Volkswagen Planning New Phaeton, Modern Microbus -- Which Should Come Here?

Volkswagen's future product portfolio could see the German automaker reviving two former vehicles in the U.S. market -- but which of those would be the best fit for America? According to Automotive News, Volkswagen is considering bringing the Phaeton ultra-luxury sedan back to the U.S., as well as a new three-row Bulli that's inspired by the original Volkswagen Microbus.

The Volkswagen Phaeton was previously sold here (that version is pictured below), but it didn't sell well and was discontinued in 2006. Part of the problem was a mismatch between the car's price tag and Volkswagen's street cred: customers were loath to pay Mercedes-Benz S-Class prices for a car with the VW badge. Sales of the Phaeton in America peaked at1939 units in 2004, before dropping to 820 in 2005 and just 235 in 2006.

AN says that Volkswagen will launch a new version of the Phaeton in Europe in 2015, and the car could come to the U.S. at an undetermined date. We have previously reported that the new luxury car will be built on a new architecture, potentially called MLM Evo and shared with Audi. It might be designed as a "five-door coupe" like Audi's A7 and Mercedes' CLS-Class, and is expected to have interior quality on par with Bentley cars. Expect four- and six-cylinder gasoline engines, plus a new hybrid drivetrain.

At the same time, AN confirms that Volkswagen is still planning to bring its Bulli people carrier to the U.S. Shown several times as a concept car (pictured), the Bulli is a modern-day interpretation of the classic Volkswagen Microbus. In 2011, a senior Volkswagen official told us he really wanted to sell the Bulli in the U.S. -- but at the time, such a move hadn't been approved. Now AN reports the Bulli will debut on our shores in 2014 or 2015. It would be a three-row model with a small four-cylinder gasoline or diesel engine. Previous concepts had predicted an all-electric Bulli, but those plans apparently have been scrapped.

Assuming all goes according to the plan laid out by AN, which future Volkswagen would you like to see sold in the U.S.? The glitzy Phaeton, the practical Bulli, neither, or both? Have your say in the comments section below.

Source: Automotive News

ZIGy3
Send the Bulli! Only price it to where the "Volks" can still afford it, pleaseā€¦
Eddie Mikell
All in for the Bulli. I hate our local Flow VW dealer, but I'll suck it up for one of those - especially if it has a camping package.
John A
Bulli!!!!!!!! Just, um, rename it please. I prefer MB2.
Innocent Bystander
Contrary to popular belief, the Bulli is NOT "a modern-day interpretation of the classic Volkswagen Microbus." It is too short, only seats four, and you cannot camp out of it. The original microbus, also known as a Transporter, was something that you could practically live out of if you wanted to. It was one of the first MULTI-purpose vehicles. This Bulli concept looks like it can only move two people back and forth from work with relative comfort because you'd have to use the back seats to carry anything more than a brief case. If you carry four people, you'd have no room for a cooler, camping gear, and It's way too short to carry a surf board or kayak on top with any stability. This thing is really nothing more than a Scion xB inspired micro-car for people with little more than an imagination to do something out of the ordinary. If you want the real thing you'd have to insist on something that has room for seven, can sleep four comfortable, and has a Westfailia factory conversion available as an option. Oh yeah, and the Phaeton is also a joke.
Netanya
Just bring The Cabrio back to the US!
John
Bring the Bulli and lose the Phaeton!
Pyngewer
I'll take a Bulli fitted with a camping package, the TDI from the jetta, be able to tow at least a jet ski, and get it for around 28K. The Phaeton should be sent to China where they can sell it. The Bulli is for the US who loved the original bus.
tom
Yeah, I'm not sure VW needs to be competing with MB, Audi, etc. A BETTER target might be the Toyota Avalon. I think there's room for a large car, but that old 70K price tag was ridiculous. Hyundai's Equus is about 10K cheaper than that, and benifits from unique marketing. At the very least, VW should aim for a price ceiling that considerable undercuts the premium brands.
Irene
I'll second the above.I wish VW would finally commit to the Bulli.Stringing us along since 2001 - this borders on mental anguish.If my DNA would not contain classic VW content, I would have walked a long time ago. Build it (already), and they will come. Irene
Stillwaiting
I'll take a 2014 Bulli for delivery in mid 2013. Diesel engine with 6 sp Manual trans. Please send the Phaeton elsewhere, we don't need it in the US (Let Audi handle the premium level perception). Thank you

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