The Rolls Royce Phantom is the pinnacle of luxury for many. It just doesn’t get better than this car as the Phantom is the flagship of the brand. And the brand itself is a marque like no other. Since 1925, Phantom has conveyed some of the world’s most influential and powerful men and women to the most defining historical moments over the last 92 years. The company says its pursuit of perfection has been to constantly refine what the world’s leading luxury item should be with innovations to satisfy the most discerning of luxury patrons. Naturally then it has taken 14 long years for this new generation to arrive. So what makes the best car even better? Let’s find out.
Rolls Royce and India
The connections with Rolls-Royce in India could well have begun when the parents of the Hon. Charles Stuart Rolls, Lord and Lady Llangattock, attended the 1902/03 celebrations of the Coronation Durbar in Delhi, two years before the formation of Rolls-Royce Ltd. They are likely to have told their son Charles, who was selling French cars in London at the time, of the burgeoning interest in motoring amongst the Indian Royalty. In India, Rolls-Royce motor cars quickly became the preserve of Maharajas. Legend has it that Rolls-Royce cars became the marque of choice with Royalty after the Maharaja of Gwalior bought a Rolls-Royce that won the Bombay-Kolhapur rally in 1908.
A godly selection of materials has been placed thoughtfully throughout the interior of the new Phantom. The company says being inside the car is akin to entering a luxury hotel ‘suite’ and having experienced it first hand, I just cannot disagree. Passengers are literally cocooned in the finest leathers and veneers. All four doors can now also be electrically closed from the exterior via touch sensitive door handles. The famed “coach doors” add their own charm as they add a dash of glamour, comfort and uniqueness all in one go. The car is laden with all the modern technology but the beautiful thing is that it is discreetly hidden throughout the car until required, leaving only the visual majesty of wood, leather and billeted metal for all to admire. The centerpiece of New Phantom is ‘The Gallery’—a wholly contemporary and luxury reinterpretation of a motor car’s dashboard and instrument panel area. An application of glass runs uninterrupted across the fascia of the car, providing an opportunity to present commissioned artwork. The company says the initiative has come from an understanding that the marquee’s patrons are increasingly collectors of fine and contemporary art.
Engine and Ride
An all-new, 6.75 liter twin-turbocharged V12 engine delivers an effortless 563hp and 900Nm of torque from just 1,700rpm, spiriting New Phantom from 0-100km/h in a mere 5.3 seconds with the help of its seamless 8 speed, Satellite-Aided transmission. The car gets a next-generation four-corner air suspension system and chassis control systems, 130kg of sound insulation, double-laminated glass and dual-skin alloys across the bulkhead ensure it delivers the peak of comfort and quietness. In addition, the new Phantom is equipped with the ‘Flagbearer’—a stereo camera system integrated into the windscreen that sees the road ahead and adjusts the suspension proactively. Its headlights are equipped with the latest laser light technology, providing a 600-metre range of light at night to ensure safe travel. And then the new space frame, exclusive to Rolls-Royce and which will underpin all future company models, is lighter, yet 30% more rigid than its predecessors.
The new Phantom is surely resetting the benchmark in the automotive arena. Cutting-edge innovations including an all-aluminium space frame along with enhancements in technology, drivetrain, suspension and driver assistance systems to produce a peerless ‘magic carpet ride’; and a new, world-first ‘Gallery’ that allows owners to personalise a moving art piece. Each New Phantom is expected to be Bespoke, with customers tailoring their specifications. In fact you can choose from 44,000 exterior colours and request personalised designs from the company’s team of Bespoke designers. Pricing in India for Phantom (Standard Wheelbase) has been officially announced from Rs 9.5 Crores, with Phantom Extended Wheelbase from Rs 11.35 Crores, inclusive of a four-year service package and regional warranty and 24-hour roadside support. Want one? Be rest assured not too many are available.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars