Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has officially unveiled the 8th generation of the Phantom ultra-luxury sedan. Being in production since 1925, the nameplate is celebrating its 92nd anniversary today, the longest running nameplate in history.
For 92 years, it has defined what it means to be transported in luxury, and this new model is no exception to that. It debuts Rolls-Royce’s new aluminum intensive “Architecture of Luxury”. As with all other companies nowadays, this is a new, scalable architecture that will underpin all future Rolls-Royce vehicles, including its Project Cullinan future SUV. This architecture has made the Phantom 30% stiffer than its predecessor, enhancing the car’s ride and handling qualities.
Outside, the Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII is an evolution of the VII model. Designers installed a taller stainless steel grille, now shaped together with the car’s body, giving it a cleaner, sleeker look than the grille before it. The Spirit Of Ecstasy hood ornament is still retractable, and sits over an inch higher than before, as the grille of this new Rolls-Royce is taller than its predecessor’s. Flanking the grille are what Rolls-Royce claims to be the “most advanced headlights in the world”. These are lasers, wrapped in LED daytime running lights, and is said to produce a beam of as much as 600 meters away. Moving away from the front, there is now a stainless steel garnish that flows from the grille, around the hood, and up the windshield. Round the back, and the rear C-pillar now flows towards the trunk, and the window surrounds of this car feature “the largest single-piece of hand-polished stainless steel on any motor car”.
Inside, it also looks like an evolution from the previous generation, but Rolls-Royce has gone all out in this interior to further elevate the level of luxury in this car. There are all-new seats, with the front seats having a “sweep of wood paneling across the back”, inspired from the famous Eames Lounge Chair of 1956, whatever that is. The wood isn’t there for show only, as it stores the electronically retractable rear screens and tables. New to this generation are different rear seat options, including an “intimate lounge seat, individual seats with an occasional armrest, individual seats with fixed center console, and the newly introduced sleeping seat.”
Up front, the drivers are greeted to a 12.3 inch TFT LCD screen that replaces the traditional gauges, including a 10.1 inch screen on the side for the BMW iDrive-based infotainment system, which is hidden by default under the decorative wood panelling.
These instruments are all covered by a single piece of glass, and when the infotainment screen is closed, the whole front of the car looks like a three-dimensional piece of solid art framed by a piano black wood veneer and encased in glass. A very nice and elegant touch indeed, Rolls-Royce.
As with every Rolls-Royce, your imagination’s the limit, or perhaps maybe the Rolls-Royce engineer’s capabilities are your limit, as Rolls-Royces are all very bespoke. There was even a time before when a Phantom customer requested Rolls-Royce to use the tree in his garden for the car’s interior wood panelling.
The interior receives well over 200 kg’s worth of sound insulation, enabling this Phantom VIII to be 10% quieter than the Phantom VII. Combined with sound insulating, foam filled tires, the Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII easily proclaims the title of having the quietest interior ever.
The Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII is powered by an all-new 6.75 liter twin turbo V12 engine, producing 563 hp and and 900 Nm of torque, enough to propel this heavy beast from 0-100 kph in around 5 seconds. It is mated to a GPS-guided 8-Speed Automatic Transmission, because why not? You’re in a Rolls-Royce. Why the need to manually shift the car? The car’s computer is smart enough to do the job anyway, as it’s hooked to the satellite, right?
Further enhancing the Phantom’s trademark magic carpet ride is its self-levelling air suspension. Calculations are made every second and reacts to steering, acceleration, and camera inputs. The car also has a new double-wishbone front axle and a five-link rear axle which helps to deliver improved handling and ride comfort.
The Phantom is also going to be the most technological Rolls-Royce Phantom ever, which in the first place isn’t even a hard feat to achieve, as this will be the first time the Rolls-Royce Phantom will receive electronic driver aids such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, 360 degree surround view cameras, and a color heads up display, features a P1.8 million Ford Everest Titanium+ 2.2 even has. It’s a Rolls-Royce, so its high tech driver aids are never its highlight anyway.