Marketing, history, and public perception have led to an automotive caste system that frowns both on moves downmarket and on rapid moves upmarket. Buying brands of a higher caste can elevate a carmaker but not necessarily a brand. So, despite owning and developing Bentley, Volkswagen will find it difficult to sell luxury products under its own name. That is a shame for the Phaeton, because this is a luxury sedan that, with different styling, could comfortably wear a Bentley badge.
U.S.-market Phaetons come only in long-wheelbase form and with all-wheel drive. Engine choices are a 335-horsepower V-8 and a 414-horsepower, normally aspirated version of the W-12 found in the $150,000 Bentley Continental... Read full article