Rolls-Royce has been crafting the 8th generation of the Phantom, the automakers’ flagship sedan. If you are wondering where the name comes from well, Sir Henry Royce coined it; now you know. For the new “ghost” BMW (parent company) has decided to hook it up with its own unique platform. The all-aluminum platform will in future underpin all Rolls-Royce models. The platform is flexible to allow different drive-trains making it all possible for an electric Roller in the not so far future. Rolls-Royce is up there with almost no competition because, at a price of around $0.5 million, no sedan even comes close (this is the territory of 2-door supercars). The 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom is a signifier of success, wealth and status. The 8th generation comes in the wake of complaints from some corners that the current model was beginning to look rusty.
2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom Exterior
Aesthetically speaking, the new sedan is easily recognizable as a Phantom thanks to the automaker’s decision to retain the boxy design that sets the model apart from other sedans in the market. The all-aluminum body is well crafted such that the gaps from the doors are the only noticeable gaps on the model’s exterior profile. All other seams are not easily visible.
At the front, the model’s grille has been revised; the new unit has been interlinked with the snout unlike in the Phantom VII where they are separate units. There are no longer vents below the grille; in their place is a recessed area to be used for the license plate. The corner vents have been integrated with the air dam. There are no horizontal DRLs as they have been replaced with small vents that add an aggressive character to the sedan. The Phantom’s headlights look smaller but sleeker; they are also integrated with LED DRLs and the latest version of laser headlights system. This new laser light system can project up to 2,000 feet away. The hood, on the other hand, is slightly revised; its sharp body lines have been shifted inward.
On the sides, the changes are not very drastic, particularly above the beltline. However, changes are more significant below the belt where previous striking body lines have been toned down for smoother lines that are not easily visible. There is another body line that stretches from the front wheel and gets integrated with the body immediately after the central door seam. The model’s wheel wells are also toned down. These changes have made this version of the Phantom look much more attractive.
At the rear, the “demon’s” rear quarters look bubblier; they also sit closer below the deck compared to the current model. The license plate recess is deeper and has a 3D look. The corners have a concave shape. The exhaust tips design has been carried over unchanged but they look wider. The taillights clusters have however been redesigned; the previous units have been discarded and replaced with sleeker and more modern looking units that have new matrix look. The units outer most edges are made up of taillights while the inner section is used for brake lights. The center section is reserved for a small LED reverse light that augurs well with the Rolls-Royce badge in the center.
The cabin styling of the outgoing Phantom was starting to look outdated considering the level of styling in latest premium sedans even from the BMW line. However, the automaker has done quite an excellent job on the Phantom’s cabin to befit its “top dog” status.
The dashboard of the model has a boxy design to match with the exterior boxy shape. Rolls-Royce has christened the upper part of the new dash as “The Gallery”. This section is customizable according to each buyer’s taste (a buyer gets to choose what type of art they want for their “Gallery”. There are no conventional gauges; in their place is a fully digital unit. To maintain the model’s vintage look, the digital gauges design mimics that of the analog gauges. There are minimal changes on the HVAC system which has helped create a cleaner look. The layout of the dash is so designed for easier access for the driver as well as for the front passenger.
The steering wheel is also new and comes with shorter spokes with the lower spoke adopting a hollow at the center. The center console has also been revised. Front seats have a new stitching design while the door panels are wrapped with a glossy wood trim as well as chrome inserts.
At the rear, there is plenty of space for two passengers. Buyers of this kind of a car are usually chauffeured around hence the need to ensure the rear is lavishly trimmed. Lighting at the rear is very attractive and soothing. There is a large center console that helps give passengers their own area. In addition, each of the two rear passengers has their individual climate controls mounted on the door. Rear windows have curtains mounted to the window glass to accord the passengers privacy from “peeping Toms”.
There is a picnic table and a theater monitor, each mounted on the rear part of the front seats. These are concealed behind a glossy wood trim and they are electronically controlled. For ultimate comfort and relaxation, a buyer can order customized rear seats; available options include a sleeping seat, an intimate lounge seat or individual seats with a center console that can be hidden via touch of a button.
There are tons of other goodies that go beyond what you get in a regular premium sedan; for example, the Phantom features heating not only on all the seats but also on armrests, lower C-pillar and the lid on the front center console. The model also has around 300 pounds of insulation to ensure the ride is as quiet as possible; this enables one to convert the vehicle into a mobile office.
Engine and performance
Under the hood, the “Phantom” has a huge fire-spitting power-plant, a twin-turbocharged 6.75 L, V-12 engine. The monster power-plant churns out 536 horses and 664 lb-ft of torque. This represents a huge power hike from the outgoing model whose engine produces 453 hp and 531 lb-ft of torque. The mill is hooked up to an 8-speed automatic gearbox that channels all the power to the “demon’s” rear wheels. According to Rolls-Royce, the ghost can hit 62 mph in only 5.2 seconds and can reach an electronically controlled top speed of 155 mph. This is awesome for such a hefty car. EPA ratings are yet to be released.
The model is further tuned for better handling and enhanced comfort. In addition to being 30% more rigid than the outgoing model, the model features four-wheel steering, self-leveling air suspension and electronically controlled shocks which via a windshield mounted camera can react to upcoming road conditions.
Price and release date
The 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom is not a car for every other Tom, Dick or Harry; the high-end luxury hauler does not come cheap; the regular-wheelbase variant has a starting price of $450,000 while the long-wheelbase version attracts $530,000. Mind you, that price is exclusive of destination fees and gas-guzzler tax. Moneyed enthusiasts can start placing orders now but deliveries in the U.S. will commence in early 2018.