Ultimate Luxury on Wheels
By Shin Takei
We all know that Rolls-Royce has been defining the pinnacle of luxurious automobiles since 1904. But the comfort level of the first cars were, well, not even close to what it is today, rather a rough outing. The Phantom in its eighth iteration started in 1925 as a replacement for the Silver Ghost and since then has been the top model for Rolls-Royce, hence bearing the duty of being coined the phrase Best Car in the World.
The styling of the Phantom is an evolution of the series, carefully incorporating the DNA of the past into the elegant updated shape. For the first time, the signature grill is gently curved at the top and twin chrome strips run back to the A-pillars and surrounds the windshield. The rear end has been lightened up and a chrome C-pillar garnish defines the passenger compartment. The overall feeling is that it is magnificent and cannot be anything but a Rolls-Royce. We have written before about Bespoke and explained how the owner “tailors” the car to his exact preference and taste. Hence a Phantom is a personal statement of the owner and the owner is the most important aspect of the car because he/she alone determines how his or her Phantom gets built.
The all new twin turbo V12 produces 563bhp @ 5,000rpm with 664 lb ft of torque @ 1,700rpm, more than adequate to propel the 5754lbs car from 0-60mph in 5.2 seconds. The ZF 8-speed automatic transmission is silky smooth and shifts are hardly noticeable. The new Architecture of Luxury incorporates an aluminum space frame that will be shared by all new vehicles hereafter including the Cullinan SUV coming later this year. With 4-wheel steering, Electronic Roll Control. GPS and optically monitored air suspension system reading what’s coming on the road ahead, the Phantom just glides through uneven pavement.
The new interior is something to behold. The Gallery is a glass panel that spans the entire dashboard and can display various art work or designs by commissioned artists. The instruments are displayed in front of the driver who sits holding a large diameter steering wheel that is retro in design. In fact the wood paneling, various knobs and rotary switches that operate vents, a/c and the infotainment system are elegant compared to touch panel controls. Every surface is covered in wood or leather and the aroma inside the cabin is heavenly. Enter the Phantom Suite which is now the name of the rear compartment for the Extended Wheelbase model which adds 8.6 inches to the wheelbase. The Suite is a Zen like sanctuary where it is quiet, serene and isolated thanks to 287 lbs of sound insulation making it 10% more quieter than Phantom VII. Here you can relax to multi-adjustable massage seats, gaze at the Starlight Headliner, watch the screens for movies or connect to the internet. Then open the refrigerated compartment, enjoy your chilled Champagne and drink it in the RR crystal glasses with your initials on them. If its congested outside and you’re about to miss a concert at the Met or Disney Hall, just crank up the Rolls Royce Bespoke Audio with 1300 WATTS of power and you won’t miss a thing
Peninsula Hotels, one of the must luxurious hotels in the world have been a partner with Rolls Royce by offering their guests pick up service in a Phantom. Some of the suites come with the use of a chauffeured Phantom when they stay there. Like pairing a fine wine to an exquisite dinner, the Peninsula and a Phantom are well suited for each other.
The 2018 Rolls Royce Phantom VIII is reserved for the top 1% and is a personal statement of the owner. It doesn’t come with autonomous driving feature because the ultimate auto pilot is your chauffeur. Please make mine with the Lalique crystal Spirit of Ecstasy.
For more information, please visit www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com