Volkswagen shows updated Phaeton in Beijing

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Volkswagen has shown a modified version of its large Phaeton saloon at the Beijing Motor Show. The changes are mainly cosmetic; there are tweaks to the front and rear lights, for example, and a new radiator grille that brings the Phaeton's "face" more into line with the latest Volkswagen look. The external alterations are matched by detailed modifications to the Phaeton's interior. Two engines will be offered; a 3.0 litre V6 diesel providing 240 horsepower and VW's big 6.0litre W12 petrol engine.

The Phaeton has sold only in very small numbers in Europe and is no longer offered in the US market, perhaps because buyers have been reluctant to buy a car with a VW badge costing more than £40,000, especially one with a comparatively plain appearance. On the other hand, the excellence of the Phaeton's engineering has won widespread praise from motoring journalists and the car has a wider significance for the Volkswagen group than its sales volumes alone might suggest; Bentley's well-regarded Continental, for example, is a sister car that shares many under-the-skin parts with the Phaeton.

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