Rolls-Royce Phantom Review
- Published On: 24 October 2017
- 6 min read
The all-new eighth-gen Rolls-Royce Phantom is here, 14 years after the first model was launched. We take it for a spin.
British luxury carmaker, Rolls Royce has finally replaced the seventh-gen Phantom after more than a decade, 14 years to be precise. The all-new model is the manufacturer’s flagship model; this makes the introduction of this car a big occasion. The Phantom can undoubtedly claim to be the king of the car world. Since, the nameplate itself has been around from 1925, which also makes it the longest running car model ever.
This eighth-gen Phantom uses an all-new aluminium spaceframe that will also be seen in future Rolls-Royce offerings, like the incoming Cullinan SUV. Aluminium was the metal of choice because it is lightweight and stiffer, a claimed 30 percent stiffer in the new Phantom.
The air suspension on the New Phantom isn’t adjustable manually; it has a camera that sets up the suspension according to the road ahead. For the new sedan, Rolls-Royce has ditched run-flat tyres because of their hard sidewalls. The new car comes with softer sidewalls which help the ride quality considerably. Moreover, the new tyres feature a layer of sound-deadening that runs along the inner walls to reduce tyre noise. In total, the new Phantom uses 130kg of additional material over the previous gen model to help improve noise insulation.
In terms of performance, the new Phantom gets a V12 engine making 555hp and 900Nm. The luxury sedan starts developing the torque from as low as 1,700rpm which gives it the push that it needs. Interestingly, the grille on the new car sits a bit more flushed and sits in a slanted angle but this is so that there is increased airflow and less wind noise. Even though every panel on the new Phantom is all-new, the car continues to look the same. Rolls have purposely done this because of the love the older car received. The headlights on the new Phantom are slim with a new LED DRL surround.
On the inside
For this generation, Rolls has continued to use the backward doors at the rear. The door also continues to be operated with a push of a button however, this generation model also gets this feature for the front doors. Luxury is what this car is all about, and it shows. The Rolls features beautiful stitched leather and fine grain wood on the inside. The ‘standard’ Phantom also has more than sufficient legroom. However, the long wheelbase version has so much that one could completely stretch their legs out.
The new eight-gen car features buttons that are well-placed and don’t require any stretching to get to. The car also features a table and an entertainment system that comes down with a closely placed button. The Rolls also comes standard with a mini fridge and a pair of champagne glasses.
The new steering wheel continues to look similar but now has a bunch of buttons. The car also uses digital instrumentation instead of the analogue gauges seen on the previous models. The optional ‘starlight’ roof is now more complex; it has a lot more lights and runs all the way to the rear. However, the sedan cannot be optioned with a sunroof.
A big new feature is what the British carmaker calls ‘The Gallery’. It is a space on the dashboard where owners can add their artwork or choose from the company’s unique designs.
This car is designed to be driven around in; the car just glides forward like it’s on a cushion on air. The smooth roads we were driving on only further enhanced this smooth ride. Driving around in the car is a calm sensation, shutting out the outside world. The sound deadening makes hearing the big engine very difficult. To its merit, the car lets almost no road noise in. The plush ride does add a bit of unnecessary heaving that not many owners will notice. The car is capable of a 0-100kph time of 5.1sec however; the car feels happier being driven in an unhurried way.
Rolls-Royce was never known to make cars with an impressive steering feel, this one lacks steering feel too. There is also considerable play. But, this isn’t a car that needs to have steering feel, the manufacturer wasn’t looking at making a vehicle with stunning handling. Nonetheless, the huge luxury car is incredibly agile for its size. To add to it, the brakes on the eight-gen car are incredibly potent as well.
Should I buy one?
In India, we end up paying close to 200 percent in taxes and duties, which takes the car’s price up to around ₹8 crore and ₹9.5-10 crore for a high-spec Phantom. This Rolls isn’t exactly bang for your buck or value for money. However, it is the ultimate luxury and is aimed at buyers that can easily afford the crazy price tag.