Rolls-Royce’s New Phantom Is the Ne Plus Extremely of Posh Sedans – Robb Report

When pressed to name out a product that represents the top of luxurious, one usually precedes the pronouncement with “the Rolls-Royce of.” The reference is hardly new. The British marque’s fame was duly famous way back to 1907, when the British publication Autocar known as Rolls-Royce the “finest automotive on the earth.” Arguably, that title, bestowed 115 years in the past, stays related, as evidenced by our expertise with the automaker’s new 2023 Phantom Collection II.

The flagship of Rolls-Royce Motor Automobiles since 1925, and now in its eighth era, Phantom is the longest constantly operating nameplate within the automotive trade—as ahead wanting and completely trendy as it’s traditionally knowledgeable. For Rolls-Royce, there is no such thing as a different approach to construct a Phantom. Its creators selected to launch the “Rolls-Royce of Rolls-Royces” (our phrases, not theirs) with a primary international drive on the Maybourne Riviera, a brand-new, five-star resort in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, perched on a hilltop inside shouting distance of Monte Carlo. The crisp, clear structure and tranquil lawns made it the best venue at which to disclose 10 colourful Phantoms, each a novel fee designed to showcase the near-unlimited capabilities for personalisation.

The Iconoclast, one of 10 debut examples of the Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II.

The Iconoclast, one of many 10 debut examples of the Phantom Collection II. 

James Lipman, courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Automobiles.

The winding roads of France’s Côte d’Azur present the right backdrop for the Phantom Collection II, in all its singular expressions. The area of Good was a favourite a part of the world for probably the most notable artists of the twentieth century. Right here, Picasso, Matisse, Chagall and dozens of different painters, sculptors, writers and thinkers reveled within the sky, the panorama and the informal life-style that artfully impressed each another way. Like these artists, what Rolls-Royce calls the “Poles of Luxurious” are ten vehicles with names like Maverick and Connoisseur. Between these extremes had been Platino, Patriot, Founder, Iconoclast, Prodigy, Sentimentalist, Extrovert and Aristocrat.

Sophie Weekes, Bespoke Lead on Phantom Collection II, defined that, “Every of those ‘10 Exemplars’ exudes its personal distinctive character. Our designers work with purchasers to develop a deep information and understanding of our clients’ character after which specific that by way of their fee.” Certainly, the Phantom Collection II is the best automotive canvas on which an proprietor can discover new colours and mixtures of supplies, materials and finishes to color a masterpiece as particular person as it’s beautiful.

The interior of the Iconoclast, one of 10 debut examples of the Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II.

The Iconoclast instance’s radiant inside enhances the lights of Monte Carlo under. 

James Lipman, courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Automobiles.

Rolls-Royce Motor Automobiles, beneath the aegis of BMW however absolutely autonomous, reinvented itself with the Phantom VII in 2003. It was a automotive that charted the corporate’s course for the twenty first century, and was succeeded in 2017 by the Phantom VIII. However the Phantom—and Phantom house owners—don’t embrace radical modifications, and so the Collection II incorporates probably the most refined aesthetic and technological enhancements that replicate the enter of purchasers.

Astute observers would wish to see the brand new automotive and its predecessor aspect by aspect to acknowledge the modifications. Within the entrance, a refined horizontal line connects the daytime operating lights above the traditional Pantheon Grille, whereas the “RR” badge and Spirit of Ecstasy hood decoration are extra distinguished as nicely.

The Sentimentalist, a custom Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II sedan, in Monte Carlo.

The Sentimentalist fee catching the final gentle of day in Monte Carlo. 

James Lipman, courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Automobiles.

Felix Kibertus, Rolls-Royce’s head of exterior design, took a holistic strategy to the lighting. “The grille itself is now illuminated, whereas the headlights are graced with intricate laser-cut bezel starlights, creating a visible reference to the Starlight Headliner inside. This idea which we name ‘gentle contact’ provides additional shock and delight to Phantom’s nighttime presence, and we see great alternatives to proceed to push our inventive concepts.”

Day or night time, the automotive’s profile emulates the formal proportions of each Phantom all through historical past, with quick entrance and lengthy rear overhangs, and an extended wheelbase in between. That lengthy wheelbase might be made even longer within the Phantom Prolonged, the probably selection for house owners wishing to be chauffeured. A excessive shoulder and large C-pillars afford privateness for rear-seat occupants. Polished exterior brightwork is a characteristic of the Phantom design, however in response to shopper requests, each the grill and exterior trim are actually obtainable in darkened chrome.

The interior of the Prodigy, one of the 10 debut examples of the Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II.

The rear passenger compartment within the Collection II instance named the Prodigy. 

James Lipman, courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Automobiles.

Maybe probably the most obvious new exterior design cues are the wheels, whose triangular sides are 3-D milled from stable stainless and provided in a refined, paint or chrome end. Non-compulsory stainless 22-inch disc wheels are a tip of the hat to these on the very first Phantom, and are polished or obtainable in a black lacquer end.

Mission Supervisor Ralf Langmeier enumerated a number of the engineering and manufacturing challenges, saying, “To supply a totally polished model takes 60.6 hours per wheel, primarily because of the a number of sprucing finishes. On the difficulty of warmth, we specify that the warmth dispersion ranking of the brake fluid is barely larger than with different Phantom wheels. Additionally, we now have designed the openings to optimize airflow between the 20 [hidden] spokes. This took various simulations to search out the final word dimension, angle and place to make sure that efficiency stays.”

The new wheel design featured on the Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II.

Maybe probably the most obvious new exterior design cues are the wheels, whose triangular sides are 3-D milled from stable stainless. 

James Lipman, courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Automobiles.

As a result of as we speak’s Rolls-Royce house owners are a tech-enabled crowd, the brand new Phantom Collection II incorporates “Rolls-Royce Linked,” which communicates with Whispers, a Rolls-Royce private-members’ App. This preloads navigation directions, shows the automotive’s location, safety standing and different data to a cell gadget when the proprietor is away from the car. And after they do enter by way of the large “coach doorways,” they encounter as comfy an surroundings as one can think about—not less than on 4 wheels.

Entrance passengers take pleasure in opulent seating, separated by a large middle console, however other than a thicker steering wheel, the cabin stays nearly in any other case unchanged. Up to now, purchasers might need assumed {that a} Ponderosa’s value of leather-based and acres of burl would swath the inside, however as we speak’s Rolls-Royce clients—whose common age is 45—recognize different supplies and finishes, together with materials in wool, silk and even bamboo-based fibers. Embossing patterns and hand-painting materials and surfaces are additionally not out of the query for the artisans on the marque’s headquarters and manufacturing facility in Goodwood, England. All that’s required is a inventive concept, an suave resolution and time.

The optional 22-inch wheel design on the Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II.

The non-obligatory 22-inch disc wheels are a tip of the hat to these on the very first Phantom. 

James Lipman, courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Automobiles.

The Phantom Collection II’s most arresting inside characteristic is the Gallery, a glass-encased expanse throughout the sprint that may comprise a customized design of the shopper’s selecting. Latest shows have included cloisonné butterflies, porcelain roses, bas reliefs replicating a shopper’s DNA and work commissioned from favourite artists.

Driving the Phantom is the quintessential luxury-car expertise. Each entrance and rear occupants take pleasure in what Rolls-Royce designers name a “magic carpet experience,” one as smooth and compliant as it’s silent and clean. The well-known Ogilvy headline written in 1958 stays true that, “At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise comes from the electrical clock.” Due to greater than 200 kilos of sound insulation and tires that use a layer of froth inside to decrease cabin noise by as a lot as 9 dB, wind and highway noise is vastly attenuated, whereas the engine and exhaust sound are distant reminders that one is underway.

The headlight design on the Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II.

In accordance with Rolls-Royce’s head of exterior design, “the headlights are graced with intricate laser-cut bezel starlights, creating a visible reference to the Starlight Headliner inside.” 

James Lipman, courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Automobiles.

That engine is identical 6.7-liter, twin-turbocharged V-12 from the earlier Phantom VIII, making 563 hp at 5,000 rpm and 664 ft lbs of torque at simply 1,700 rpm. In different phrases, because the outdated Rolls-Royce adverts used to say, energy is “Sufficient.” Truly, energy, and particularly torque, are obscenely ample, delivered to the rear wheels by way of an eight-speed computerized transmission shifted with the help of GPS that pinpoints the automotive’s location, computes velocity (which is restricted to 155 mph) and optimizes gearing primarily based on the highway forward.

The wafting experience of the Phantom is underpinned by self-leveling air suspension, fine-tuned by a camera-aided “Flagbearer” system that scans the highway to preconfigure spring and damper charges primarily based on highway circumstances. Tipping the scales at rather less than 5,800 kilos, the Phantom Collection II isn’t any light-weight, however that heft is judiciously managed, due to Rolls-Royce’s modular aluminum space-frame chassis that’s stiffer and lighter than metal. Many of the physique is aluminum as nicely. That modular structure will lay the inspiration of each future Rolls-Royce, no matter its motive energy. It’s no secret that Spectre, the automaker’s electrical coupe to be unveiled later this yr, is a harbinger of issues to come back. With that, some speculate that the Phantom Collection II would be the penultimate—and even last—V-12-powered Phantom. Whichever it’s, we are saying, “Savor the second.”

A close-up of the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament on a Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II sedan.

The “RR” badge and Spirit of Ecstasy hood decoration characteristic extra prominently on the newest Phantom. 

James Lipman, courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Automobiles.

And savor, we do. Leaving our resort, we hit the motorway and shortly exit onto serpentine mountain roads towards the picturesque village of Gourdon, sharing slender lanes with dozens of indefatigable bicyclists. The Phantom has the uncanny potential to “shrink” when pressed into athletic strikes, its dealing with dynamics akin to a sports activities sedan with just a little meat on its bones. Acceleration is stupendous, however so too is the braking. And the steering is fast and presents loads of suggestions.

With sure-footed precision, the Phantom negotiates tight turns at velocity—some with precipitous drops on the suitable. A lot of the deft dealing with is because of four-wheel steering that aids maneuverability under 37 mph and improves stability above 50 mph. Briefly, it is a pleasant driver’s automotive. It’s additionally the right automotive during which to be pushed, as I uncover throughout a stint as rear passenger.

The Gallery display inside the Sentimentalist, a custom Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II sedan.

The Gallery show contained in the Phantom Collection II instance often called the Sentimentalist. 

James Lipman, courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Automobiles.

Our vacation spot is Saint-Paul de Vence, probably the most completely preserved medieval cities on the French Riviera. Located on the crest of a hill, it was frequented by artists like Picasso, Miró and Matisse, whose work dangle within the Café de la Place, a small restaurant connected to La’Colombe d’Or. Marc Chagall is buried within the cemetery up the hill. Close by, the gardens of the Fondation Maeght are full of sculpture, and its galleries comprise one in every of Europe’s largest non-public collections of contemporary artwork, together with vital work by Giacometti, Miró, Braque and Chagall. Every of those artists was related by the interval and the place, but every was distinctive, not in contrast to each customized Phantom Collection II, the bottom mannequin of which begins at $475,000. It needs to be famous that, with unique choices, every fee would possibly require a yr or extra to construct. However then, creating artwork takes time.

Click on right here to see the entire images from our First Drive of the Rolls-Royce Phantom Collection II.

Driving the Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom Collection II. 

James Lipman, courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Automobiles.

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