Think luxury in the automotive industry and it is more than likely that one automotive monarch springs to mind with images of long sleek lines, shag-pile carpets and star studded headlining. Rolls-Royce – a brand synonymous with wealth, status and style.
When it comes to traveling in opulent surroundings and tranquility, Rolls-Royce set the standard that very few can match and last week the Goodwood based manufacturer took the wraps off the latest iteration of it’s most iconic model – the Phantom. Since 1925 the Phantom has been the jewel in the RR crown and had always defined the sector. Phantom VIII will aim to so the same, it only seemed fitting to have the previous seven generations in attendance at the unveiling of the eight. After walking through history and the various iterations of Phantom, it was time to meet the new comer.
As the car was illuminated for the world press and VIPs to see it became clear that this car very much followed its lineage and DNA. It is instantly Rolls-Royce with its imposing oversized grill which, for the first time , is integrated into the body work and all new beautiful yet aggressive rectangular LED-lights. There is great presence, we may be underground in a hidden room beneath the spotless streets of Mayfair, but Phantom VIII already looks like it would effortlessly command the attention of road users.
As with Phantom VII that we saw debut in 2003, the drama of the lines and design stem from the flat face of the car and the almost vertical edges on the front corners the lead to near right angle pronouncing the strong shoulders. The intimidating front end bleeds away into the unprecedented elegance of roof and mid-line that run the length of the car.
Looking at the car side on also draws attention to one of my favorite highlights of the car – the window shadow-line that runs again the c-pillar car neatly been layered to make it seem as if there is a second skin. A smart way to make what is normally very mundane that little more interesting. Where there are pillars there are doors and as per, the rear doors open in typical suicide style and hide umbrellas. The doors can now automatically be closed by caressing the huge chrome handles for the outside too for the first time.
Step into the car and the levels of luxury as phenomenal, as you would expect. The car on display is the extended wheel base as there is copious room for both the upper and lower body. The Gen II Phantom VII was a lovely place to be and the VIII just feels that much more impressive. The Phantom now comes equipped with the latest navigation and infotainment systems on crisp displays. Passengers will also have access to a WiFi hotspot, and a vast rear-centre console.
Rolls-Royce say that there is now 130 kilograms of sound deadening that promised the cabin is silent – when testing the noise levels the engineers had to check there equipment was functioning as noise levels were so low.
GTspirit look forward to putting that claim to the test along side the 6.75-litre, twin-turbo V12 powertrain that has been engineered for the new Phantom 563 horsepower and 900Nm at an unbelievably low 1,700rpm.