The first Rolls-Royce to be built on the new Architecture of Luxury, the New Phantom is a wholly new and contemporary interpretation of the Phantom DNA, delivering new levels of iconic presence and an increased elegance of line suggesting both poise and stability at speed and an unrushed Grand Arrival.
On first glance the New Phantom is remarkable in its purity. Thanks to the new Architecture of Luxury and new engineering processes, the precision body joining process ensures there are few, if any, visible join lines between body panels, giving New Phantom the appearance of being hewn from a solid block of aluminium. It is truly a triumph of design and engineering departments working hand in hand to create a beautiful masterpiece.
Its opening gesture immediately demonstrates a radical contemporisation of Phantom, through the reimagining of the Pantheon grille at the heart of the design. The strong portrait grille is raised higher than that of Phantom VII today, also resulting in a positioning of the Spirit of Ecstasy approximately a half inch higher. It is redolent of the futuristic design first hinted at on the grille of VISION NEXT 100 – codename 103EX last year, but also influenced by the James Young-era Silver Cloud.
However, unlike 103EX and all previous Phantoms, New Phantom’s grille is for the first time integrated into the surrounding bodywork. The resulting effect is a cleaner, reduced design with modernity and clarity, allowing all New Phantom’s lines to connect with this iconic statement of power and flow from it.
In addition, a new purposeful headlamp graphic gives a confident and focused expression with fresh, frosted internals that feel open and optimistic, whilst accommodating an expressive ring of daytime driving lights and the most advanced laserlight system of any motor car that at night casts light well over 600 metres down the road.
This flow is achieved through the handcrafting of beautiful, authentic materials and subtle creases in the bodywork. The key front to rear line begins inboard from the top edge of the grille moving outwards along the body to the rear, lending a sense of dynamism to New Phantom, while the front wing line fades just after the door handle suggesting pace and fluidity.
The grille itself is created from hand-polished stainless steel, a material that highlights the precious and timeless nature of this New Phantom and its modern architecture through the use of a visually warm and highly tactile material. Emanating from the upper tips of the grille, the polished stainless steel strips curve along the upper edges of the bonnet and around the windscreen, accentuating the length of the bonnet and seamlessly blending the cabin to the lower volume as though swept by the wind.
From the side, New Phantom has the iconic 2:1 proportions that have endeared so many to every generation of Phantom, featuring a short front and long rear overhang, an upright front and a flowing rear. The rear lines of the car in side view circle forward to the waft line and lead the eye back through the front wheel. The largest single-piece of hand-polished stainless steel on any motor car is the side frame finisher of New Phantom. It beautifully accentuates the elegant stance of the car and with a rounded softer feel, preserves the iconic wide C-pillar for privacy, while allowing the eye to transition easily to the rear. Furthermore, a single polished stainless steel strip is placed on the sill of the Phantom Extended Wheelbase to differentiate it.
“The side view design theme of Phantom recalls the elegance of Phantom V. By separating the front wing line from the waist line, we introduce a sense of movement and this line circles back under the car inferring a lighter, fleetness of foot,” comments Taylor.
A lot happens at the back of New Phantom as the design evokes the beautiful flowing rears of the 1950’s and 1960’s Phantoms. The rear glass, again defined by an impeccably crafted stainless steel frame, is more raked and the rear lines sleeker than the previous Phantom, whilst a subtle scallop on the rear roof line that hovers above the rear occupant’s assures one of preserved head room.
The eye is also drawn inboard by a neat tapered tail, which is constructed of super formed aluminium to ensure more join-free surfaces and flowing bumper lines around the rear light graphic. Subtle creases in the bootlid that hark back to the more pronounced boots of earlier Phantoms flow on to a pronounced boot lid finisher. Again in stainless steel this feature echoes the front grille whilst allowing the airflow to gracefully depart from the rear of the car. Even the jewel-like rear light cluster is furnished in exquisite detail with the famous Double-R badges etched in.
Hand-polished stainless steel also envelops the first touchpoints of New Phantom – the handles on the iconic coach doors. Unlike the trend for insubstantial fared in handles, Rolls-Royce understands that the substance of a Rolls-Royce door handle is key to the owners every day physical experience of their motor car, and the feel of this beautiful material under the hand is highly satisfying to them.
The final visual expression of Phantom is its wheels, which of course conform to the golden mean of Rolls-Royce design proportion. Essential to providing the sensation of flight on land, the largest high-value alloy wheel ever employed on a Rolls-Royce is offered. At 22-inches, the diameter when shod in Rolls-Royce’s Seal Technology Tyres’ delivers a Magic Carpet Ride never experienced in a Rolls-Royce before.
Phantom: The World’s Leading Luxury Item
Stepping aboard the New Phantom is an occasion in itself. The coach doors stand open. The only choice is whether one drives or is driven. As the patron settles into the car, an assistant or valet steps forward and lightly touches the sensor on the door handle. The door automatically whispers closed of its own accord, enveloping the occupant in ‘The Embrace’ of the World’s Leading Luxury Item.
Fundamental to the rear occupant’s experience and enjoyment of their New Phantom is this ‘Embrace’. It re-defines Rolls-Royce comfort and refinement – already the benchmark for any carmaker – to create a detoxifying environment whilst cocooning the occupant in the finest of materials, whilst all four doors are enhanced with this new technology to enfold the occupant. The rear and now front doors can also be effortlessly closed from the inside.
‘The Embrace’ is the vision of Giles Taylor, inspired by his creation of 103EX. He has taken great strides towards evoking the spirit of 103EX with the futuristic interior design of the New Phantom, where nothing detracts from calmness and tranquillity in this particular sanctuary. Technology is hidden until required, spaces and surfaces are clean, and the eye rests only on beauty as if in an art gallery.
As one would expect from a Rolls-Royce, the environment is crafted from the most precious and contemporary of materials. What is unexpected is the feeling of lightness and simplicity, an effortless elegance.
From one’s position on beautifully enhanced rear seats, the occupant is borne along in near-silence as if on a pillow of air, thanks to much enhanced ride and acoustic comfort. When in need of a space to reflect on issues of importance or simply lost in thought, ones imagination is inspired by the largest Starlight Headliner ever seen in a Rolls-Royce. High gloss, exquisitely tactile wood panelling that can be commissioned for the door interiors, centre consoles, dashboard and picnic tables, encircles the passenger in only the most beautiful and authentic materials.
The lines at the front of the interior lean forward suggesting a progressive nature, while in contrast the rear doors lean back, relaxing the character of the rear environment. When designing the armrests, the J-Class yacht was heavily referenced as a design inspiration. The tension and ‘hull’ of the armrests are directly influenced by these large sailing yachts.
The seats are newly sculpted and hand-crafted to deliver even more comfort. They feature a strong horizontal element through the top of the seat, imparting a sense of width, comfort and presence, whilst visually enhanced with a vertical interpretation of the seat ‘bullet’ previously seen in Wraith and Dawn. The sweep of wood panelling across the back of the front seats have clearly been influenced by the famous Eames Lounge Chair of 1956, a design so regarded by patrons of luxury that it is part of the New York Museum of Modern Art’s permanent display.
Cleverly secreted behind the wood panelling on the rear of the front seats are the Rear Picnic tables and Rear Theatre Monitors, which are electrically deployed and retracted at the effortless touch of a button, ensuring an uncompromised theatre experience. Rolls-Royce’s customary attention to detail even dictates that the seat controls are repositioned from the centre armrest to a more intuitive position for the user.Phantom patrons will be able to commission different seating choices best suited to their requirements. Choices 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. In any configuration effortless conversation is aided with the very careful angling of the rear seats. This ensures occupants are able to talk to each other without straining their necks.
The sense of touch is also satisfied by the continued use of the finest and most authentic materials throughout the interior. Every item of switchgear is made from metal – such as the iconic eyeball vents and organ stop controllers, seat and light switches, violin key window switches – glass or wrapped in the finest leather as dials including the new front and rear Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controllers.
Meanwhile, further unseen levels of comfort and refinement are introduced into the Phantom Suite with heated surfaces operated in conjunction with the seat heating functionality. Areas throughout the interior that are now heated include the front door armrests, front centre console lid, lower C-Pillar, rear side armrests with all individual seats, and rear centre armrest.
‘The Gallery’ – an unprecedented new concept in luxury
At the heart of the New Phantom’s wholly modern design aesthetic is ‘The Gallery’, a wholly contemporary and luxury reinterpretation of a motor car’s dashboard and instrument panel area.
While the character of the monolithic, upright dashboard pays contemporary homage to Rolls-Royce models of the past, with one clean, symmetrical surface, the main fascia veneer takes the eye from the lower centre up and outwards to create a sense of width.
All of the elements within ‘The Gallery’ are enclosed in an uninterrupted swathe of toughened glass that runs the full width of the dash area. Within it, the instrument digital dials are framed with chrome, adding a degree of jewellery and continuity throughout the front of the interior.
Behind the physical chrome surrounds of the instrument dials, Rolls-Royce has embraced a more futuristic approach to clearer instruments for the driver, something requested by Rolls-Royce customers around the world. 12.3 inch TFT colour displays with LED backlighting now communicate all driver information from within the round chrome surrounds, with the displays themselves designed with clear and beautiful virtual needles, Rolls-Royce jewellery-like chaplets and clear lettering.
In addition to speed, power reserve, fuel and temperature levels, the displays also react to provide essential information on cruise control settings, navigation instructions, driver assistance systems and a whole host of other information.
Also behind the glass of ‘The Gallery’ are housed the analogue clock – a nod the fact that it is “the loudest sound you can hear in a Rolls-Royce …” and the central information screen which can be retracted behind the centre stack when not in use.
The standard clock features a dark face and the surround is finished in black leather. However, each Bespoke Clock features a more intricate design, including a lighter backlit face with crystal effect details and counterweighted hands, and is finished to match the material selected within ‘The Gallery’.
The Architecture of Luxury, ‘The Gallery’, The Embrace, The Art of Movement, the best possible materials in the world and peerless Rolls-Royce design and engineering; the New Rolls-Royce Phantom resets the benchmark not only as ‘the Best Car in the World’, but as the world’s leading luxury item. As the next chapter in Rolls-Royce’s story opens, the New Rolls-Royce Phantom points the way forward for the global luxury industry.
Please do not hesitate to contact a member our our team at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Birmingham or Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Bristol for further information.
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Rolls-Royce Birmingham (sales)
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