The legacy has started in 1925 until now only seven generations have been born with the golden name. Now with the arrival of 2018 Phantom, There is an eighth generation, the most powerful, and it promises to be the most luxurious.
There’s no mistaking it for anything else, though the design is completely new versus the outgoing Phantom. It sits upon a completely fresh platform that Rolls-Royce is calling “Architecture of Luxury”: all-aluminium, it’s roughly 30-percent stiffer than the old car, as well as lighter. It’ll be the space frame that all the future cars from the automaker are based upon.
According to the company, it’s more flexible than any other platform from the more mundane automaker. Rather than a simple monocoque, it’s designed to scale to any size or type of car the future plans may call for, including accepting different engine, traction, and control systems. Indeed, it will the basis for the upcoming project Cullinan SUV, and later on the next Ghost, Wraith, and Dawn.
For the new Phantom, it’s paired with air suspension and new chassis control systems for the traditional “Magic Carpet” ride the automaker is known for. That uses body and wheel acceleration, steering input, and even the view from the car’s cameras to figure out the millions of suspension setting calculations made every second. A new double-wishbone front axle and 5-link rear axle help with lateral roll and shear forces, paired with all-wheel steering. A stereo camera system – which Rolls-Royce has named the “Flagbearer” in reference to the old requirement of a red-flag carrying servant walking ahead of the earliest cars – tracks the road ahead to preemptively adjust the suspension at speeds up to 62 mph.
Once upon a time, Rolls-Royce didn’t discuss power figures, preferring only to say that its cars had “sufficient” grunt for any driver. Times change, but while the 2018 Phantom’s numbers may be public, what hasn’t altered is that the figures are huge. Blame a new 6.75-liter twin-turbo V12 for that.
It’s good for 563 horsepower and 664 lb-ft. of torque, the latter arriving at a low 1,700 rpm. A ZF 8-speed gearbox is linked to satellite-aided transmission software, that looks to the road ahead to select the most appropriate gear in advance. Top speed is an electronically-limited 155 mph, and 0-62 mph comes in 5.3 seconds; not bad for a car weighing 5,862 pounds in short wheelbase form.
Meanwhile, new Silent-Seal tires get an extra foam layer inside to cut noise from the internal cavity. The result, Rolls-Royce says, is a car so quiet the acoustic engineer went away to double-check his equipment. It’s roughly 10-percent quieter than the old Phantom at 62 mph.
The power-doors close automatically, both front and rear, and in the cabin, there’s no shortage of luxury. A huge Starlight Headliner puts LED pinpricks of light overhead, and there’s a vast selection of different wood veneers that can be selected for the door interiors, centre consoles, dashboard, and picnic tables. Power-operated rear tables and displays motor out of the back of the new, hand-sculpted seats. Rolls-Royce will offer lounge, individual, individual with the fixed centre console, and a new “Sleeping Seat” options for the rear.
Rolls-Royce is expected to commence customer deliveries of the Phantom VIII in early 2018. The standard wheelbase Phantom starts at around $450,000. However, company data shows Phantom VIII customers are adding around $150,000 in bespoke options to their cars for an average order price of $600,000.
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