The New Rolls-Royce Phantom, the eighth generation of the legendary nameplate, this week made its China debut at the Beijing Time Museum, an exquisitely constructed courtyard close to the capital’s ancient landmark time reference point DrumTower.
The automaker said in a statement that “The New Phantom has marvelled the world and redefined the pinnacle of luxury, receiving overwhelming positive from both patrons and the media worldwide.”
Leon Li, Director of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars China, commented, “In the thick atmosphere of anticipation, the New Phantom finally arrives in China, bringing with it the world’s foremost luxury item to honour our distinguished Chinese patrons. With this new marque, we also want to reaffirm our full commitments to the Chinese market.”
Rolls-Royce’s dedicated Architecture of Luxury
The New Phantom is the first of a new generation of Rolls-Royces to benefit from the creation of the Architecture of Luxury.
The Architecture of Luxury has been designed and engineered from the ground up in such a way as to be scalable to the size and weight requirements of future Rolls-Royce models, thus underpinning the long-term future product roadmap.
The new architecture is at the heart the Rolls-Royce experience. Accompanying the increased stiffness of the spaceframe is a best-in-class high-comfort chassis with air suspension and state-of-the-art chassis control systems, delivering a whole new level of comfort known as Rolls-Royce’s ‘Magic Carpet Ride’.
The most silent motor car in the world
Incalculable effort was expended to create ‘the most silent motor car in the world’ including coating 6mm two-layer glazing all around the car, the largest ever cast aluminium joints in a body-in-white for better sound insulation, and use of high absorption materials.
Acoustic insulation from road noise has been helped by the employment of double skin alloy on areas within the floor and bulkhead of the spaceframe. This is a feature unique to New Phantom. Further noise insulation from inserting dense foam and felt layers between these skins provide sound insulation not witnessed before in the car industry.
In addition, high absorption layers within the headliner, in the doors and in the boot cavity have further aided insulation and reduced reverberation. Rolls-Royce also worked closely with its tyre supplier to invent ‘Silent-Seal’ tyres – which feature a specific foam layer placed inside the tyre to wipe out tyre cavity noise and reduce overall tyre noise by 9db, meaning that conversation within the car is completely effortless.
All in all, it is a perfect 360° cocooning effect in a motor car that is approximately 10 per cent quieter than its predecessor at 100km/h.
The heart of a Rolls-Royce – the magnificent V12 reinvented
With the focus on creating the most silent motor car in the world, a silent engine was also required, and that meant more low-end output at lower revs. Hence a completely new, 6.75-litre V12 powertrain has been engineered for New Phantom, in place of the previous naturally aspirated V12 engine.
The new V12 Phantom engine employs two turbo chargers that contribute to a low-end torque output of 900Nm at an incredibly low 1,700rpm whilst also delivering 563bhp or 420kW of power, resulting in calm low speed progress associated with state occasions and an unfussed surge of power when one needs to press on. The addition of Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT), married to a ZF 8-speed gearbox also ensures that the driver is prepared for whatever the road has in store for them.
New Phantom – a contemporary design masterpiece
The first Rolls-Royce to be built on the new Architecture of Luxury, the New Phantom is a wholly new and contemporary interpretation of the Phantom DNA, delivering new levels of iconic presence and an increased elegance of line suggesting both poise and stability at speed and an unrushed Grand Arrival.
On first glance the New Phantom is remarkable in its purity. Thanks to the new Architecture of Luxury and new engineering processes, the precision body joining process ensures there are few, if any, visible join lines between body panels, giving New Phantom the appearance of being hewn from a solid block of aluminium. It is truly a triumph of design and engineering departments working hand in hand to create a beautiful masterpiece.
Its opening gesture immediately demonstrates a radical contemporisation of Phantom, through the reimagining of the Pantheon grille at the heart of the design. The strong portrait grille is raised higher than that of Phantom VII, also resulting in a positioning of the Spirit of Ecstasy approximately a half inch higher. It is redolent of the futuristic design first hinted at on the grille of VISION NEXT 100 – codename 103EX – last year, but also influenced by the James Young-era Silver Cloud.
This flow is achieved through the handcrafting of beautiful, authentic materials and subtle creases in the bodywork. The key front to rear line begins inboard from the top edge of the grille moving outwards along the body to the rear, lending a sense of dynamism to New Phantom, while the front wing line fades just after the door handle suggesting pace and fluidity.
A lot happens at the back of New Phantom as the design evokes the beautiful flowing rears of the 1950s and 1960s Phantoms. The rear glass, again defined by an impeccably crafted stainless steel frame, is more raked and the rear lines sleeker than the previous Phantom, whilst a subtle scallop on the rear roof line that hovers above the rear occupants assures one of preserved head room.
‘The Gallery’ – an unprecedented new concept in luxury
At the heart of the New Phantom’s wholly modern design aesthetic is ‘The Gallery’, a contemporary and luxury reinterpretation of a motor car’s dashboard and instrument panel area.
All of the elements within ‘The Gallery’ are enclosed in an uninterrupted swathe of toughened glass that runs the full width of the dash area. By realising a space in the upper dashboard, ‘The Gallery’ creates an area for Bespoke works of art and thereby multiplies the personalisation potential for every owner of a New Phantom.
As a Bespoke commission, customers will be able to choose a favoured artist or designer to work with Rolls-Royce to create a truly individual work of art that spans the width of ‘The Gallery’ in their New Phantom.
Rolls-Royce has already worked with a number of artists, designers and design collectives to demonstrate what kind of creations are possible to put behind the glass of ‘The Gallery’ for the owner’s pleasure.
Works as various as an oil painting inspired by the South Downs of England in Autumn by renowned Chinese fine artist Lian Yangwei, a gold-plated 3D-printed map of an owner’s DNA created by the enfant terrible of German product design Thorsten Franck, a hand-made stem of the finest porcelain roses handmade by world-renowned porcelain manufacturer Nymphenberg or an abstract design in silk by young British artist Helen Amy Murray are some of the creations inspired by this most unusual of Gallery spaces.
In addition to these time-consuming Bespoke commissions, Rolls-Royce’s craftspeople and designers at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood have created a stunning collection of forward-looking Gallery treatments of silk, wood, metal and leather, which are available immediately.
Phantom: the world’s leading luxury item
Fundamental to the rear occupant’s experience and enjoyment of their New Phantom is this ‘Embrace’. It re-defines Rolls-Royce comfort and refinement – already the benchmark for any car manufacturer – to create a detoxifying environment whilst cocooning the occupant in the finest of materials, whilst all four doors are enhanced with this new technology to enfold the occupant. The rear and now front doors can also be effortlessly closed from the inside.
The occupant is treated with the Magic Carpet Ride once again in the New Phantom. When in need of a space to reflect on issues of importance or simply to get lost in thought, one’s imagination is inspired by the largest Starlight Headliner ever seen in a Rolls-Royce. High gloss, exquisitely tactile wood panelling that can be commissioned for the door interiors, centre consoles, dashboard and picnic tables, encircles the passenger in only the most beautiful and authentic materials.
Meanwhile, further unseen levels of comfort and refinement are introduced into the Phantom suite with heated surfaces operated in conjunction with the seat heating functionality. Areas throughout the interior that are now heated include the front door armrests, front centre console lid, lower C-Pillar, rear side armrests with all individual seats, and rear centre armrest.
The Architecture of Luxury, ‘The Gallery’, The Embrace, The Art of Movement, the best possible materials in the world and peerless Rolls-Royce design and engineering; the New Rolls-Royce Phantom resets the benchmark not only as ‘the Best Car in the World’, but as the world’s leading luxury item. As the next chapter in Rolls-Royce’s story opens, the New Phantom points the way forward for the global luxury industry.