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Rolls royce 2018

2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom First Drive: Defining Luxury

– Lucerne, Switzerland

Silence. The chauffeur closes the huge coach door and my head sinks into a pillow as I exhale and close my eyes. It’s been a long, daunting week of airports and airplanes and screaming children and deadlines and meetings and traffic and crowds and phone calls and bad news and mayhem and unrest. But now it’s gone. Peace and quiet, comfort and silence. This Rolls-Royce Phantom is more than a car, it’s an escape.

But as much as the Phantom is pure rolling serenity and isolation, it’s not a bore (or a chore) for whoever’s behind the wheel. The Phantom rides on a new, scalable platform – the Architecture Of Luxury, as it’s so aptly named – that’s made entirely of aluminum and will soon underpin all future Rolls-Royce models. That means this car is both lighter and stronger than its predecessor, though it’s not like weight savings matters too much in a car that tips the scales at 5,700 pounds. For every bit of body mass taken away, it’s replaced by more noise insulating material. In fact, sound reduction is of such high concern, Rolls-Royce worked with the folks at Continental to develop a special version of the ContiSportContact tire that can be filled with insulating foam. Road noise is so uncivilized.

On the winding Alpine roads of western Switzerland, I’m not breaking a sweat as I quickly point the prow down a long stretch of back-and-forth esses.

This car is so quiet, I can barely hear the (say it in your best British accent) six-and-three-quarters-liter V12 fire up. And while it may carry the same iconic displacement as its forebear, this engine is entirely new, with a pair of turbochargers bolted on for maximum punch. Indeed, it packs a wallop, with 563 horsepower and, more impressively, 664 pound-feet of torque that’s delivered at 1,700 rpm. Rolls-Royce’s eight-speed automatic transmission uses GPS technology to note exactly where you are in the world, what the road ahead will hold, and adjusts the shift timing to keep the driving experience as smooth as possible. From every seat in the house – including behind that huge steering wheel – the transmission’s operation is imperceptible. Don’t even think about shift paddles. A car this smooth shan't be needing something so daft.

While a majority of Phantom owners still prefer to let hired help do the driving, there’s still a large percentage of customers – especially here in the States – who prefer to drive themselves. The old Phantom, while regal and impressive in its ability to waft with grace, can also be described as daunting and intimidating to drive. But that’s not the case anymore. Don’t get me wrong, the 2018 Phantom is still a huge car – it’s nearly 20 feet long and 6.5 feet wide – but on the winding Alpine roads of western Switzerland, I’m not breaking a sweat as I quickly point the prow down a long stretch of back-and-forth esses.

The Phantom’s got a number of dynamic tricks up its finely tailored sleeves, and the one that helps maneuverability most is four-wheel steering. It doesn’t turn the big Rolls into a sports car – not even close – but it provides a level of mid-corner confidence that I don’t remember having in the old car. Not quite a nudge of assist, but more a comforting hand on the small of your back as you learn to use less and less steering effort as you round a tight bend. No part of the Phantom driving experience has a sense of urgency, even though it’s still capable of doing 0-60 in just over five seconds. You roll into the throttle progressively, the huge brakes bring it all to a halt with grace and poise. The new Phantom handles with the same sort of agility and leisure as Rolls-Royce’s smaller Ghost and Wraith models, which is to say, still very disconnected, but wholly in service of delivering that signature Magic Carpet Ride.

The idea with any Rolls-Royce is that you’re more relaxed when you get out than when you got in. And in the back of the new Phantom, I can feel my heart rate lowering by the second.

To my mind, as lovely as the Phantom is to drive, it’s far, far better to experience from one of the plush rear chairs. The chauffeur presses a flush-mounted button on the outside door handle, and the rear-hinged coach door closes electronically. Controls for the infotainment system are at your fingertips. The seats recline. They’re heated. They lightly massage. There are specific cup holders for normal beverages and separate ones for the hand-crafted champagne flutes that are chilling in the refrigerator behind you. The thick, leather headliner twinkles above with a starlight pattern. You take off your shoes and run your feet through the thick carpets. You are totally engulfed in the most luxurious experience available on the road today.

The idea with any Rolls-Royce is that you’re more relaxed when you get out than when you got in. And in the back of the new Phantom, I can feel my heart rate lowering by the second. This is hands down the most comfortable I’ve ever been while in motion. I have such a hard time falling asleep in cars, yet as the lush, mountainous scenery of Switzerland passes by outside the double-pane, six-layer-insulated, tinted glass, I’m finding it hard to keep my eyes open. That’s not the jet lag talking, either.

But when I arrive at our coffee stop, my eyes grow wide at the sight of a dozen Phantoms – no two the same – gathered in the car park. This is a sedan with a real sense of occasion, a true presence on the road. A Phantom is a rare sight, no matter where you live, and this new one is appropriately styled with a grace and elegance that commands you to look at it, to pore over the details, to study the curves and the lines. Behold the majesty.

Really, what could I possibly nitpick? I’m relaxed, removed from life’s annoyances. The Phantom has me wrapped in happy, peaceful silence.

Rather than creating a shape that can be written off as “big Ghost,” the Phantom wears its own unique styling elements. It’s imposing and gentlemanly, with a long hood, upright front fascia, flowing body sides, and a rear end that tapers off toward the middle, a sort of elegant grace as the car leaves you in its dust. Both the 20- or optional 21-inch wheels look appropriate inside the Phantom’s huge openings, with the weighted Rolls-Royce center caps that always keep the logo upright while on the go. A single metal strip runs along the bonnet, connecting the grille to the windscreen, and this separation on the body almost encourages a two-tone color scheme, of which the paint combinations are endless.

In fact, the Phantom’s entire realm of personalization is limited only by your checking account. Colors, materials, embroidery, veneers – they can all be tailored to your unique specification. And that’s before you get to the pièce de résistance known as the Gallery. A single sheet of glass spans the width of the dashboard, behind which you can feature, well, anything you can dream of. A digital gauge cluster is housed in front of the driver, a retractable infotainment screen (with a reskinned version of BMW’s iDrive) rises up from the middle. But the rest of the real estate is yours for the customizing.

Might I suggest porcelain roses? Or perhaps an artist’s interpretation of your specific DNA? Do you want that gold plated? Or how about an individually commissioned oil painting? Or naturally sourced, five-year-aged French hen feathers? Or tufted rows of silk? Or hell, diamonds? And why not diamonds made from the carbon composites of your previously owned Rolls-Royce cars? All of these are possible. And that’s just the beginning.

Yes, it all comes at a price: $450,000 for the standard car and $530,000 if you want the extended wheelbase. And don’t you dare scoff at that. For Phantom customers, price doesn’t matter. No one is cross-shopping a Phantom. No one is rethinking their budget for a year to see if they can put a Phantom in the garage. Deciding to buy the car is the no-brainer decision – how to truly make it yours, however, now that’s the hard part.

As for complaints, well, I don’t have any. How can I find fault with a car this comfortable, this cosseting? Sure, maybe there’s the tiniest imperfection in the stitching on the pillow under my head, but that’s because every single thing in this car was put there by hand. Maybe the infotainment system reminds me a little too much of my stock broker’s 7 Series. Maybe the steering could be a little better, the brakes could have a bit more initial grab. But then again, those are my driver’s problems, not mine. Really, what could I possibly nitpick? I’m relaxed, removed from life’s annoyances. I am in happy, peaceful silence. I’m in the finest luxury car in the world.

Rolls-Royce Phantom revealed as eighth-generation luxury flagship

However, Koehn promised that the enhanced ride quality has not been achieved to the detriment of handling, which is a key area Rolls wanted to improve on the new Phantom. To that end, a new 48V electrical architecture has been fitted, alongside chassis technology including active stabiliser bars to stop roll and four-wheel steering both to improve stability and agility and reduce the turning circle.

“This technology adds both stability and ride comfort for an unprecedented blend,” Koehn said, adding that the Phantom was now “rewarding behind the wheel as well as in the rear”. A new softer tyre compound from Continental, complete with its own sound deadening, has been made for the Phantom’s 21in front and 22in rear wheels to complete its dynamic armoury.

Under the bonnet is a new version of Rolls-Royces’ 6.75-litre V12, which has the addition of twin turbochargers for the new car. The pistons, cooling system, crankshaft and engine management software are also new in an engine that Koehn describes as producing “pure thrust”.

The V12 produces 563bhp at 5000rpm but its torque figure of 664lb ft is more significant, with full torque available from just 1800rpm. Koehn said pushing low-end torque “to the max” was a key part of the brief for the new engine. The engine could produce yet more torque, but Koehn said this “wouldn’t be appropriate”.

The engine drives the Phantom’s rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Müller-Ötvös said a V12 was a key part of the Phantom’s appeal and that it “could not be a V8”.

The Phantom can reach 62mph from rest in 5.3sec and hit a top speed limited to 155mph. It could go faster, said Koehn, but again this “wouldn’t be appropriate”. Stability is much improved above 100mph in the new Phantom compared to the old car, added Koehn.

Rolls Royce Phantom 2018 UNVEILED - UK Release Date, Specs and Pictures


Rolls Royce Phantom 2018 has been unveiled

Rolls Royce Phantom 2018 was unveiled to the world at an exclusive media event in London. 

The car marks the eighth-generation of the iconic range, with the new Phantom VIII designed to push the boundaries of bespoke luxury and personalisation. 

Immediately, it is worth knowing that Phantom VIII is built on a whole new, unique platform and features an all-allumniium ‘Architecture of Luxury’. 

This is a shift away from an emerging trend by some car manufacturers sharing platform with other vehicles. 

One of the reasons for this was to achieve something completely unique and also again push home the notion of being a Rolls Royce owner a special and unique thing. 

The Architecture of Luxury is an all-aluminium space frame architecture designed by Rolls-Royce engineers and will inform every future Rolls Royce, starting with the new Phantom. 

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars said at a press event yesterday that creating Phantom VIII was a pursuit for “perfection” and that “a Rolls Royce is never a compromise.” 

He said: “We are constantly evolving and our ethos is to strive for perfection in everything we do.

“I think you need to question yourself constantly when you are in that position. Where can we get better, are we really up on what our customers are requesting from us.”

Key to Rolls-Royce realising its vision of being the world’s leading luxury brand

Philip Koehn, Director of Engineering

“Key to Rolls-Royce realising its vision of being the world’s leading luxury brand, today and in the future, is an architecture that spans the entire Rolls-Royce family,” comments Philip Koehn, Director of Engineering. 

“The Architecture of Luxury will carry every future Rolls-Royce, not just the New Phantom. Project Cullinan and eventually the next Ghost, Wraith, Dawn will ride on this architecture, as well as future coachbuild projects.”

In addition to the aluminium frame being unique, it is also 30 per cent more rigid than the space frame that was on the Phantom VII. 

The new designs sees the iconic Pantheon grille blend more seamlessly into the bodywork, creating smooth lines across the body.


The Phantom interior is the epitome of luxury

It has the dominant stance and comforting familiarity of a Phantom with a few smoother edges and flares here and there to distinguish it from the VII. 

At the back of New Phantom as the flowing rear design is reminiscent of the 1950’s and 1960’s Phantoms into a tapered tail

This new ‘Architecture’ also works injunction with a 6mm two-layer glazing all around the car to deliver bettie noise isolation. 

More than 130kg of sound insulation using high absorption materials was used to create ‘the most silent motor car in the world.’

The employment of double skin allow on areas within the floor and bulkhead of the space frame is something unique to the Phantom 

Rolls Royce went to great lengths to make the Phantom VIII silent adding high-absorbing layers in the roof, dense foam and felt layers around the car, ‘Silent Seat’ tires with a foam layer inside them to reduce noise by 9db. 

The car manufacturer claim that the car wish 10 per cent quieter than its predecessor at 62mph. 

New high comfort chassis with air suspension and state-of-the-art chassis control systems have bene added to improve the ride and comfort and reduce vibration in the cabin. 

Rolls Royce describe the suspension configuration and designs ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ alluding to the car gliding along the road. 

A new double-wishbone front axle and 5-link rear axle deliver will improve control and make the car more agile and stable and rear-wheel steering - a first for the Phantom - will also allow a more dynamic ride. 

Powering the Phantom is a newly created 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 powertrain delivering 563bhp and 900NM of torque and a ZF 8-Speed gearbox.

The CEO also stated that the new Phantom will be better connected and equipped than ever before. 

“Phantom [VIII] is the most up to date technology driven Rolls Royce we have ever done in history so far.”


Rolls Royce Phantom 2018 has been given a facelift

This is apparent by the amount of driver assistance systems included on the car. Some of these are: Alertness Assistant, a 4-camera system with Panoramic View, all-round visibility including helicopter view, Night Vision and Vision Assist, Active Cruise Control, collision warning, pedestrian warning, cross-traffic warning, lane departure and lane change warning.

In addition to this a high-resolution head-up display, 12.3 inch TFT colour displays with LED backlighting, WiFi hotspot, and the latest navigation and entertainment systems have also been added to upgrade the technology on-board. 

Inside the car, new hand-crafted seats have been added to increase comfort.

There are a number of seat type options too for drivers which include the more intimate lounge seat, individual seats with occasional armrest, individual seats with fixed centre console and the newly introduced sleeping seat.

The new fixed rear centre console receives significant enhancement, by incorporating a drinks cabinet with whisky glasses and decanter, champagne flutes and coolbox.


This 'Gallery' is uses 3D printed DNA set in 24 carat gold

Seats, armrests, centre console lid and door armrests are all now heated too. 

The most exciting, unique and interesting inclusion the interior is the new ‘Gallery’.

This is an exclusive feature to the Phantom and allows owners to inject their personality into the car.

The instrument panel now sits behind a thin piece of glass, which has been designed to be completely dust-free. Behind the instruments drivers can now add in any piece of art they desire. 

Rolls-Royce has already worked with a number of artists, designers and design collectives to demonstrate what kind of creations are possible to put behind the glass of ‘The Gallery’ for the owners pleasure.

One design was a gold-plated 3D-printed map of an owners DNA created by the enfant terrible of German product design Thorsten Franck.

The CEO also stated that the new Phantom will be better connected and equipped than ever before. 

“Phantom [VIII] is the most up to date technology driven Rolls Royce we have ever done in history so far.”

In no uncertain terms Torsten believes that Rolls Royce can offer things that no other can. 

“This Phantom is a pleasure for all your senses. It is impossible to beat and there are no others around who can deliver similar things.”

Bespoke design and engineering was the cornerstone for Rolls Royce when developing the new Phantom, which will be revealed tonight. 

“Your imagination is our only limit” and that “something that’s only we[Rolls Royce] can offer”.

“You as a customer want to ensure that the car is hugely individual, what matters at the end of the day is creating individual masterpieces.”

Phantom will go on sale early next year. 

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