2004 VW Phaeton W12 Premier Edition
I always wanted to drive a W12 Phaeton.  I could never justify their cost.  I don't think anyone (in retrospect) could justify their cost.  I've been on the lookout on again off again for quite a few years since the Phaetons were introduced in 2004.  To kick off the introduction to the USA, VW produced and imported 330 "Premier Edition" Phaetons which came standard with every option available and at a nearly $20K discount from full MSRP (which meant only $88K).  This is one of those original 330 cars.  The Phaeton was VW's proof that they were a competitor in the Luxury Car market.  They are produced in a remarkable "Transparent Factory" in Dresden, Germany.  While the Phaeton is mildly successful in the rest of the world, VW's image as a practical Driver's car did not suit the Phaeton well (or vice-versa), and commercially they failed in the US, ultimately pulling out of this market in the 2006 model year.  That doesn't take away the fact that the Phaeton is a technical masterpiece, showcasing everything VW knew how to do well (and some things they didn't do so well) in once fantastic piece of machinery.  The list of Luxury options on these cars is quite large, and because of their lack of success selling in the USA, they can be found at a small fraction of what they once cost new.  A similarly equipped Phaeton in 2005 or 2006 would have had an MSRP north of $100K.  As a marketing gimmick, VW included a brown paper bag next to the window sticker of some Phaetons in order to help customers jokingly recover from hyperventilation due to the sticker shock experienced by seeing such an expensive VW.  This particular Phaeton has had 2 owners, and was actually featured with its original owner in "VW Driver" magazine in an article called "Phaeton Phoresome." Click here to go back.