British carmaker Rolls-Royce doesn't have a monopoly over luxury cars. Bentley and Maybach are close on the heels. However, when it comes to the pinnacle of luxury, Rolls-Royce is the only brand a majority will reckon with. It is not an easy break down why Rolls-Royce enjoys such an advantage but the brand's latest creation, the eighth generation of Phantom will give some clues why is to so.
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Phantom was born in 1925. Over the last 92 years, seven generations were produced with utmost luxury. The prolonged existence has also helped Phantom earn the title 'best car in the world.' With such a glorious history, Rolls-Royce engineers and designers should have been between the devil and the deep sea when they were assigned to work on the Phantom VIII. No wonder the development took six years but the good news is that the team has nailed it. The new Phantom has definitely taken the words perfection and opulence to next level.
The new Phantom is 8mm higher than the seventh gen model at 1,646mm, 29mm wider at 2,018mm, and 77mm shorter at 5,762mm in length, with a wheelbase that is 19mm shorter than before, at 3,552mm. The car is based on what Rolls-Royce calls Architecture of Luxury. It is all-aluminium spaceframe architecture which is 30 percent more rigid than the architecture of Phantom VII. The architecture also makes the new Phantom light.
According to styling boss Giles Taylor, the team has strived for a "yacht-like profile" for the new Phantom. The signature Pantheon grille is recessed and pushed up higher. As a result, the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament catapults forward. One can also notice the front end of the car is shorter and the back is longer than the previous one. In addition, more aggressively raked rear glass complements forward thrusting design approach.
The detailing inside the cabin is too numerous and mind-numbing. The highlight is a new glass fascia for the dashboard, marking the first time that glass has been used for this part of a car. The seats are newly sculpted and handcrafted to deliver even more comfort. In addition, cleverly hidden behind the wood panelling on the rear of the front seats are the rear picnic tables and theatre monitors, which are electrically deployable. This does ensure the rear of the car a home theatre like experience.
Further, as one would expect from a Rolls-Royce, the environment is crafted from the most precious and contemporary materials.
The Phantom is powered by a 6.75-litre, twin-turbocharged V12 engine that belts out 570bhp at 5,000rpm and whopping 900Nm of peak torque from 1,800rpm. Despite being heavy at 2,625kg, new Phantom is capable of going 0-100kph in 5.3 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 250kmph.