim lines on the door, on the window linings, the front grill and the tailpipes. The only other color on the Phaeton are the silver colored wheels and the red LED tail lights, also inspired by the half curve from the GTI, except upside down.
All in all there’s not much to talk about the exterior of the Phaeton. It looks simple, it looks big, but more importantly it looks suave. The new Phaeton was engineered to deliver an exceptional experience while being driven, so there’s no need to flaunt sporty or aggressive looking designs outside.
Two more external features I’d like to mention are the solar paneled sunroof, which keeps a ventilation fan running at minimum when the Phaeton is off, as well as its insulated windows. Combined, these two features kept the inside temperature absolutely normal, despite the car’s pure black color. I wasn’t gasping for air, afraid of touching the hot leather seats as I do in other cars when they’re parked out in our lovingly baking sun of UAE.