The online burst signifies VW's bid to differentiate its ad strategy from the television-centric approach of its competitors.
"The Phaeton has to be sold in a different way to the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S Class because the luxury sector is new to VW, and the model doesn't have the same brand heritage," Dave Bedwood, the creative director at Tribal DDB, said.
Running for seven weeks, the campaign will use five phases of creative, starting with non-branded executions, to intrigue web users. It will then build to visually explicit rich-media placements.
The creative uses images based on stars and galaxies and has taken its inspiration in part from the origins of the word Phaeton.
The campaign begins with the seeding of pulsating stars on key areas of websites including The Times, Classic FM, CNN Traveller and Auto Express.
Clicking on the stars provides information about the car. On the Classic FM site, the star highlights the Phaeton's sound system and acoustic capability.
The creative builds in complexity with a specialised banner extending to cover the whole web page. Video executions will also be used.
"We didn't want to sell the car by slapping users in the face with pop-ups," Bedwood said. "Everything the user does to find out more about the car is down to them interacting with the advertising."
Writing and art direction is by Dave Bedwood, Sam Bull and Robin Garms.
Media planning and buying is by Tribal DDB.
"The website was designed so consumers can explore everything from the glass factory in Dresden where it was made, to the molecules it is made out of," Marianne Nicholas, VW's relationship marketing manager, said.