The team at Everyday Driver is living a nightmare many of us are curious about, but not brave enough to try, owning a used VW Phaeton and Maserati Quattroporte. The vehicles were technological marvels in their time but today represent some of the most unreliable vehicles money can buy. To see what it’s really like to own these unique vehicles, Tod and Paul have a series of videos cataloging their experiences, and today they have a good one. Top speed runs in old luxury sedans on the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Upon its debut, the VW Phaeton was set to elevate the VW brand borrowing luxury trimmings and expertise from Audi and Bentley to construct a world-class luxury sedan. To elevate the Phaeton, VW added every feature possible making it a hopelessly complex car to maintain.
The Phaeton was the championed by VW Group chairman Ferdinand Piech who famously gave his engineers ten parameters to develop the Phaeton. Many of these parameters are not public knowledge but one example is the Phaeton must be able to drive for 24 hours at 186 mph (300 km/h ) with an outside temperature of 122 °F (50 °C) while having a passenger compartment cooled to 72 °F (22 °C). Today a used Phaeton is a bargain for the initial purchase price but will do its best to slowly bankrupt its owners.
Next, we have the Maserati Quattroporte, which was one of the most athletic sports sedans ever built. Powered by a naturally aspirated Ferrari V8, the Quattroporte was the Ferrari sedan of your dreams. To up the luxury of the Quattroporte, Maserati did their best to add a host of electronic features, that is Tod’s case no longer works and hinders the ownership experience.
Regardless of reliability issues, both of these sedans have impressive performance that we get to finally see on show at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Sure these cars have issues, but they worked great after multiple top speed runs so they’re not that unreliable.