Rolls-Royce’s new Phantom VIII features contemporary design, a bespoke art gallery, a new aluminium spaceframe that delivers an even smoother ride, and a suite that redefines Rolls-Royce comfort and refinement inside.
Unveiled to the world last week, the car also features a new V12 engine and is said to be the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce ever.
It is expected to cost close to half a million dollars.
“From its debut in 1925, a Rolls-Royce Phantom has been the choice of the world’s most influential and powerful men and women, and as a result, a constant presence at history’s most defining moments.
As this next chapter in the Rolls-Royce story opens, the New Phantom points the way forward for the global luxury industry. It is a creation of great beauty and power, a dominant symbol of wealth and human achievement. It is an icon and an artwork that embraces the personal desires of each of our individual customers,” says Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
In designing the new car, Rolls Royce said the future of true luxury lies in small-volume manufacture of a dedicated “architecture of luxury”.
The all-aluminium spaceframe architecture will underpin every future Rolls-Royce beginning with the New Phantom. As such, no future Rolls-Royce will be of monocoque construction.
It has been designed and engineered from the ground up in such a way as to be scalable to the size and weight requirements of different future Rolls-Royce models, including those with different propulsion, traction and control systems, thus underpinning the long-term future product roadmap.
Approximately 30 per cent more rigid than the spaceframe architecture on which sat Phantom VII, the new architecture is at the heart of how the next generation of Rolls-Royces delivers the Rolls-Royce experience in terms of ride comfort, acoustic comfort, seat comfort, exterior presence and interior space.
Accompanying the increased stiffness of the spaceframe is a best-in-class high comfort chassis with air suspension and state-of-the-art chassis control systems, delivering peerless 'effortless' ride and handling and optimal vibration comfort performance.
Rolls-Royce’s celebrated Magic Carpet Ride also improves as a result of the new lighter architecture, and the latest generation of self-levelling air suspension.
THE MOST SILENT CAR IN THE WORLD
No effort was spared to create ‘the most silent motor car in the world’ including 6-mm two-layer glazing all around the car, more than 130 kg of sound insulation, use of high absorption materials and double skin alloy on areas within the floor and bulkhead of the spaceframe
In addition, high absorption layers within the headliner, in the doors and in the boot cavity have further aided insulation and reduced reverberation.
Rolls-Royce also worked closely with its tyre supplier to invent ‘Silent-Seal' tyres – which feature a foam layer placed inside the tyre to wipe out tyre cavity noise and reduce overall tyre noise by 9db.
THE V12 REINVENTED
A completely new, 6.75-litre V12 powertrain has been engineered for New Phantom, in place of the previous naturally aspirated V12 engine.
The new V12 engine employs two turbo chargers that contribute to a low-end torque output of 900Nm at an incredibly low 1,700rpm whilst also delivering 563bhp or 420kW of power. The addition of Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT), married to a ZF 8-Speed gearbox also ensures that the driver is prepared for whatever the road has in store for them.
The electronic architecture of car is the largest ever component produced by the BMW Group, helping to make New Phantom the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce ever.
Assistance systems on-board include: 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 7x3 high-resolution head-up display, wi-fi hotspot, and of course the latest navigation and entertainment systems.
Thanks to the new architecture and engineering processes, the precision body joining process ensures there are few visible join lines between body panels, giving the Phantom VIII the appearance of being hewn from a solid block of aluminium.
The grille is for the first time integrated into the surrounding bodywork. A new headlamp graphic with frosted internals accommodates a ring of daytime driving lights and a laserlight system that at night casts light well over 600 m down the road.
The grille itself is created from hand-polished stainless steel.
From the side, New Phantom has the iconic 2:1 proportions that have endeared so many to every generation of Phantom, featuring a short front and long rear overhang, an upright front and a flowing rear.
The largest single-piece of hand-polished stainless steel is the side frame finisher of the car. It accentuates the elegant stance of the car and preserves the wide C-pillar for privacy, while allowing the eye to transition easily to the rear. Furthermore, a single polished stainless steel strip is placed on the sill of the Phantom Extended Wheelbase to differentiate it.
The back of the car evokes the beautiful flowing rears of the 1950’s and 1960’s Phantoms while the 22-inch wheels, shod in Rolls-Royce’s Seal Technology tyres delivers a ‘magic carpet ride’ never experienced in a Rolls-Royce before, the UK carmaker says.
The New Phantom’s coach doors stand open. The only choice is whether one drives or is driven. As the patron settles into the car, an assistant or valet steps forward and touches the sensor on the door handle. The door automatically whispers closesd of its own accord, enveloping the occupant in ‘The Embrace’ of the car.
From one’s position on beautifully enhanced rear seats, the occupant is borne along in near-silence as if on a pillow of air.
The new car has the largest Starlight headliner ever seen in a Rolls-Royce.
High gloss, exquisitely tactile wood panelling that can be commissioned for the door interiors, centre consoles, dashboard and picnic tables, encircles the passenger in only the most beautiful and authentic materials.
When designing the armrests, the J-Class yacht was heavily referenced as a design inspiration
The seats are newly sculpted and hand-crafted to deliver even more comfort.
The sweep of wood panelling across the back of the front seats have been influenced by the famous Eames Lounge Chair of 1956.
Behind the wood panelling on the rear of the front seats are the picnic tables and theatre monitors, which are electrically deployed and retracted.
Patrons will be able to commission different seating choices best suited to their requirements. Choices include the more intimate lounge seat, individual seats with occasional armrest, individual seats with fixed centre console and the newly introduced sleeping seat.
The new fixed rear centre console now incorporates a drinks cabinet with whisky glasses and decanter, champagne flutes and coolbox.
The sense of touch is also satisfied by the use of the finest materials throughout the interior. Every item of switchgear is made from metal, glass or wrapped in the finest leather.
Meanwhile, further levels of comfort are introduced into the Phantom suite with heated surfaces operated in conjunction with the seat heating functionality. Areas throughout the interior that are now heated include the front door armrests, front centre console lid, lower C-Pillar, rear side armrests with all individual seats, and rear centre armrest.
At the heart of the car’s modern design aesthetic is ‘The Gallery’, a contemporary and luxury reinterpretation of the dashboard and instrument panel area.
All of the elements within ‘The Gallery’ are enclosed in a swathe of toughened glass that runs the full width of the dash area. Within it, the instrument digital dials are framed with chrome.
Also behind the glass of ‘The Gallery’ are an analogue clock – a nod the fact that it is “the loudest sound you can hear in a Rolls-Royce …” and the central information screen.
The upper dashboard also has an area for bespoke works of art. As a bespoke commission, customers will be able to choose a favoured artist or designer to work with Rolls-Royce to create a truly individual work of art that spans the width of ‘The Gallery’ in their car.
Rolls-Royce has already worked with a number of artists, designers and design collectives to demonstrate what kind of creations are possible to put behind the glass of ‘The Gallery’. Works as various as an oil painting inspired by the South Downs of England in autumn by Chinese fine artist Liang Yuanwei, a gold-plated 3D-printed map of an owner’s DNA created by the enfant terrible of German product design Thorsten Franck, a hand-made stem of the finest porcelain roses handmade by Nymphenberg or an abstract design in silk by young British artist Helen Amy Murray are some of the creations inspired by this space.
In addition to these bespoke commissions, Rolls-Royce’s craftspeople and designers have created a stunning collection of Gallery treatments of silk, wood, metal and leather.
The New Rolls-Royce Phantom resets the benchmark not only as the best car in the world, but as the world’s leading luxury item, Rolls-Royce says.
Phantom VIII is only the second modern version of the car that was first launch in 1925. BMW unveiled the first modern Phantom in 2003, updating it in 2013.
Phantom VIII is the first time since then that the car has been updated completely.
As the next chapter in Rolls-Royce’s story opens, the New Rolls-Royce Phantom points the way forward for the global luxury industry, it concludes.
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