There are many attractions to being a billionaire. You could xuất hiện a private zoo, commission statues depicting yourself as various historical figures striking heroic poses, or—if you want to go full Blofeld—hollow out your private island to lớn hide a moon-melting death ray. Alternatively, you could forget such fripperies & just buy a Rolls-Royce Phantom.

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You don’t need lớn be an actual billionaire khổng lồ afford one, but you vị need lớn be somewhere toward the đứng đầu of the 1 percent. Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös says that owners will almost exclusively be ultra-high-net-worth individuals, those with more than $30 million in cash và liquid assets. While the standard Phantom won’t be priced significantly above the outgoing version—figure around $450,000—it will be possible to lớn more than double that through the sort of personalization that Rolls encourages its buyers khổng lồ indulge in, such as installing commissioned art in the dashboard or color-matching the exterior lớn the exact shade of the sunset behind your beach house in the Maldives. This is a car for people who don’t care what it costs.


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The Architecture of Luxury

The first Rolls-Royce Phantom was produced as long ago as 1925, & the company claims that the nameplate is the longest-serving in the automotive industry. While that’s true, there have been long gaps between some of the earlier generations. Regardless, this all-new eighth-generation mã sản phẩm (we’re asked to refer lớn it as Phantom VIII in the style of a monarch or a Star Wars sequel) directly replaces the 2003-era Phantom VII, which was the first Rolls-Royce developed under BMW ownership.

The Phantom VIII is the first car to sit on Rolls-Royce’s new aluminum spaceframe platform, officially known as the Architecture of Luxury, which will underpin all future models including the upcoming Project Cullinan SUV. The exterior kiến thiết has undergone a less revolutionary transformation when compared with the outgoing model, gaining more curves and a radiator grille that integrates into the front of the oto better than the last Phantom’s freestanding chrome Parthenon. But despite some modest reduction in exterior dimensions, the Phantom VIII has lost none of the VII’s ability to shock & awe, especially in some of the snazzy two-tone paint finishes that Rolls-Royce chose for the cars used for the truyền thông launch in Switzerland.

Courtesy Extended

As you’d expect, our Phantom experience began in the back seat of an extended-wheelbase model. While Müller-Ötvös says that eight out of 10 Phantom owners will drive themselves at least occasionally, và that U.S. Buyers are the most likely lớn take the wheel, the extended-wheelbase (EWB) model—8.6 inches longer than the regular car—probably will be piloted by a chauffeur. & not a robotic one, either.


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Ingress is still made through a rear-hinged “coach door” in Rolls-speak—the unpleasant connotations of the more usual “suicide” reference thus being deftly avoided—and the rear cabin is every bit as special as you’d expect. The carpet pile is ankle deep, the adjustable seats offer a variety of massages, & there’s a refrigerator mounted in the center console complete with a clip-in decanter. Sadly, the last thành tựu proved empty during our ride. The interior feels very traditional, with a predictable abundance of wood và leather và old-fashioned rotary heating controls rather than digital displays: red for hotter, xanh for colder. But there’s plenty of well-disguised 21st-century tech, too—apparently one of the key demands from buyers of the old car. Display screens motor down from the backs of the front seats khổng lồ sit above the traditional wooden picnic tables, while USB và HDMI ports hide beneath a slide-down cover. The infotainment system is a thinly disguised version of BMW’s iDrive system that is operated by a similar turn-and-click controller; touch-sensitive screens would have been a little too vulgar, & they get so smeary.

The rear seat also provides a good view of the dashboard, which incorporates The Gallery: a glass panel spanning the dashboard, behind which owners can have their own personally commissioned artworks placed when the car is built. (The instrument cluster and the infotainment screen are also placed behind the glass.) Rolls-Royce is happy to connect buyers with artists working in everything from traditional oil paints to lớn avant-garde ceramics, & Müller-Ötvös says it’s entirely possible that a well-chosen piece by an up-and-coming talent might ultimately be worth more than the car surrounding it.

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Setting off is something of an anticlimax. The Phantom is a superb place to lớn spend time, but locomotion adds little sensation beyond the fact that the view of gawping mortals through the windows starts lớn scroll. That’s because the Phantom is freakishly quiet, with one of the engineering team’s bộ vi xử lý core objectives being to lớn make it the most silent passenger car in the world. In that, they succeeded; if you have tinnitus, then a gentle cruise in the back of the Phantom won’t create enough background noise to lớn mask it. Rolls-Royce has fitted about 287 pounds of sound-insulation material, plus double-glazed windows and tires containing noise-absorbing foam, with the result being a claimed 5-decibel reduction in volume over its already quiet predecessor (the decibel scale is logarithmic, so that modest number reflects a 75 percent reduction in perceived noise).

No Unseemly Slouching

Switching lớn the driver’s seat immediately emphasizes just how tall the Phantom is, an effect exacerbated by its high windowsills. Motoring the seat to a position that gives a good view forward khổng lồ the distant edge of the hood—and a chance to lớn ogle the proffered backside of the Spirit of Ecstasy—puts your eyes close to lớn where they’d be in a full-size SUV. The steering column is short on adjustment for rake, encouraging an arms-out, chauffeur-like driving position rather than an unseemly slouch, and the seats definitely are the sort you sit on rather than in.


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Progress is as stately as a Palladian villa in 400 acres of English parkland. The new twin-turbocharged 6.7-liter V-12 is a development of the engine in the lesser Rolls-Royce Ghost, producing the same 563 horsepower but tuned to deliver a meatier 664 lb-ft of torque available from just 1700 rpm. Under gentle throttle applications, it is possible to lớn feel the briefest of pauses as the turbos and engine internals gather momentum, but beyond that it pulls cleanly & almost silently; if any manufacturer is ready for seamless conversion to electrification, it definitely is Rolls-Royce. Unsurprisingly, the Phantom has been tuned khổng lồ deliver its best under mild use, with its ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox programmed khổng lồ keep the engine under 2500 rpm whenever it can. Even with this limitation, quarter-throttle acceleration feels respectably brisk, but it takes a hefty shove on the long-travel pedal lớn prompt a kickdown and get the V-12 producing its creamiest noises from the bow. While Rolls-Royce claims a 5.1-second zero-to-60-mph time for the short-wheelbase model, verifying that in anything other than a kidnapping-evasion scenario would have you sent back to chauffeur school or perhaps rapped over the back of the head with a gold-headed cane.

Ride chất lượng is exceptional, thanks in large part lớn the Phantom’s lack of any kind of sporting intent. The combination of relatively soft air springs & a 5600-plus-pound curb weight should result in a convincing impression of a 1970s Cadillac. Yet some very smart adaptive dampers working in conjunction with an optical bump-spotting system that works at speeds of up to 60 mph give outstanding body control và keep the cabin serene, even over the roughest surfaces that the Swiss Alps could throw in our way.


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There is lots of other clever dynamic technology, but it all functions with the invisible efficiency of a good valet. Active anti-roll bars with electric motors fight lean under cornering; Rolls-Royce claims these produce as much torque with 12-volt motors as rivals manage with their 48-volt systems. The Phantom can be hustled along at a rapid pace, although at the cost of considerable sliding on the nearly flat seats. The electrically assisted steering is lightly weighted and lacks feel, but accurate front-end responses make it easy khổng lồ place the car onto a chosen line, and there’s also a new rear-wheel-steering system that improves low-speed maneuverability. There are no dynamic settings or sport modes or any way khổng lồ manually select gears, although the transmission stalk on the steering column incorporates a Low button intended khổng lồ maximize engine-braking effect on long, steep downgrades.

Brand Manifesto

Anyone with the funds and inclination to lớn buy a Phantom likely will be equally able khổng lồ purchase any—or indeed all—of its most obvious competitors, from the Bentley Mulsanne lớn the Learjet 70. These people aren’t forced to make either/or decisions; possessing both/and is perfectly within their reach. Wanting a Phantom is the sort of itch that we suspect many of them will be keen to scratch, the car being good enough to lớn justify its enormous price. With the immodesty allowed a proud father, Müller-Ötvös reckons that this is the best car in the world, & considering it as an all-rounder, it would be hard khổng lồ disagree. If anyone offers you the choice of one oto for the rest of your life, make it a Phantom. But it’s more than just a snazzy ride: it’s also a spectacular manifesto for the future of the Rolls-Royce brand. It might be possible khổng lồ build a better luxury car than this, but don’t expect to lớn see one any time soon.


VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 4- or 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

ESTIMATED BASE PRICES: Phantom, $450,000;Phantom EWB, $500,000

ENGINE TYPE: twin-turbocharged & intercooled DOHC 48-valve V-12, aluminum block và heads, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 412 cu in, 6749 ccPower: 563 hp
1700 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic

DIMENSIONS:Wheelbase: 139.8-148.5 inLength: 227.2-235.8 inWidth: 79.4 in Height: 64.8-65.2 inTrunk volume: 19 cu ftCurb weight (C/D est): 5650-5750 lb

PERFORMANCE (C/D EST):Zero to lớn 60 mph: 4.5-4.6 secZero to lớn 100 mph: 9.5-9.6 secStanding ¼-mile: 12.8-12.9 secTop speed: 155 mph


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