Rolls-Royce has unveiled its stunning new Phantom VIII (eighth-generation), the flagship of the British luxury brand. Originally launched in 1925, the Phantom is one of the longest-running, most prestigious, automobile nameplates in the world and one of the most recognizable.
This new Phantom is dripping with luxury, rich materials, a sharper design, better technology and an all-new beast of an engine. Rolls-Royce Chief Executive Torsten Müller-Ötvös called the eighth-generation vehicle an icon, an artwork, “a dominant symbol of wealth and human achievement” — a car fit for “a connoisseur of luxury in the extreme.” The revamped Phantom will cost 375,000-euro ($450,000).
The new, eighth-generation Rolls Royce Phantom isn’t very different looking than the car it replaces. Why? The Phantom has such a history and the current seventh-generation Phantom is so beloved by its buyers that dramatically changing it would be a bad idea.
From the outside, the new Phantom is everything a Phantom should be. It’s massive, imposing and obscenely luxurious.
There are some new touches on the exterior, notably the front grille, which is raised higher than previous generations of the Phantom. The grille has also been integrated into the bodywork, which Rolls-Royce says produces a cleaner look. Its headlights are new, slimmer and set deeper in the front end. They’re also ringed in LED daytime lighting. Most impressive are the laser lights that are housed inside the modern looking LEDs. Rolls Royce claims these laser lights can cast light 600 meters down the road.
From the side, the new Phantom gained only subtle differences. The wheel arches are more subtle and less pronounced than on the previous-gen car and they give the new car a more streamlined look. Its door handles are also placed quite a bit lower than before.
From the rear, the new taillights are more vertical, slimmer and far more high-tech looking. Its outer edges are rimmed in LEDs and they look smoother than before. The whole rear end also swoops down from the C-pillar more gracefully.
The cabin design, overall, is largely unchanged. However, you’ll notice it’s been updated everywhere with better materials, more interesting trim choices and better technology. The infotainment system has been updated to BMW Group’s latest system but with Rolls’ own specific graphics. The gauges themselves also look much better and more modern.
The dashboard layout and design in the new Phantom is simply stunning. The woodwork, clay work and aluminium work in the Phantom are unparalleled in the industry.
Rear seat space is enormous and incredibly opulent. The front seatbacks are finished in beautiful wood, a throwback to Eames Lounge Chairs of the 1950’s. Built into that wood, there lies the tray tables and rear seat monitors that with a push of a button electrically opens and presents the Rear Theatre Monitors.
Another cool feature is the HVAC controls for the rear passengers that are now on the rear armrests. So each rear passengers can tailor the temperature and fan speed individually, without having to reach at all.
Under that massive hood and imposing grille lies an entirely new 6.75 litre V12 with two turbochargers bolted to it. According to Rolls, it is 10 percent quieter than its predecessor. This comes thanks to sound-absorbing materials layered inside the headliner, trunk, and doors. Also, massive cast aluminium joints in the body of the car cut noise; double skin alloy laid on areas within the floor and bulkhead of the frame of the car; and special “silent-seal” tires that have foam inside to minimize road noise.
There’s also quite a lot of safety tech underneath. The new Rolls Royce Phantom comes with Alertness Assistant, a 4 camera system with Panoramic View, all-round visibility including helicopter view, Night Vision and Vision Assist, Active Cruise Control, collision warning, pedestrian warning, cross-traffic warning, lane departure and lane change warning, an industry leading 7×3 High-resolution head-up display, WiFi hotspot, and of course the latest navigation and entertainment systems.
There’s no limit on how many Phantom VIIIs will be made, though Rolls-Royce produces few cars annually to remain exclusive.