Header Ads

Checkout The Futuristic Design Of This New Rolls-Royce Phantom - This Is Supernatural

This is really really something. Please can someone tell me where the money is? This designers can really imagine. This is the next-generation Rolls-Royce flagship, and it's yours for a million bucks… and a bit more.

Yes, the base price of the Phantom is a mere $950,000, but add rego, stamp duty and, say, a set of very nice RR lambswool floor mats, and you'll be into seven figures. Talk to the people at Rolls-Royce's Bespoke division (as the vast majority of Australian buyers will do) and the opportunities to customise, and spend, become close to unlimited.
On this score, the most interesting interior feature is "The Gallery". The new dashboard places the instruments, the central information screen and a display cabinet behind one large piece of toughened glass. This display cabinet (or gallery) covers about two thirds of the width of the dashboard, snaking behind the clock and central telematics scene. A variety of different patterns or pieces of art can be displayed within it, and the screen can be lowered to put almost the whole gallery on display.

Part of it will still be obscured by the elegant clock, which can also be "bespoked". Heck, even the umbrellas stored within the door cavities can be tailored to your wishes.

Heads-up display

Fortunately, you won't need the centre screen that much, because there is an excellent new heads-up display.

Our gallery had a "Cascade" within, consisting of polished aluminium at the back then two layers of overlapping laser-cut steel to give the impression of a cityscape. Because it was three-dimensional, it made the dashboard seem further away and the interior even larger.

Rolls-Royce has commissioned a series of artists to create their own interpretations of what should be behind this glass and the results will be available to the public in due course. The most extreme version is a montage of real feathers, but there is a long testing process to make sure the finished product doesn't fade, break down or impede safety.

How much these artworks will cost when the car goes on sale early next year isn't yet clear. But, at some point, owners will be able to provide their own sculptures, paintings or keepsakes (subject to testing, of course).

Modern proportions

The new bodywork is not a great departure from the old, though it looks more modern in the metal. Not only is it taller than some SUVs at 1646 millimetres, it is more than 2 metres wide, excluding mirrors, and 5762 millimetres long. The extended wheelbase version (which costs an extra $150,000 in Australia) is just under 6 metres. To keep the proportions, er, proportionate, the Phantom sits on 21-inch or optional 22-inch wheels, and the tyres have big sidewalls. There is none of your racy looking low-profile rubber here.

There are no switchable suspension modes either. It's all about comfort. Despite this, the vehicle's bulk and the high driving position, its road manners are more car-like than SUV-like. A new rear-wheel steering system, a much tauter aluminium spaceframe body structure and the largest capacity air suspension system in automotive history, make it far more agile than its predecessor and also smoother riding.

The sharpness of the steering was a pleasant surprise and the isolation from the road is near miraculous. According to Rolls-Royce, the noise levels are markedly lower than with any competitor, and the subjective view would seem to support that claim.

Ghost appearance

The engine is derived from the newer Ghost V12 twin turbo, pushed out to 6.75 litres and given a unique watercooled intercooler. The output is adequately excessive: 420 kW and 900 Nm. The Phantom will hit 100 km/h in just 5.4 seconds, despite weighing about 2.56 tonnes in its most basic form. It tops out at 250 km/h.

This engine powers the rear wheels via an eight-speed, "satellite controlled" transmission. That's a fancy way of saying the auto links with the satellite navigation to predict what is coming up, and provide the appropriate gear proactively.

Rolls-Royce claims it would have been cheaper to make the new car all-wheel drive, because it could have been standardised with the forthcoming Cullinan (the SUV-style "Roller" that we will see in 12 months). However, it argues, this would have diminished the ride quality, mainly because the four-wheel drive system adds about 10 kilograms of unsprung weight to each corner.


Inside, there is plenty of leg-, head- and shoulder room, as there should be. Leather is found on almost every surface of the cockpit, except where there is something even more exclusive. The leather is of superb quality: dyed to show the natural grain, rather than painted or coated with "pressed on" grain. Sitting inside is a very tactile experience. You just want to touch everything.

The front seats are hugely thick and supportive. Our car was fitted with the Starlight Headliner which, thanks to hundreds of tiny LED lights, makes the ceiling look like a clear night sky. Unlike a clear night sky, though, this can now be adjusted for brightness and turned on or off in sections (there are four sections).

It is possible to close the front or rear "coach" doors via interior buttons. Equally, they can be closed automatically by touching a button on the exterior handle. Inside are heated armrests, ventilated seats, footrests that rise at the press of a button … everything. The Phantom feels rock solid and it was a surprise to learn that some of the exterior panels are made of resin not steel or aluminium.

A table for all occasions

Our car's interior highlights were of dark wood that morphed to a light-coloured eucalypt with no obvious join. The rear picnic tables are now electrically operated; when lowered they reveal screens, which again are electrically deployed. On these screens you can watch entertainment, return some emails, follow the map, or check the fuel economy (21.5 miles per gallon, according to the reading in our car; that's a bit over 13 lt/100 km).

Nearby was a DVD player, as well as USB and HDMI ports. Stowed in rear pockets below the picnic tables were two additional padded leather and aluminium "tables" you can rest on your knees at those times you need to use your laptop but don't want to lean forward.

Rolls-Royce claims Phantom as the oldest car name-plate in the world, with 92 years to its credit. To split hairs, Ghost dates back even further, to 1907, though it was then "Silver Ghost" and disappeared for many decades. The Phantom badge disappeared too, through the 1990s, and was revived in 2003 for the first Rolls developed under BMW ownership. That model lasted 14 years, with just one minor update.

It might be the quintessential English brand but, like most these days, Rolls-Royce has plenty of stamps in its passport. Some of the outer panels are pressed in Italy. Some of the inner structure is machined there too. Most of the mechanical components come from Germany, some of the leather is from Scotland, and the feathers in the gallery are "sustainably sourced from French hens". The Phantom and its stablemates are assembled at Goodwood in the south of England.

The writer drove this vehicle overseas as a guest of the manufacturer.


Price: $950,000 (excluding on-road costs or bespoke treatment)
Engine: 6.75-litre twin turbo V12 (petrol)
Power/torque: 420 kW/900 Nm
Fuel economy: 13.9 L/100 km (combined cycle)
C0₂: 319 g/km

Source: AFR.COM

No comments

Rebecca More. Powered by Blogger.