The Phaeton is a very perplexing car. It was established as a plan to produce a no-expense spared, world-beating luxury car – and, in many ways at the time, it was world beating. It offered similar luxury and performance to the established German standards – Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class and BMW’s 7-series, but also challenged stable-mate Audi’s A8. Yet it was available on a more Volkswagen budget – at least, in theory. That’s because if you walked into a Volkswagen dealer in the mid 2000s and wanted a basically optioned model, you’d be out about $75,000. For reference, that’s about three times what my expensive-for-the-category Passat cost in 2002. And the big problem with that was how the Phaeton looked, because a bulk of the population wouldn’t be able to tell the two apart.
But that wasn’t the point about the Phaeton. Nor was it that you could get the lighter, aluminum version of what appeared to be the same car from more upscale Audi that would arguably attract much more attention for not much more money. And it was this exact confusion that befuddled the market; why would you ever pay $75,000 for a Volkswagen? The trick came in realizing what you were getting, which actually shared little architecture with the Audi corporate partner. Park a Phaeton next to an A8 and you’d swear they were just about the same car with light badging changes, but you couldn’t be more wrong.
Although the model shared components with the D3 A8, it also shared much more architecture with other side of VAG’s portfolio – the Bentley Flying Spur and Continental. This meant a steel chassis rather than the aluminum space frame, and that meant more weight – a lot more weight. To mitigate this, Volkswagen upped the power slightly over the A8’s V8 to 335 and dropped its axle ratio to 3.65:1.…
The “Honorable Mention” post from last week seemed to be a popular choice, so I’m back this week with another selection of cars we didn’t get a chance to get to. We’ve got one from each major manufacturer this time around which makes for an interesting and diverse group. Which is the one that deserved a better look this time around?
At first glance, you’d be excused thinking that the Volkswagen Phaeton and Audi A8 were the same car underneath. Especially when it came to the D3 chassis, the Audi and Volkswagen shared many styling cues, as well as engines and transmissions. However, the Volkswagen is actually quite different underneath – instead of the typical platform sharing that occurred between Volkswagen and Audi, VAG instead turned towards their upscale brands for the Phaeton. That’s right, underneath the Phaeton is a budget Bentley. You can tell the difference when you step inside, too – back when these were new, a Phaeton showed up at a Winter Driving School I was instructing at. I hopped in the passenger side and shut the door; the sound was a unique sound of sealing the rest of the world out. All of the sudden I swear I could hear my heart beating. It was eerily quiet, as if I had entered a sound booth. It was also eerily competent on the snow and ice in spite of the over 5,000 lb. curb weight. That’s a few hundred pounds north of the Audi A8 even in “L” guise, and it wouldn’t surprise me if 300 lbs of that difference is noise deadening. A generation on, you’re now able to get into a Phaeton or its cousin the Audi A8L for about the same price. Which would you choose?
Maybe you’re lucky, and it’s sunny and warm where you’re reading this. Or, perhaps you’re stuck under a rock – or in the case of Buffalo, several feet of snow. But like it or not, winter is upon us a bit early this year, and if you are in Buffalo you probably need some sort of snow-cat to get to the local store. Hopefully, that’s not the case for most of you but I wondered what sort of all-wheel drive car you could get on a $10,000 budget. As it turns out, you might be able to get a little more than you expected – so here’s a few offerings from the different manufacturers, starting with the folks that started it all:
The Volkswagen Phaeton has been, since introduction, quite an intriguing car. Generally passed off by those out of the know as a rebadged A8, every time I see one I’m blown away that Volkswagen pulled the project off. Despite what the American enthusiasts think, the exclusive executive sedan has been very popular in Europe and specifically Germany – where it’s much more in vogue to fly a little lower on the radar. Fly low the Phaeteon does; for many, at first glance it doesn’t look much different than the B5.5 Passat, and many of the styling cues were incorporated into the B6 Passat sedan. Couple that with a general resemblance to the D2 Audi A8, and not many notice this serene Volkswagen shuttling its passengers in near silence. I say near silence, since the only noise you hear inside is the slightly slower beating of your heart and heavy breaths as you soak in the luxury. They’re disturbingly quiet inside, thanks in no small part to extra thick glass and soundproofing. Every conceivable option available in the Volkswagen catalog was thrown at these cars, including the top-spec W12 motor. Shared with the Audi A8, Bentley Continental GT and Flying Spur, the W12 is a monster of power – easily capable of propelling the very important people riding along with you quite close to 200 m.p.h. when deregulated. This is especially shocking given the Phaeteon’s weight – a staggering 500 lbs heavier than the Audi A8 you’d presume was the same car, the Volkswagen was simply in another weight class and quite different than the D2/3 chassis. Yet, despite the exotic Bentley stablemates that share many components and the D1 platform, today you can pick up one of these expensive cars that were a bit of a sales flop at a substantial discount:
In the last month or so, I wrote up three different V8 quattros that were all Pearlesant White Metallic 3.6s, all in great condition. One of those cars has popped back up on Ebay with a substantially lowered Buy It Now price. At under $5,000, will this V8 Quattro make your Christmas white? I sure wouldn’t mind finding it under the tree this year!
Talk about rare; I know Audis pretty well and have owned quite a few, but I’ve never even heard of this Austrian rear spoiler from Foha. Perhaps one of our eagle-eyed readers can help with some history or more information? Regardless, it’s a cool, rare new old stock piece that can help finish off your Type 44 or D1 Audi with a unique look:
Model: 5000, 100, 200, V8
Price: $399 Buy It Now
Very hard to get in the US
This is a NOS original aftermarket trunk lid spoiler from FOHA (AUSTRIA) that fits AUDI 5000 sedan. These is a original FOHA made part in high AUSTRIAN quality. The main spoiler will be installed on the top of the rear trunk and the two parts on both sides. It is original black, can be painted in every other color. It is in a great shape! No cranks and damages. Do not miss the chance to get a real unique EURO look for your car. All parts are new and in a mint condition.
What you see in the pictures, you will get! All original pictures, no relisting!
Do not miss that chance to get a very rare german part for your AUDI! Shipping and handling is $65 with airmail to the US
It’s not cheap, it won’t be easy to get on, but you’re not likely to see another – perhaps ever. Want that last detail on your 5000, 100 or 200 sedan? Here you go!
Ripped straight from the “Are you kidding me?” pages comes the third low mile mint condition Pearlesant White Metallic Audi 3.6 V8 Quattro we’ve featured in a short time period. Normally it’s tough to find these cars in any condition, nevermind in excellent survivor status. But first, we had the V8 week 1990 V8 Quattro that sported some aftermarket BBS wheels and a high pricetag. That was followed by last week’s 1991 V8 Quattro, a car in great shape with a much more appealing sub-$6,000 pricetag that still remains available. Now, check the sky for lightning because here’s number three – a well preserved 1990 model:
Model: V8 Quattro
Engine: 3.6 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 89,670 mi
Price: Reserve Auction
Well, it might be one of the handful of really good ones that are there.
I am selling my 1990 Audi V8 Quattro. This is the third one of these cars that I have owned since 1991 and by far the best example. I bought this car from a Pennsylvania specialty dealer in 2008 after searching for the right car for more than a year. The cars can be quite addictive I have found! This example had 62,000 miles on it when I bought it. I picked up the car in Pittsburgh using my company’s truck with auto transporter and took it immediately to my mechanic. A complete timing belt service was performed as well as other maintenance items that were needed to make the car as near to 100 percent as possible. My wife and I used this car for several lengthy motor trips but we have moved to an old farmhouse in our retirement and simply no longer use this car, preferring my wife’s station wagon for all our normal driving.
If you read my last V8 quattro post during V8 week, you’d understand the love/hate relationship I have with the V8 Quattro. It’s been nearly a decade on from parting company with my 1994 4.2 V8, and while it’s true we didn’t always have the best relationship it’s the car that I miss the most out of those I’ve owned. Every time that one comes up for sale I ponder how much it would take to get it into nice condition; and then, every once in a while, a nice one pops up! Such was the case with the 1990 I wrote up for V8 week, and while that car was probably overpriced (and is still for sale), today it’s 1991 twin has come up for sale at a more reasonable price. In period correct and perfect Pearlesant Metallic over grey Connolly leather comfort seats – pretty much the only optional extras available on the V8 – today’s example is taunting me:
Model: V8 Quattro
Engine: 3.6 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 106,000 mi
Price: $5,900 Buy It Now
We at Windy City Motorsports are very pleased to offer for sale this super clean 1991 Audi V8 Quattro luxury sedan.
***Very Hard To Find
***3.6L V8 Powerplant
***Legendary Audi Quattro All Wheel Drive System
***Rust Free West Coast Car
***Beautiful Pearl White Exterior
***Non-Smoker Gray Leather Cabin
***Original BBS Mesh Wheels
***Eclipse Detachable Face CD Player W/Ipod & USB Inputs
***Heated Leather Seats
***Carfax Certified Vehicle!
*******Free Nationwide Shipping & Rear View Camera System Are Included In The BUY IT NOW Price!
***Facetime Or Tango Users Please Contact Us For A “Virtual Walk-Around”
***Financing Is Available For all Types Of Credit
***Inexpensive Nationwide / Worldwide Delivery Is Our Specialty!
The Audi V8 quattro; where do I begin? Few cars that I’ve owned have cost me as much, caught fire, had the throttle stick open, had all of the window lower and sunroof open in a rain storm, were in the shop more for fixes, suffered brake failure, suffered power steering failure, and randomly filled with water. But, few cars that I’ve owned have generated as many smiles and kept me wanting more. Call it masochism if you’d like, but I really enjoyed my V8 quattro (especially in hindsight). This was the car that revolutionized the large executive sedan market and set the blueprint not only for most larger future Audis, but even those of its’ competitors. It was also (arguably, but in my mind) the best looking and last hurrah of the Type 44 platform. Headlights, hood, grill, bumpers, flares and lower sills left the V8 looking decidedly more aggressive than the 200 had been, but also more modern.
To match those looks, Audi built an all-aluminum 4-cam high revving V8, coupled to the company’s first automatic capable of working with the quattro drive train. Utilizing a multi-clutch center differential and a Torsen rear differential, the V8 was surprisingly less nose heavy than the 200 had been which resulted in out of the box better handling, especially at higher speeds. Audi was even able to utilize these cars in shockingly stock form (minus some trick cranks) to win the DTM Championship against the venerable M3s and 190E 16V Cosworths. The car underwent several changes in it’s short lifespan, gaining a manual option in the U.S. in 1991 only and new colors, climate control and greater displacement in 1992. It wasn’t enough to save the V8 from Audi’s woes in the U.S., though, and by 1994 less than 100 V8 quattros were imported, leaving it a rare site on the roads then and even more rare today.…