The Volkswagen Phaeton luxury sedan is going under the knife again. Major change are expected on the front end as well as the rear. New engines will be introduced including perhaps a hybrid and Audi's new V12 TDI.
Volkswagen took quite a bit of flack for the Phaeton when it was launched in 2002. Critics admitted that it's a really great car but that VW had no business making such a big expensive vehicle and going after BMW's 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz's S-Class when the group had the Audi A8. No amount of bad publicity or sagging sales discouraged VW.
Now a second facelift is in order after the first one was completed in 2007. The 2007 job actually lifted sales and the company is probably counting on this one to do the same before a complete replacement appears in 2011.
From these spy pictures it seems that the front end will benefit from a redesign. So will the rear end apparently. Bumpers, lights and the bonnet should also get a nip and tuck. The front grille is possibly being redesigned to be more in sync with the current VW design language.
A number of engines will be carried over into the facelift while a few new others will be introduced. There is talk of the new Audi V12 TDI and a hybrid making the lineup too to make the car attractive for a possible American debut.