It’s incredible to think that the seventh generation Rolls-Royce Phantom was unveiled way back in 2003. Even today the likes of the 7 Series still don’t quite possess the level of refinement, luxury, and status of Rolls-Royce’s flagship car. Imagine then, being tasked with creating its replacement…
On the face of it, it’s not too far removed from the outgoing car. As before, the enormous grille is matched only by the sheer size of the car itself. There are a few design tweaks to create slightly smoother lines but it’s unmistakably a Phantom. Peel away the bodywork, you’ll find RR’s new lightweight aluminium spaceframe.
We won’t linger too long on performance figures as really their irrelevant when it comes to the Phantom. The 6.75-Litre Twin-turbo V12 unit churns out 563bhp and 663 lb-ft. While those are fairly decent numbers you can’t help but feel that the engine is reined in. 0-62mph is a respectful 5.3 seconds and top speed is a more than adequate 155mph. The new Phantom is the latest car to receive a four wheel steering system but the emphasis here is on the high-speed stability, rather than the low-speed agility favoured by most cars that adopt such a system.
For those who have had the pleasure of driving in a Rolls-Royce phantom, you’ll know that noise was never exactly an issue. However, the of cabin noise has been bested by the 8th gen nevertheless. This time around, Rolls-Royce has stuffed 130kg of various sound proofing materials under the pristine leather. These efforts make the 2018 Phantom 10% quieter than the already almost eery silence of the outgoing version.
The average Phantom customer will spend over £100k toying with the interior, but it’s not exactly a Dacia to start with. It’s an exquisitely finished space that would make the queen think twice about touching anything. The slightly gimmicky but equally brilliant umbrella stored in the door remains as do the heaters that dry it.
The main change to the interior is the introduction of a 12.3-inch screen in the centre of the dash unlike no other. Rolls-Royce call it ‘The Gallery’ and its purpose is to be just that – “an area for Bespoke works of art and thereby multiply the personalisation potential for every owner of a New Phantom.”