If you’ve ever wondered whether it was possible for the Rolls-Royce Phantom to get any heavier, there’s something you ought to know. It just has.
Rolls-Royce doesn’t update the Phantom every day - in fact, there’s only been 8 new Phantoms since 1925. This is the second to be released under BMW’s ownership, and despite being a bit smaller than the last one, it is heavier overall.
So, is it better?
It doesn’t look that much different. However, it is generally more rounded, the front has been redone, and for the first time on a Phantom, the trademark grille is integrated into the bodywork, like the Ghost. All round, there’s many minor adjustments, which means that the change is actually quite significant.
As for the interior, well that’s where things get interesting. Oddly, they haven’t made it more basic. Instead, I think they might've made it even more opulent. In other words, it’s a bit less like a luxury hunting lodge, and more like one of Bill Gates’ living rooms. Every single luxury technology feature you could possibly dream of having in a car, the Phantom VIII has it. It has cameras on the windscreen taking note of the road ahead and adjusting the suspension to suit, double glazed windows, laptops that fold out from the seats with the tables, an impressive heating/air conditioning system, and a whole forest of expensive wood and dead animals.
The engine? Absolutely nothing short of a 6.75 litre V12. It’s capable of producing 419kW and 900Nm of torque. The maximum amount of revs the engine permits you to produce is around 5000rpm though. Not that you’d be able to hear it in the silent cabin, which is apparently even more silent than the last one. More silent than death, in fact.
And then there’s the driving experience. Though you won't be at the wheel often, because if you own one of these, chances are you can afford a chauffeur. But when you do take it for a spin (which is abuse), you will be pleasantly surprised by how fast it can take corners. Rolls-Royce reduced the width and increased the height of the car, so it ought to Roll a little more around corners, but it doesn't, because the body structure is apparently more rigid. The 0-100 sprint takes just 5.3 seconds, and the top speed is electronically limited to a moderate 250 km/h. Hopefully you won’t ever take it that fast, as this is to be driven more like a huge yacht: slowly and gracefully and not spilling champagne.
In short, the new Phantom is, like all of them, a magnificent car. The only reason you wouldn't buy one is because you can't afford it. Unless you're a dictator, a rapper, or a drug lord, none of which are worth becoming just so you can.
But we don’t have to have, to admire.
HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR PHANTOMS?
PHOTO CREDIT: Netcarshow.com