With the decision made to develop an all new generation Phaeton, Volkswagen is also expanding the Phaeton line-up. A convertible with folding hard-top will go on the market and compete directly against the Mercedes SL-Class.

Looks like history repeating itself as VW takes another stab at the premium market (i.e. Phaeton I vs. S-Class). The Phaeton received rave reviews for its build quality, technology and value. It was/is a superb car. However, it seemed the Phaeton failed to connect with consumers, especially in the US where the VW brand image was less than perfect. It was a difficult sales pitch selling an upmarket vehicle for the first time in a brand which was plagued with quality issues and a difficult dealer network. Hopefully, VW has learned from their mistakes.

Rumors about the next generation Phaeton are going in two different directions. Some sources say a shared platform with Porsche's Panamera will be utilized, while others say it will be based on the new Audi platform that will be used for the new A6 and A8.

The Phaeton hasn’t been the big success that VW expected, but with the next generation and its expansion by adding a Phaeton Coupe Convertible as well as a rumored 4-door Coupe (i.e. Mercedes CLS) to the model range, the car maker is hoping for more success. With the Mercedes SL-Class selling very well, VW is aiming to tap into this market and persuade some of those buyers to make the Phaeton line-up finally profitable.

The pictures are revealing a very first test mule for the new CC model based on a shorter and wider Audi A8 body. When the testers noticed the photographer, they went into high alert. Then the prototype disappeared immediately inside a truck, and the engineers did their best to stop the photographer from taking anymore pictures. So this is the only set of photos existing at this time.

The photos are showing the test mule plus one computer image as an artist’s impression suggesting how a Phaeton CC could look like.

Gallery: All New VW Phaeton Coupe Cabrio Spy Photos

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