The 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom represents the eighth generation of the 92-year old model line, and aims to be the best car in the world.
Is the 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom really the best car in the world? When the company built the first-generation Phantom in 1925, that’s exactly what it set out to produce, and today the eighth in-line model aims to retake the crown.
Not that it has ever really lost it. Since the outgoing Phantom’s launch in 2003, it has gone largely the unrivalled as the most luxurious and comfortable machine on the market, until production came to an end earlier this year.
Boasting an all-new lightweight aluminium matrix modular platform – to be shared with an upcoming SUV model – the 2018 model is the most technically advanced Rolls-Royce to date. Not only lighter, the new platform is actually 30 percent more rigid. While 21-inch wheels might not sound like a recipe for great ride quality, specially developed Seal Technology Tyres and incredibly advanced air suspension make it work.
The electronically-controlled self-levelling system makes use of state-of-the-art chassis control systems, including a windscreen-mounted stereoscopic camera system that can pro-actively adjust the suspension at speeds of up to 62mph. At that speed, the new Phantom is an astonishing 60db quieter than the previous model – thanks to 130kg of new sound insulation – making it virtually silent.
A new 6.75-litre turbocharged V12 engine sits under the bonnet, related to the N74 unit in the, developing 563bhp and 664lb ft of torque. Most importantly, this torque is produced at just 1700rpm making progress effortless all the way to the 155mph limiter. An eight-speed ZF transmission is mated to a clever Satellite Aided Transmission system to preempt necessary gearchanges.
The Phantom’s new look is the work of Giles Taylor and his design team, who have given the model a fresh, yet still traditional style. Perhaps the biggest change is the new more integrated grille, which now sits flush with the headlights – extremely bright ‘laserlight’ units.
Inside the Phantom gets the largest Starlight headliner ever fitted to a Rolls-Royce, and of course self-closing doors. It’s generally a more forward-looking than Phantoms of the past, combining traditional materials with some seriously advanced technology.
‘The Gallery’, as Rolls-Royce likes to call it, presents a piece of specially commissioned art to sit on the forward face of the dashboard. Rolls-Royce says that many Phantom buyers are also art-lovers, so offering the chance to feature a unique piece was a natural step. Traditional instruments are gone, replaced with a 12.0inch TFT screen displaying virtual readouts.
Sitting at the top of the luxury automotive food chain, Rolls-Royce will sell you a new Phantom from around £350,000.