Spending time driving this new benchmark of luxury has exceeded my every expectation. This long awaited Rolls-Royce Phantom is the eighth generation of this fabulous nameplate and it makes a statement with every arrival. Rolls-Royce is redefining luxury with the Phantom and shifting away from the status quo of shared platforms to an entirely new luxury business model.
Peter Schwarzenbauer, Chairman of Rolls-Royce and Member of the Board of the BMW Group said, “The global introduction of a new Rolls-Royce is always a very special moment within the BMW Group. This particular occasion is all the more special because we are introducing an all-new Phantom, the flagship of the Rolls-Royce brand and the world’s foremost luxury product. New Phantom is a powerful statement of design, engineering and bespoke expertise.” Rolls Royce concluded that the future of true luxury lies in true small-volume manufacture of a dedicated ‘Architecture of Luxury.’
“This realization was a moment of clarity about the destiny of Rolls-Royce,” reflects Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “Every one of our customers – each a connoisseur of luxury in the extreme – were asking for something more individual to them, not less. We were adamant that was what they should have.”
“Our approach has been to forge long-term relationships with smaller suppliers run by families that will focus on us, giving us much more attention and therefore results that live within a quality expectation far beyond any other automotive concern,” continues Koehn. “For a brand to operate in such a manner within a larger automotive group is unheard of and truly revolutionary.
At every glance our Phantom Extended Wheelbase is remarkable in styling thanks to the new Architecture of Luxury and new engineering processes giving New Phantom the appearance of being from a solid block of aluminum. This is a fabulous triumph of design and engineering departments working hand in hand to create a beautiful masterpiece.
“Art is at the heart of the conception of of our Phantom’s interior,” comments Taylor. “As an interest, we know that a huge number of our clients are patrons of art and indeed have their own private collections. Art is a binding factor for many of them.”
This binding factor was what inspired Taylor to radically reinterpret the motorcars’ dashboard from being a dead expanse into a riveting focal point. “I wanted to take a motoring constant that has existed for a century, but served little purpose but to hide airbags and componentry, and give it another purpose, space to breathe,” comments Taylor. Hence the real purpose of ‘The Gallery’ – to be just that, a gallery.
“The reduced and symmetrically balanced line-work of Phantom’s instrument panel frames a generous and beautifully simple application of glass. It runs, uninterrupted, across the fascia, emphasizing a sense of width. Positioned front and centre, it is the focal point of the interior of New Phantom, providing a perfect stage for artworks. This treatment of glass enables an unprecedented opportunity for the protection and presentation of works of art, which is why, we have rather aptly named it, ‘The Gallery’.” Giles Taylor, Director of Design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said.
From a simple application of wood or metal, to a more complex use of materials not normally viable in the automotive world and enhanced by incorporating relief, ‘The Gallery’ extends the patron’s experience of curation with the marquee to a new realm.
In this spirit, Alex Innes, Rolls-Royce Bespoke Designer and Creative Lead Designer of ‘The Gallery’ Artist Commissions, has invited artists and master artisans from around the world to interpret ‘The Gallery’.
The result? A collection of unique and artistic creations, free from the constraints of automotive design, to inspire the marque’s patrons, in a way that only Rolls-Royce can.
The all-new aluminum spaceframe structure delivers extraordinary car body stiffness for exceptional ‘best-in-class’ functional performance whilst also being lighter. Our Phantom is 30 per cent more rigid than its predecessor, leading to better ride comfort.
Accompanying the increased stiffness of the space frame is a best-in-class high comfort chassis with air suspension and state-of-the-art chassis control systems, delivering peerless ‘effortless’ ride and handling and optimal vibration comfort performance. Driving to the weekend house a joy and during the week getting the work done in your backseat mobile office is efficient and luxurious. The front axle and 5-link rear axle gave us astounding levels of control over lateral roll and shear forces and delivering incredible agility and stability, as does the addition of four-wheel steering, all contributing to an undisturbed passenger, whatever the driving conditions.
Rolls-Royce’s celebrated Magic Carpet Ride also improves as a result of the new lighter architecture, and the latest generation of self-levelling air suspension.
All this with that powerful new, 6.75-litre V12 engine that has been engineered just for Phantom, in place of the previous naturally aspirated V12 engine. The Phantom is for those on top of thier game in life, they have everything they need and more things they do not. A Rolls-Royce is not something you need but something you want and only the House of Rolls-Royce can provide. Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Photography by David Lewis Taylor.
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