by Britta Beduhn-Haverkamp
In March 2012, Rolls-Royce presented the Phantom Series II in Geneva, a family of pinnacle cars that have been thoughtfully updated with the introduction of cutting-edge technology, enhancements to an already peerless drive-train and improvements in connectivity. Phantom’s striking and modern front end best encapsulates the essence of changes that lie beneath, with re-styled bumpers and rectangular light apertures that frame full-LED light clusters. These allow the integration of new technologies like curve light functionality, where headlamp beams are reflected in the direction of travel to provide greater illumination of the road ahead when cornering. And adaptive headlamps, where light patterns change automatically and effortlessly in response to different driving speeds as well as the famous Rolls-Royce promise of a magic carpet ride. The Phantom has a light-weight aluminium space frame body, a V12 engine which develops tremendous power and torque and a style, inside and out, which is every inch a Rolls-Royce. Designers immersed themselves in the heritage and design principles which had made Rolls-Royce world famous and found particular inspiration in the Phantom I and II models of the 1930s, the Silver Cloud of the 1950s and the Silver Shadow of the 1960s. Features like a long wheelbase, a short front overhang, a deep C-pillar, a long bonnet and a particular stance, which made these motor cars look as if they were accelerating lightly even at a standstill, were fundamental design elements and were incorporated into the new Phantom - quite apart from the famous grille with the famous Spirit of Ecstasy mascot on the top.
Effortless is a word that perhaps best epitomises the Phantom experience, both for drivers and their passengers. So an improved user interface, as well as the addition of new driver assistance technologies, have been built on the foundation of a new electronics’ platform for Phantom Series II. The satellite navigation system, for example, has been fully updated with functions that include 3D map display with landscape topography, guided tours, as well as enhanced points of interest and composite route planning. Inside, the finest leather, Cashmere trim and fitted cabinetry have been used to create an atmosphere which is simple, yet of unquestionable quality. A slightly curved lounge seat helps to create a social environment. The Rolls-Royce Phantom is easy yet rewarding to drive - something which is vitally important as the majority of owners will drive themselves most of the time. The high driving position gives an excellent view. Intuitive and effortless to drive, the Phantom is beautifully refined and precise in its responses. Self-levelling air springs, electronic dampers and a multi-link rear, double wishbone front suspension combined with the long wheelbase and high profile tyres results in the perfect combination of ride and handling. The large wheels and tyres have been specially developed for the Phantom: it is the first car in the world to feature the advanced PAX run-flat tyre system as standard, which allows the car to run for a further 100 miles at 50 mph after a puncture.
Access is via coach doors, which open from the centre of the car (the rear doors hinged at the back) reminiscent of the classic Rolls-Royce era and which have been chosen to give easy access to the rear. Combined with a flat floor they allow passengers simply to walk in to the rear, turn and sit down. On the move, the purpose-designed 6.75-litre V12 engine provides huge reserves of power and torque. The Rolls-Royce Phantom will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds (0-100 km/h 5.9 seconds) and on to a limited top speed of 149 mph (240 km/h). Behind the wheel, the low-down torque wafts the Phantom swiftly yet effortlessly from tick-over. Peak torque is 720 Nm (531 lb ft) at 3500 rpm, but more importantly 75 per cent of that total is developed at just 1000 rpm. Maximum power is 460 PS (338 kW). Phantom’s already sublime drive-train has also been enhanced. The addition of a new 8-speed automatic gearbox and rear differential perfectly complement the V12 direct injection engine, improving exemplary dynamics, as well as the famous Rolls-Royce promise of a magic carpet ride. Fuel consumption improves by 10 percent on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions fall from 385 to 347g/km as a consequence (388 to 349 for Phantom Extended Wheelbase).
Engine: 6.75L V12
Retail Price: starting at 305,000 pounds (450,000 euros or 420,000 dollars MRSP)
More information on: www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com