Ulrich Hackenberg, Volkswagen's chief of research and development, has confirmed that the next-gen Phaeton will be offered in the United States shortly after it debuts in Europe.
The next Phaeton will ride on the same platform as the upcoming Audi A8 and it will be largely built out of aluminum in order to shed as much weight as possible. The car will also grow a little, with the short-wheelbase variant expected to stretch no less than 196 inches long.
To increase the behemoth's green credentials, Volkswagen will drop big displacement engines in favor of smaller ones equipped with several turbochargers. Rumors claim that a plug-in hybrid drivetrain will be offered to further reduce emissions but the German automaker has yet to confirm this.
Like the current model, the next Phaeton will be aimed at a low-key target audience.
"The new one will have the same positioning [as the old one]: a straightforward sedan for the person who's successful but doesn't feel the need to show it. Volkswagen doesn't change course between generations of a car. It's always easier to keep the customers you have than to lose them and go find new ones," explained a company insider in an interview with German magazine Auto, Motor Und Sport.
The next-gen Phaeton will reportedly hit U.S. showrooms in about 2015.