The Rolls-Royce Phantom (2017) is the epitome of luxury
People talk about exceptional items being the ‘Rolls-Royce of watches’, the ‘Rolls-Royce of apartments’, even the ‘Rolls-Royce of brunches’ if you pay heed to Dubai’s more hype-inclined marketing.
In the case of the new Rolls-Royce Phantom, the manufacturer’s claim that it’s the best car in the world may be pretty much spot on, though. From the moment the doors click softly behind you, it’s clear that this is an exceptional motor.
In its eighth edition, the new Phantom even comes with a built-in customisable art gallery for the mogul who wants that extra bit of personalisation in his ‘magic carpet’ ride.
Designed for the individual who has achieved the pinnacle of success in life, Phantom ownership signifies that you are king of the hill, top of the heap, A-number-one, top of the list… as Sinatra’s lyrics go. And he owned a Roller, so he should know.
This is a car that confirms its owner’s status in every gleaming, perfectly crafted inch of the body, a body that has been built around an all-new aluminium spaceframe that’s 30 percent more rigid than its predecessor.
The spaceframe is special in itself, as it represents a new approach in design that will underpin all future Rolls-Royces. It will, for example, form the foundation for the hotly anticipated Cullinan SUV that launches in 2018.
The last Phantom was released 14 years ago in 2003 and was the 7th in a line going back to the first model designed by Henry Royce in 1925. Then, as now, it was the motor of choice for royalty, screen stars and world leaders.
Though Rolls-Royce is famously discreet about its current customers, previous Phantom owners have included Her Majesty the Queen of England, John Lennon and Fred Astaire.
For those at the top, a moment of quiet is truly precious and the Phantom achieves the distinction of being the world’s quietest car thanks to an array of technologically advanced insulation-enhancing features.
Amongst these is 6mm, two-layer glazing throughout the car, more than 130kg of sound insulation, and tires with inbuilt foam layers, reducing road noise to a bare minimum.
And though its magnificent 6.75-litre V12 engine with twin turbo chargers that deliver a low-end torque output of 900Nm at an impressively low 1,700rpm can dish out that adrenaline-spiking surge, the Phantom is a car that is best enjoyed at a regal pace more befitting an arriving monarch than getaway driver.
When you can afford everything, the experience of driving (and more often than not, being driven) in a Roller delivers offers an opportunity to be delighted. The Phantom is testament to excellence at every step, right from the moment you settle yourself into an interior so luxurious that it richly deserves its moniker: ‘the suite’. Even Jeeves gets a taste of A-list effortlessness thanks to a sensor that requires only the lightest touch to click the doors smoothly into place.
"Phantom is the epitome of effortless style and conjures a rare magic all of its own. New Phantom raises a glass to an illustrious design legacy whilst forging a modern and revitalised presence for the next era of Royce-Royce design,” says Giles Taylor, Rolls-Royce’s Design Director and the man instrumental for overseeing the look and feel of the new Phantom, that’s unmistakably Rolls-Royce, but also compellingly new in its sleek, powerful style.
With its distinctive grille incorporated into the surrounding bodywork for the first time, the body flows with lines that give it a real sense of commanding elegance.
Hand-polished stainless steel handles further underpin the impression of exquisite luxury – the pleasure of grasping these the perfect presentiment to entering the ‘suite’. Inside, both passenger and driver are cocooned inside the embrace of the ‘world’s leading luxury item’, surrounded by precious and contemporary materials.
Beautifully ergonomic seats that can be reclined and adjusted at the touch of a button offer matchless comfort, while polished wood panelling that can be commissioned for the door interiors, centre consoles, dashboard and picnic tables delivers a further layer of beauty.
Personalisation has of course become a defining trend in luxury, and the Phantom takes this to the next level, with the introduction of your own in-car gallery, a space that runs the length of the dashboard encased behind a panel of toughened glass.
Here, you can commission a work of art that defines your personal taste, choosing from an array of contemporary artists and designers, who will produce a one-of-a-kind artwork. It’s the exact opposite of a one-size fits all approach to manufacturing and confirms what Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars describes as the “architecture of luxury.” He explains: “Each one of our customers is a connoisseur of luxury in the extreme – were asking for something more individual to them, not less. We were adamant that that was what they should have.”