VW Brand to Add New Fastback Model Above Passat in Recovery Pushby
Car follows VW’s Sport Coupe Concept GTE shown 2015 in Geneva
VW introduced upscale Phideon sedan in China this summer
Volkswagen AG’s namesake car brand plans a four-door fastback model more expensive than its mid-sized Passat but cheaper than the Phaeton luxury sedan that it axed last year, pushing further to revive profit and rebound from its diesel-emissions scandal.
The addition to VW’s line-up will be inspired by the Sport Coupe Concept GTE unveiled at the Geneva auto show in 2015, and is set to roll out as early as next year, a spokesman for the German company said by phone. The model, which features a roof sloping toward the back, will be targeted at European as well as overseas markets including the U.S., he said.
The step underscores VW’s efforts to overhaul its product range that the company accelerated in the wake of its emissions-cheating scandal. Adding a fastback model above the Passat marks a fresh attempt to lure buyers of upscale vehicles in a lucrative market segment. Even so, with the discontinuation of the ill-fated 70,000-euro ($78,000) Phaeton sedan, the VW brand will no longer try to take on luxury nameplates like Mercedes-Benz or BMW.
The new car will follow the introduction earlier this year of VW’s Phideon sedan in China. That model costs about 50,000 euros, is manufactured locally and specifically targets buyers in the German marque’s largest single market.