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Future models - Rolls-Royce - Phantom

Rolls-Royce rolls out new Phantom

Dr Evil: Once it lands in Australian showrooms in late 2017, the $1 million-plus Rolls-Royce Phantom flagship luxury limo will wear one of the highest pricetags of any vehicle on the market.

New Rolls-Royce Phantom luxury limo here in Q4 2017 with seven-figure pricetag

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Rolls-Royce logo28 Jul 2017

By TUNG NGUYEN

ROLLS-ROYCE has ripped the covers off its eighth-generation ultra-luxurious Phantom four door, which is expected to land in Australian showrooms in late 2017 with “pricing in excess of $1 million”, according to a spokesperson.

Although specific pricing has yet to be revealed, as well as customisation, options and accessories likely to swell the cost, the new-generation Phantom will wear a considerably higher pricetag than its predecessor, which kicks off at $855,000 driveaway for the standard wheelbase Phantom and $990,000 for the extended wheelbase version.

However, the Phantom VIII sits on a new all-aluminium spaceframe architecture which makes the new luxury cruiser about 30 per cent more rigid than the spaceframe platform of its predecessor, as well as being lighter and quicker to produce in standard and extended wheelbase forms.

Making its debut in the new Phantom, the Architecture of Luxury – as the new platform is called – was built from the ground up to be scalable and will also underpin all of Rolls-Royce’s future models including the brand’s first SUV offering, the Cullinan.

Rolls-Royce is claiming its new Phantom is the most silent car in the world thanks to around 130kg of sound insulation and 6mm thick two-layer glazing all around, as well as a beefier floor and bulkhead to eliminate unwanted noise intrusion.

High sound-absorption materials are also used throughout the headliner, doors and boot, while Rolls says specially developed tyres that “feature a specific foam layer placed inside … to wipe out tyre cavity noise and reduce over tyre noise by 9db” are wrapped around 22-inch wheels.

To reduce unwanted body roll, the Phantom’s double wishbone front and five-link rear set-up is underpinned by air suspension and a new chassis control system with a Magic Carpet Ride function that “makes millions of calculations every second as it continuously varies the electronically controlled shock absorber adjustment system – reacting to body and wheel acceleration, steering inputs and camera information.”

A front-facing stereo camera system integrated into the windscreen also reads the road ahead to pre-emptively adjust suspension settings, while the addition of four-wheel steering also contributes to a smoother ride.

According to Rolls-Royce, the new Phantom is 10 per cent quieter than the model it replaces while travelling at 100km/h – a speed it only needs 5.4 seconds to accelerate to from a standstill thanks to a new twin-turbo 6.75-litre V12 petrol engine.

In keeping with the Phantom’s ultra-luxurious credentials, Rolls has tuned the new engine to deliver maximum torque of 900Nm at just 1700rpm to keep engine noise at a minimum.

The engine also produces peak power of 420kW at 6000rpm and is teamed to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission to return a combined fuel consumption average of 13.9 litres per 100km and emit 319g/km of CO2.

From the outside, the new Phantom features evolutionary styling with a square front-end gradually softening into a tapered derriere with few visible body panel seams giving “the appearance of being hewn from a solid block of aluminium”, according to Rolls.

However, the front Pantheon grille is raised higher than its predecessor, as is the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy, and, for the first time, the grille is integrated into the bodywork and flanked by high-tech headlights with laser light technology that can illuminate the road up to 600 metres ahead.

The new Phantom also retains its nameplate’s signature short-front and long-rear overhangs, as well as the prominent shoulder kink that now finishes mid-way through the rear doors.

Polished stainless steel is used to highlight the windscreen, door windows and door handles – the latter of which are used to open the suicide doors which can be softly closed with the touch of a sensor.

Inside the Phantom, high-gloss surfaces and soft-touch materials characterise the interior with metal used across the air-vents and switchgear.

Not content to offer just front seats with a heating function, Rolls-Royce has also included a heating facilities across the Phantom’s two rear seats, front and rear armrests, centre armrests aft and fore, and lower C-pillar.

A sweeping wood panel highlight on the back of the new front seats is designed to evoke the classic Eames Lounge chair of the 1950s, according to Rolls, which also hide picnic tables and theatre monitors for the rear passengers – both controlled electronically.

The rear centre console also hides a cooler, drinks cabinet, champagne flutes, whisky glasses and decanter, while the brand also offers a myriad of customisation options, including material, colour and pattern choices for the inside.

According to the brand, “when in need of 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.”

For those who prefer the driver’s seat, tucked behind the steering wheel is the a newly designed 12.3-inch TFT colour display which incorporates driving information via three large dials surrounded by chrome rings.

A 7x3-inch head up display is also visible for drivers, while a retractable infotainment display sits atop the centre stack to showcase satellite navigation and communications information.

New safety systems include Alertness Assistant, a four-camera system with panoramic view, night vision, adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, cross-traffic alert and lane departure warning.

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