This week I am driving the 2015 Volvo V60 T5 with the automaker’s new Drive E drivetrain. It’s a far cry from the sturm und drang of the S60 Polestar sedan I piloted earlier this month, but I like the wagon styling and practicality. I know it’s still too early to pass judgment, but I’m already missing the explosive all-wheel drive power and grip of the Polestar, along with its much better brakes. I’m curious to see how I’ll feel about the V60 – and its somewhat dated interior – by the end of my time with it without the Polestar’s torque to help paper over the vehicle’s weaker points.
I also saw this unicorn of a car today when I was at the Audi dealership dropping off the S3 – a Volkswagen Phaeton, one of the brand’s biggest marketing failures in North America. Everyone on this side of the Atlantic decided that if they were going to pay big money for a luxury sedan it was going to have an Audi badge, not a VW logo, on the trunk.
It’s too bad, really because it was a good car at the wrong price point (the sedan’s platform would later underpin Bentley offerings). In some ways, it’s the perfect example of VW’s hybrid during the mid-2000’s. Phaetons found some success in Europe and there’s rumors that the car could come back to our shores one day. I’ve only ever seen two in Montreal.