According to reports, the launch of the second-generation Volkswagen Phaeton sedan has been pushed back by the German automaker.

Currently, the Phaeton is Volkswagen’s lowest selling model with a mere 4000 units sold last year, a dramatic 40 per cent drop over 2013. Despite originally being envisioned as a rival to the class-leading Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the Volkswagen Phaeton has never really adequately competed against its German rivals. As a matter of fact, VW lost 28,000 euros on every Phaeton sold from 2002 to 2012.

The main reason why Volkswagen has delayed the launch of the new car is to spend time on lowering its production and material costs. This comes as part of the automaker’s ongoing plan on increase profits by slashing its manufacturing costs.

According to reports, the second-gen Phaeton will be available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. This is of little surprise as Volkswagen is reportedly hoping the new and improved Phaeton will rival the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7-Series. It will therefore occupy a similar area of the market to the next Audi A8.

Underpinning the new Phaeton will be the Volkswagen Group’s MLB architecture and unfortunately, details are scarce regarding the plug-in hybrid system the car could incorporate. If it aims to rival the S-Class Plug-In Hybrid, it will have to deliver over 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque from its internal combustion engine and electric motor.

Beyond the plug-in hybrid version, the new Phaeton is expected to receive the firm’s brand new, twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre W12 delivering 600 hp and 663 lb-ft.

[Via Automotive News Europe]

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