A successful CEO may be driven around in something like a Mercedes S-Class, but some people are lucky enough to reach a stage in their life where money is no longer an object and nothing is out of reach. The car for them, then, has always been the Rolls-Royce Phantom. Since 1925 in fact.
Having undergone some serious updates in its 92-year history, you would be forgiven for thinking that Rolls has pulled out all the stops and redesigned the whole car top to bottom. Well, I suppose they have, but not as they have in the past. In fact to the untrained eye, this new 8th generation doesn’t appear to have changed all that much.
A brand new architecture allows for more liberal use of aluminium which in turn increases stiﬀness as well as reduces weight. Nevertheless, the new Phantom has actually gained 75 kg giving it a total kerb weight of 2,625 kg. Rolls aimed to improve sophistication and quality where we thought it wouldn’t even be possible.
For example it is claimed that at 62 mph the Phantom is 10% quieter than its predecessor thanks to 6 mm double glazing all round and over 130 kg of sound insulation material (a little under the weight of 2 adults).
Where the 7th generation was powered by a naturally aspirated 6.75-litre V12, the engineers decided it ﬁtting to improve fuel economy as well as sophistication.
They also said it had to be a V12 for the shear elegance, so the only other route would be turbocharging. A brand new twinturbo unit of exactly the same displacement produces 563 hp, but the most astonishing is the 900 Nm of torque that’s available from a very low 1,700 rpm. Of course, Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT) and the highly renowned 8-speed ZF automatic are put to good use too.
All the latest safety kit and technology have been thrown into the Phantom by BMW as if it were a showcase of all that is good, including night vision because headlights are so last year… Inside, a glass fascia on the dashboard will allow owners to display a specially commissioned piece of artwork, taking personalising your car to a whole new level.
There’s very little in terms of detail for the launch of the 8th generation Phantom, but we know it’s coming next year for a price that’s creeping towards the half-a-million mark, and will later be followed by the brand’s ﬁrst try at the SUV market with the currently named ‘Cullinan’.