Has Volkswagen delayed its next S-Class-fighting Phaeton flagship for cost reasons?

Volkswagen Phaeton W12
Buyers impatiently waiting for the next generation of the Volkswagen Phaeton might need to give the company a little bit more time. Sources close to the Wolfsburg-based automaker have revealed that the flagship sedan has been delayed once again for cost reasons.

Volkswagen is working hard to boost its operating profit from approximately 2.7 percent of sales in the first half of this year to over six percent by 2018. The next Phaeton is said to cost nearly three times as much as a base-model Euro-spec Passat, which carries a base price of of 26,000 euros (roughly $30,000) in its home country of Germany. Although it will inevitably be a low-volume model, the Phaeton can potentially generate a good deal of profit for Volkswagen so making sure it’s affordable to build is a top priority.

Details about precisely what changes will be made to the Phaeton to make it less costly to build aren’t available yet. The limousine was the brainchild of former Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piëch, but now that the executive has been ousted designers and engineers are said to have a lot more freedom to modify the design inside, outside and under the skin.

The next Phaeton is still on track to make a return to the United States after a long hiatus. Buyers in Europe will reportedly have access to a 450-horsepower, twin-turbocharged diesel-burning V8 and a 6.0-liter W12 shared with the Bentley Bentayga, among others, but U.S.-spec models will exclusively be offered with 400-horsepower gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain made up of a V6 engine and a compact electric motor.

The same sources say that the Phaeton was essentially ready for production before the delay, which seemingly indicates a debut is imminent. We won’t see it next month in Frankfurt, but it could be shown in the metal for the first time either next January at the Detroit Motor Show or the following March at the Geneva Motor Show.

Computing

Canada’s winters inspired a startup to warm homes with cryptomining heat waste

Cryptomining may be the key to untold riches and the future of currency, but it’s also an environmental nightmare. Heatmine, thinks it has the answer, but it could mean bolting a mining rig onto every home and business in the country.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Cars

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.
Cars

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.
Cars

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.
Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Cars

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.
Cars

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Cars

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.
Cars

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.
Cars

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.