Volkswagen AG, the company long synonymous with the inexpensive Beetle, on Jan. 14 put a $94,600 price tag on ultraluxury versions of its Phaeton sedan in the United States -- making it the highest-priced VW ever, according to a Reuters report. Europe's largest carmaker began selling a 335-hp V-8 version of the Phaeton last November at a price of $64,600. The 420-hp, 12-cylinder model, which VW touts as "the ultimate flagship of the Volkswagen brand," has only recently become available to U.S. car buyers, Reuters noted. At a base price of nearly $95,000, the Phaeton W12 is the most expensive VW ever, Volkswagen's U.S. subsidiary acknowledged in a press release. Even so, it added, the model was also "the most affordable 12-cylinder vehicle on sale in the U.S. market." Its closest competitors include the BMW 760Li, which starts at about $116,000, and the Mercedes S600, priced from $122,000, according to Reuters. The 2004 New Beetle from VW -- while not exactly the "people's car" the company took its name from -- has a 115-hp engine and a base price with a five-speed manual transmission of $16,330 in the U.S. market.