2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom has evolutionary approach to design language compared to global predecessor and comes with several revisions on the inside
The new aluminum platform enables the 2018 Phantom various levels of customisation compared to its international predecessor. Rolls-Royce’s designer Alex Innes said that it was created with bespoke variants in mind and it probably means we could see some extraordinary cars like the Sweptail.
The supple aluminum architecture is capable of changes when required like the hard-mounting parts might be moveable to allow parts like windscreen to be shifted. Since the length of the platform can be adjustable, there is a huge scope for more engineering excellence based on the brand’s unique base of customer demands.
Rolls-Royce worked with designers and customers from its Bespoke department to make sure the new Phantom is nothing short of spectacular. The new generation Rolls-Royce Phantom made its global premiere a few months ago.
Firstly, the new Phantom does not follow a revolutionary approach to its design language but the evolution is such a way that the changes would not fail to be noticed. The big luxury sedan features the traditional grille up front and it makes for a dominant posture. Other design changes on the new car are also visible as the headlights are more matured and elegant.
At a launch exhibition in Mayfair, London where the British manufacturer celebrated Phantom’s rich history, three final Phantoms participated at the event called “The Great Eight Phantoms”. It included the State Limousine first used by the Queen of England in 1977 with custom bodywork and a raised roofline.
The second car, built between 1950 and 1952, was the Phantom IV that belonged to Aga Khan, the leader of the Nizari Ismaili Muslim community. It boasts red interior, Hooper coachwork with the rear wheels enclosed and many bespoke items. The third was the first Goodwood Phantom shipped to Australia from which its owner went for an epic 4,500 mile journey.
The brand new Phantom straightaway, pursuing to boast its status as the most luxurious vehicle in the world, has the reworked yet highly recognisable front fascia. The new model is said to deliver “new levels of iconic presence and an increased elegance.” Up front, the grille has been made tall and the Spirit of Ecstasy emblem sits half an inch higher than before.
The larger grille is integrated into the bodywork for a more clean appearance and is flanked by new laserlight headlamps with a ring of daytime driving lights. The headlamps are said to be the most advanced in the world illuminating over 600 meters. The polished stainless steel strips curving along the upper edges of hood are claimed to be the “largest single-piece of hand-polished stainless steel on any motor car”.
The steeply raked window at the rear is shrouded by a stainless steel frame while the 22-inch wheels and jewel-like taillights emphasise the luxury. If you think the exterior cannot get any better than this, you would be blown away by the things Rolls-Royce did to the interior.
The design itself reflects its predecessor but it has newer and more comfortable front seats with sweep of wood paneling across the back inspired by the notorious Eames Lounge Chair of 1956. The wood hides the rear picnic tables and entertainment system that can be electrically deployed and retracted with the press of a button.
Several different rear seat configurations including an intimate lounge seat, individual seats with occasional armrest, individual seats with fixed center console, and the newly introduced sleeping seat. Drivers will get access to two 12.3-inch TFT screens, an analogue clock, and a slew of handcrafted wood trim with options including a starlight headliner, rear drinking package with whisky glasses and a decanter.
Since the engineers wanted it to be the most silent vehicle in the world, more than 130 kilos of sound insulation, large cast aluminum joints, and 6 mm two-layer glazing are installed. The special “silent seal” tyres have a layer of foam to reduce tyre noise by up to 9 db. All these changes are said to result in 10 percent quieter cabin at 100 kmph than the previous seventh generation Phantom.
The noise levels are so low that RR engineers had to check their instruments and ensure the calibrations are right. The new Phantom derives power from a new 6.75-litre twin turbocharged V12 engine as opposed to 6.6-litre engine in the Dawn. The massive engine produces 563 horsepower and 900 Nm of peak torque.
It is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission using satellite aided technology to be always in the correct gear. Riding on an all-new aluminum spaceframe platform exclusively for Rolls-Royce, it is scalable and highly-flexible to accommodate various size, propulsion, traction and weight requirements.
The platform is 30 percent more rigid and will be used on the future Ghost, Wraith, and Dawn. It will also form the basis for the upcoming Project Cullinan, the brand’s maiden crossover. The “magic carpet ride” is ensured with self-leveling air suspension that makes calculations every second and sends feedback for precise working of steering, acceleration and other parameters.
The new double-wishbone front axle and a five-link rear axle setup are claimed to help delivering astounding levels of control. As for the safety, the Phantom features cross-traffic warning, collision warning, alertness assistant, active cruise control, lane change warning, a head-up display and a surround vision system with four different cameras among others.
The eight-generation Phantom has reached Indian shores for a starting price of Rs. 9.50 crore (ex-showroom) for the regular version while the extended wheelbase version comes priced at Rs. 11.35 crore (ex-showroom). The very first Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII has made its way to Chennai and it will eventually be available in other select cities in the coming weeks. It marks the entry of a brand new Phantom after 16 years in the domestic market.