A new benchmark has been set as the New Phantom – the eighth generation of this great nameplate – arrives. Not satisfied with simply launching a motor car that is a wholly contemporary design interpretation of Phantom DNA and a technological tour de force, Rolls-Royce has revolutionised the luxury car industry itself by shifting away from the status quo of shared platforms to an entirely new luxury business model.
The Architecture of Luxury is an all-aluminium spaceframe architecture designed by Rolls-Royce engineers that will underpin every future Rolls-Royce beginning with the New Phantom.
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.
Incalculable effort was expended to create “the most silent motor car in the world”, including 6mm two-layer glazing all around the car, more than 130kg of sound insulation, the largest-ever cast aluminium joints in a body-in-white for better sound insulation, and use of high-absorption materials.
With the focus on creating the most silent motor car in the world, a completely silent engine was also required, and that meant more low-end output at lower revs to ensure that silence. Hence a completely new 6.75-litre V12 powertrain has been engineered for the New Phantom, in place of the previous naturally aspirated V12 engine.
The new V12 Phantom engine employs two turbochargers that contribute to a low-end torque output of 900Nm at an incredibly low 1700rpm whilst also delivering 563bhp of power, resulting in calm low-speed progress associated with state occasions and an unfussed surge of power when one needs to press on. 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 first Rolls-Royce to be built on the new Architecture of Luxury, the New Phantom is a wholly contemporary interpretation of the Phantom DNA, delivering new levels of iconic presence and an increased elegance of line, suggesting both poise and stability at speed and an unrushed Grand Arrival.
Stepping aboard the New Phantom is an occasion in itself. The 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 lightly touches the sensor on the door handle. The door automatically whispers closed of its own accord, enveloping the occupant in ‘The Embrace’ of the World’s Leading Luxury Item.
At the heart of the New Phantom’s wholly modern design aesthetic is ‘The Gallery’, a contemporary and luxury reinterpretation of a motor car’s dashboard and instrument panel area. All of the elements within ‘The Gallery’ are enclosed in an uninterrupted swathe of toughened glass that runs the full width of the dash area. Within it, the instrument digital dials are framed with chrome, adding a degree of jewellery and continuity throughout the front of the interior.
By realising a space in the upper dashboard, Rolls-Royce has envisioned a new use – to create an area for Bespoke works of art and thereby multiply the personalisation potential for every owner of a New Phantom. 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 New Phantom.
Read about the final Phantom VII to roll off the Rolls-Royce production line in Goodwood.