The VW Phaeton, a 186MPH, W12, luxury barge. This car is one of the most lavishly equipped mobile offices in the world. It has just one Achilles heel, it is mind numbingly boring! The car has no specific design features, no key elements to draw it from a crowd. It is neither good looking or bad, it just exists. The car fails to invoke any emotion other than that of anger as this, according to the paperwork, should be a mouth-watering recipe.
Thanks to VW being the parent company of Bentley, what you see before you is actually a rebadged Flying Spur, except all the charming characteristics have been replaced with a concrete lump of German blandness. This new version has more toys than the previous model and requires 3.2KM of cables to link them all together. And there’s my point! In press releases of most new cars, they boasts about intriguing things like specifications or the fancy new materials it’s made of, but the Phaeton write-up talks about its air-conditioning and sat-nav. However the Bentleys heart has been kept under the bonnet to power this emotionless sea of grey. Its petrol W12 variant is a 6.0 litre producing 450BHP, so despite all its shortcomings it should still be able to shift.
The previous Phaeton was one of the world’s fastest devaluing cars and that’s because other than the man in beige trousers whobought it, nobody else wants one and as a result he can’t sell it. The worst thing is that this car won’t be cheap and looks to cost around Bentley money. In what universe do we live where someone will choose a lifeless office block, which could easily be mistaken for a large VW Bora over the British icon that is Bentley?
Expect to see the Phaeton wallow in the shadows of the Beijing Motor Show and then attempt to go on sale this August.