Volkswagen thinks globally but acts locally

Hot on the heels of the exclusive VW design for India comes news that VW will be debuting a brand new design slated for release just i...


Hot on the heels of the exclusive VW design for India comes news that VW will be debuting a brand new design slated for release just in the Chinese market. The new beastie is called the Phideon and at around five metres in length, it would seem that it is destined to go nose to nose with the likes of the Audi A6 and the BMW 5 series. It sits above the Passat, which had been the large offering from VW in most markets, although in China there was also the Magotan saloon available.

The Phideon will be pushed along by a turbocharged 3-litre V-6 that pumps out 300hp and 347 lb-ft of torque, and mated to the 4 motion all-wheel-drive traction system as standard for this configuration. This will be the first VW that utilises the MLB platform so loved by the owners of the Audi Q7 and thus new owners will be getting a tried and trusted drivetrain in the higher spec variants. A slightly lower spec version will also be offered in front-wheel-only format with a four cylinder 2-litre turbo, and apparently there are also plans to introduce a plug-in hybrid for future variants.

Not overly surprisingly, the outside of the car has been designed to be somewhat bland and boring, with a typically German upright silhouette and more than a passing hint of VW’s new corporate face, although the front grille and lights are all-new designs created specifically for VW's upscale cars.

Inside the cabin you will find all the mod-cons that you would expect from an expensive lump of German engineering, with seats capable of multiple adjustments, heating/cooling and massage features. Wraparound lighting strips are meant to give a lounge feel to the interior and - like so many other manufacturers' versions - come in three ambient colours to reflect your mood.

The infotainment centre will be the latest MIB version - which stands for Modular Infotainment Platform and not Men in Black - and perhaps it is here where we start to get a little funkier. VW’s MIB II system simply doesn’t care which operating system you are using as its App-Connect software will automatically detect which OS you prefer when you plug your phone in and thereafter will adapt accordingly. It may not sound that revolutionary but just maybe this will give us, the consumers, greater freedom of choice in the future.

Just in case you cannot drive, there is also a whole host of active safety features that include adaptive cruise control and lane assist, just in case there are no white lines to guide you, we presume; there's also, of course, parking assist and where would we be without lane departure warning for those days when we are just too tired to keep our eyes open, and let's not forget the automatic emergency braking function. As for other gizmos and toys, the Phideon will have the Heads Up Display function (aka HUD) so you too can pretend to be a fighter pilot with a 360 degree view camera system which can record your trip, and night vision for those days when it's all too much bother to turn your lights on.


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