Phaeton redux? VW reportedly plans large electric sedan to challenge Tesla Model S

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Volkswagen Group last week announced plans for a new electric vehicle for its Volkswagen brand to be built using highly automated production methods that are still in development.

The automaker said it established a skunkworks team to develop the new production methods, which will initially be introduced at a plant in Wolfsburg, Germany. The plant, located on the same site as VW Group’s headquarters, is currently the exclusive home of VW Golf production.

Citing an anonymous source, Automotive News (subscription required) reported over the weekend that the mystery EV will be a large sedan to challenge the Tesla Model S.

This isn’t the production version of the ID.Vizzion sedan concept (shown below) that VW will put into production at a plant in Emden, Germany, in 2023. The production ID.Vizzion, code-named Aero-B, is expected to replace the Arteon which is currently in production at the Emden plant. Sedan and wagon body styles are planned for the Aero-B, and we could see both reach the United States.

Volkswagen ID Vizzion Concept

The mystery EV is to be another new addition serving as a technological flagship for the VW brand, a bit like the ill-fated Phaeton VW finally phased out in early 2016. At the time, VW said a new Phaeton with a battery-electric powertrain was in the planning, so perhaps this is that car.

According to Automotive News‘ source, the mystery EV will be based on VW Group’s MEB modular platform designed for mainstream EVs, albeit an updated version. This way it won’t step on the toes of the so-called Landjet EVs for Audi, Bentley and Porsche being developed on VW Group’s more advanced PPE platform.

It’s still early days as things like the development budget and targeted volumes are still being discussed, according to the source. However, a launch before 2025 is possible. Bernd Osterloh, who represents VW Group employees, in September called for production of an EV to be added to the Wolfsburg plant by the middle of the decade.

Stay tuned.

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Saurabh Shukla

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