The V8 Phaeton uses Audi’s 4.2L V8 that can rev to 7,000 RPM. While an available W12 engine provided almost 100 more horsepower, it was more lethargic and subdued compared to the V8 (similar to the Audi A8’s 4.2L). The eager, rev-happy nature of the 4.2L arguably made it more fun to drive than the W12 model
The Phaeton was the brainchild of Ferdinand Piëch himself (chairman for VW at the time). While it was marketed as a more luxurious, less sporty option to the Audi A8 (to compete with the Mercedes S Class), Ferdinand Piëch had one simple goal with the Phaeton: design and construct the “Best Car Ever Built”
Piëch was so determined to make the Phaeton a reality that he authorized the spending of $1.13 billion (not a typo) to develop and perfect the car. The platform was shared with the Continental GT, and much of the electronics and infotainment system came straight from the Bentley as well
Piech enforced ten specific requirements for the Phaeton project, known internally as the “Ten Parameters”. These ten requirements were so daunting from a technical standpoint that, apparently, almost half of the engineering team quit the project and walked out
One parameter was that the Phaeton must be capable of maintaining 186 MPH all day at 120 degree weather while maintaining a cabin temperature of just under 72 degrees (!). In addition, both the hood and trunk lid had to withstand 190 MPH without a single vibration, which required special, highly expensive hinges
Serving as a testament to the Phaeton’s engineering and build quality is a torsional rigidity of 37,000 newton meters per degree – absolutely astonishing for a 2004 vehicle. In comparison, the same year Ferrari 360 Modena had a stiffness of only 23,000 nm per degree. Even the modern Ferrari 458 yields only 33,120 nm per degree
A substantial amount of development effort was put towards the climate control system, which was required to be 100% draft free. The system, known as Climatronic, features twenty-five servo motors and can control the temperature without direct air. Four-zone temperature control allows up to four passengers to each adjust the temperature individually to suit their needs. In addition, Climatronic uses sensors to monitor air humidity as well as the location of the sun at all times, allowing itself to maintain the correct temperature regardless of ambient conditions
All Phaetons were equipped with AWD as standard. The Haldex Torsen-based 4motion all-wheel drive system was one of the most advanced AWD systems in the world at the time
The Phaeton-exclusive Adaptive Air Suspension uses “Continuous Damping Control”, allowing the system to constantly adjust the dampening based on road conditions. It can even raise and lower the ride height based on vehicle speed and cargo load. It was also the first VW to use radar adaptive cruise control
All in all, there are over 100 features patented exclusively for the Phaeton
Key Model Year Changes:
2005 models are virtually unchanged from 2004
Minor changes didn’t occur until the final year, with 18in wheels now standard (vs 17″). Onstar is dropped, and the V12 gains 24 horsepower
Production lasted from 2004-2006 with very few changes
*SAE rated from factory. May not reflect current output.
*Performance numbers pulled from either the factory brochure or reputable automotive road tests.
*Base price when new does not reflect original MSRP of this particular car, nor does it reflect what the original owner paid for it.
*Advertised price at time of posting. Sellers can raise or lower prices on their original ad at any time. Click on the original ad to view current price/availability.
Mileage Disclaimer: NOC has not confirmed if the mileage stated by the seller is true and accurate. It is up to the buyer to verify these claims. Vehicle history reports, service records stating mileage, and even inspections of odometer tampering are recommended.