Some automobile marques are legendary and are to be revered as the pinnacles of the automotive world. Rolls-Royce has aimed to be such a marque from its very beginning in 1904, when Charles Stewart Rolls and Sir Henry Royce formed their alliance and founded the Rolls-Royce company. Their philosophy: to “take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it.” That statement remains the driving force of the Goodwood-based company today. The company has long been noted for its pioneering spirit in automotive development. The company built up its reputation during the early 20th century through its efforts on land, sea and in the air. Enter the 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom luxury sedan – perhaps one of the greatest examples of the company’s 114-year story.
Rolls-Royce Motorcars more often than not have been thought of as vehicles suitable only for extremely wealthy, mature individuals. Vehicles to be chauffer-driven in most cases, and not particularly noted for their performance capability. The new eighth generation Rolls-Royce Phantom turns that notion of its head. In terms of its popularity, particularly with a much younger, performance-oriented audience, the Phantom joins its smaller siblings – the Ghost, Wraith and Dawn – in offering a wide range of V12-powered luxury vehicles with some gusto.
The 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom, in addition to being stunningly elegant, also happens to be the epitome of luxurious motoring blended with impressive performance attributes.
Connectivity is available through the Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller. Located on the center console, the dial grants the driver access to the car’s plethora of infotainment and driver aid systems, much like parent company BMW’s iDrive rotary control.
The cabin reflects the pinnacle of luxuriousness. That inlucdes unique features such as a button-operated rising front cockpit floor. Also button operated are front seat-back picnic tables and a video entertainment screen. The rear-hinged doors close automatically – remaining a staple of the car’s design. And of course, the you can customize the Gallery dash panel whichever way suits your particular tastes.
The base price for the 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom starts at $450,000. That’s before you get into the wide range of options, however. When you do, that price quickly rises to a grand total of $561,110. Extra charges included the “Gallery” in Cascade Steel, a comfort entry system, and front and rear massaging seats. On top of that, you get a Silver Satin hood, a bespoke clock, and a Commissioned Collection Umbrella. More options abound, as you can tailor this car to your well-heeled tastes. Destination and handling charges and the inevitable Gas Guzzler Tax top off this car’s lofty price tag.
Standard fare consisted of a 10.25-inch control screen, the Spirit of Ecstasy rotary dial, a four-wheel steering system, head-up display and the Starlight Headliner. That headliner presents a starry night sky within the cabin. In fact, Rolls-Royce installs 1,340 individual fiber optic lights by hand to match your specifications.
The Phantom’s motive force is supplied by a 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V12. That engine delivers 563 horsepower and a surging 664 lb-ft of torque. Drive is geared to the rear wheels through an eight-speed, satellite-aided automatic transmission. It uses GPS data to anticipating the road ahead. Depending on your location and driving style, the transmission will select the most appropriate gear for the circumstances. 0-60 comes up in just over 5 seconds on the way to an 155 mph top speed. Not bad for a vehicle that tips the scale at nearly three tons.
Despite its surprising acceleration and agile handling in spirited driving scenarios, the Phantom is every bit a Rolls-Royce. It reflects the marque’s luxurious roots, as it is supremely capable when cruising at a modest speed. The ride quality is superb – comfortable, planted and stable thanks to the air suspension.
Upon entry, the Phantom feels huge and heavy, and rightly so, because it is, but it belies that initial impression, because it handles with a deftness and smoothness you wouldn’t expect.
The Phantom lends itself beautifully to a two-tone exterior paint treatment, but is equally appealing in a monotone color application. The company’s goal is to deliver within 6 months of an order. However, that can vary depending on how bespoke you get with your options.
The 2018 Roll-Royce Phantom sedan in either wheelbase makes a definitive statement as to one’s status on the ladder of success. If you can afford it, you’ll be the owner of one of the most luxurious sedans on the road.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Roll-Royce Phantom SWB
|Price as Tested:
|Engine:||6.75-liter, twin-turbocharged V12|
|Drivetrain (Layout):||Longitudinally mounted front engine, rear-wheel drive|
|Horsepower:||563 hp @ 5,000 rpm|
|Torque:||664 lb-ft @ 1,700 rpm|
|Transmission:||8-speed automatic with overdrive.|
|Suspension:||Front: Double wishbone with air springs and stabilizer bar
Rear: Multi-link with with air springs and stabilizer bar
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs|
|Tires:||Continental 255/45 YR22-9.5|
|Fuel capacity:||23.8 gallons|
|Fuel economy (EPA):||12 City / 19 Highway / 14 Combined MPG|
|Turning Circle:||42.9 feet|
|Curb Weight:||5,862 pounds|