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Rebirth of the big-body Vee-dub: details emerge on 2018 Volkswagen Phaeton

Volkswagen is busily developing the second generation of the range-topping Phaeton sedan, and a new report give us a better idea of what to expect from it when it lands.

The next Phaeton will reportedly be available with a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain consisting of a V6 engine and a compact electric motor connected to a lithium-ion battery pack. The motor will be able to power the sedan on its own for short distances; when electricity runs out, the V6 will kick in and work with the motor to send over 400 horsepower to the drive wheels.

Buyers in Europe will have access to a 450-horsepower TDI turbodiesel V8 engine and a potent W12 mill, though trade journal Automotive News reports that neither engine has been confirmed for the United States.

Related: 400-horsepower Golf R

Volkswagen executives have previously hinted the second-gen Phaeton will ride on the MLB platform that will also be found under the replacements for the Audi A8, the Audi Q7 and the Volkswagen Touareg, among others. The Phaeton will be built using lightweight materials such as aluminum in order to drop as much weight as possible.

The current Phaeton (pictured in facelifted form) was axed in the United States after a little over 3,300 examples were sold during a three-year period, casting doubts over the nameplate’s future on our shores. Volkswagen has confirmed the second-gen model will be sold here but it is not expected to arrive until the 2018 model year at the very earliest.

When it lands, the next Volkswagen Phaeton will carry a base price of approximately $70,000.