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From the car connection

Volkswagen is testing a 600-hp Bentley-powered Phaeton, and sources tell us they are getting ready to launch the most powerful #147;people's car#148; in its history.

Bernd Pischetsrieder has rubber#8209;stamped plans for the Phaeton R, which could see it going head#8209;to#8209;head with the future Mercedes 612-hp S63 AMG. Volkswagen#146;s secret weapon will be under the hood: the Bentley Continental GT#146;s twin#8209;turbo 6.0#8209;liter W12 engine.

The W12 produces 552 hp in the two#8209;door Bentley. However, Volkswagen is hoping to liberate even more grunt in a bid to match the 6.0#8209;liter V-12 S#8209;Class, which could run the 0#8209;60 sprint in less than five seconds.

Nothing is yet official, but sources at VW#146;s Braunschweig engine development center hint that 600 hp is easily accessible through a moderate increase in turbocharger boost pressure.

This muscular prototype #150; spied undergoing driveline tests in the Alps #150; is testing the W12. Giant air ducts are needed up front to increase air flow to the intercooler and its associated plumbing.

The four#8209;wheel#8209;drive Phaeton will be the company's flagship racing model. The hot Phaeton will be badged R60. Expect a price tag of over $150,000 when and if the R60 reaches dealerships in the U.S.

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2001 Lexus RX300 Silversport
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