The Volkswagen Phaeton is a full-size luxury sedan (F-segment in Europe) manufactured by the German automaker Volkswagen. It was presented at the 2002 Motor Show as the reference sedan of the marque. Its name comes from Phaeton the Brilliant, the son of the sun god Helios in Greek mythology, who was in charge of riding the solar chariot. It also takes its name from the Phaeton body of horse-drawn carriages.
The Phaeton was conceived by Ferdinand Piëch, CEO of VAG at the beginning of the century. His idea was to create a luxury Volkswagen, similar to what was happening in the Audi group or other competing German brands such as Mercedes or BMW. It is known that he gave a list of requirements to his engineers, although this list was never published. The sedan began its production in 2002 and entered the global market a year later. It was on sale until 2016. However, the model was withdrawn in 2006 in North America. The Phaeton was built on the Volkswagen Group D1 Platform, which is also used for the Audi A8 D4 and other luxury vehicles of the VAG Group. The Bentley Continental GT and the Bentley Continental Flying Spur are also built on this platform.
During its 14 years of life, the Phaeton had four generations. Even so, they are usually considered as restylings of the original model. There was also a default version and a ‘limousine’ or ‘l’ version, the Phaeton Lounge, which was introduced in 2005.
The Phaeton engines were quite a variety. The gasoline versions started with a 3.2-liter V6 —the famous Volkswagen VR6—. It was also marketed with a V8 engine and the mythical 6-liter W12. As for the diesel versions, it had two variants mainly: the 3-liter TDI and the 5-liter V10 TDI.
As expected, this sedan did not experience record sales. Important people like Gerhard Schröder, the German Chancellor, chose the Phaeton as his official car, but it was not enough to reach a wide market. In the United States and Canada, the Phaeton was a failure. It was much more successful in China, South Korea and Germany.
Among the Phaeton’s competitors are luxury sedans such as the BMW 7 Series, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the Jaguar XJ, the Lexus LS and its sibling, the Audi A8.
Volkswagen Phaeton. Timing Belt or Timing Chain?
Down below you will see a list with all the Volkswagen Phaeton models which have been produced so far. They are classified by model identifier, year and type of bodywork. Above each list, we show you a series of pictures so that you can have a visual reference for each model. In some cases, both the original and its updated design are displayed to help you identify them with ease.
In this guide you will find all the Volkswagen Phaeton models.
■ Timing Belt / Cam Belt (Correa / Faja de Distribución)
■ Timing Chain (Cadena de Distribución / Cadena de Tiempo)
■ Gear Driven (Distribución por Engranajes)
■ 100% Electric, No Timing (Sin Distribución)
■ Unknown / Not Updated (Información desconocida)
If a car model is specified in blue, it means its motor engine has a timing chain; that is, it has no timing belt. The rest of the vehicles marked in grey have a timing belt/cam belt.
Índice de Contenidos
Volkswagen Phaeton I y II – First and Second Generation (GP0 / GP1) (2002)
- BMK 3.0 V6 TDI 4Motion 224 CV (2004 – 2007)
- CARA 3.0 V6 TDI 4Motion 233 CV (2007 – 2008)
- CARB 3.0 V6 TDI 4Motion 240 CV (2008 – 2011)
- AJS 5.0 V10 TDI 4motion 313 CV (2002 – 2006)
- BKL 3.2 V6 241 CV (2002 – 2005)
- BRK 3.2 V6 4Motion 241 CV (2004 – 2008)
- CHNA 3.6 V6 4Motion 280 CV (2008 – 2011)
- BGJ 4.2 V8 4Motion 335 CV (2003 – 2006)
- BAP 6.0 W12 4Motion 420 CV (2002 – 2005)
- BTT 6.0 W12 4Motion 450 CV (2005 – 2011)
Volkswagen Phaeton III / IV – Third & Fourth Generation (GP3 / GP4) (2011, 2014)
- CARB 3.0 V6 TDI 4Motion 240 CV (2011 – 2016)
- CEXB 3.0 V6 TDI 4Motion 245 CV (2013 – 2016)
- CPFA 3.0 V6 250 CV (2012 – 2016)
- CHNA 3.6 V6 4Motion 280 CV (2011 – 2016)
- BTT 6.0 W12 4Motion 450 CV (2011 – 2016)