When something is leagues ahead in a given segment, it’s colloquially called ‘the Rolls-Royce of’ said segment. And from a stable of thoroughbreds, the Rolls-Royce Phantom is the grandest of them all. So, in a way, it’s a Rolls-Royce of well, Rolls-Royce? The Phantom marquee dates back to as early as the mid 1920s, making it, the longest surviving production car in history.
This new Phantom is the eighth iteration of the brand’s flagship automobile and hence is called the Phantom VIII — the Roman numerals definitely add a touch of drama. It’s the second all-new Phantom to be designed under BMW’s ownership. While the car it replaces (Phantom VII) was essentially build over a modified version of one of BMW’s existing platforms, the Phantom VIII is the carmaker’s first design to be built on the brand’s all new aluminium-based platform, that Rolls-Royce calls the Architecture of Luxury.
The advantage here is that this platform is significantly stiffer than the one it replaces which should aid in further improvement, the almost magic carpet like ride quality of the big Rolls. More important, this platform lets engineers make a more liberal use of sound-deadening materials, making the Phantom VIII the quietest car in the word. The platform will also be used in upcoming Rolls-Royce models, including an ultra-luxurious SUV that Rolls-Royce has planned in the near future.
While the bones are all-new, in terms of design, the skin is more of an evolution than a revolution. And that is a good thing as the Phantom VIII retains the classic lines and proportions that make it the distinguished automobile it is. That said, the new Rolls flaunts more curves and the iconic radiator grills flows into the nose in a much more cohesive manner. Interestingly, the new Phantom VIII is a smidge smaller than the car it replaces (generally, luxury cars have a propensity to get larger with every new generation).
Despite this, the car, in no way whatsoever loses on the stunning visual presence offered by its sheer size. If anything, the clever design elements make it appear larger than its predecessor. As for length, the Phantom is 5.7m long (in standard trim), while the extended wheelbase version is 5,98m (almost six!) in length. To put that in perspective, it’s over five feet longer than a Honda City!
Saying that the Phantom is highly customizable to your taste is a gross understatement. In fact, there will rarely be two Phantoms that will be exactly the same. On the outside, there are well over 40,000 colours and shades to choose from! And if that doesn’t suffice, you can always request a fully custom paint job from one of the brands in-house designers.
And the customisation doesn’t end there. Inside, one of the exclusive features that helps you create your one-of-a-kind Phantom is what RR calls the Gallery. It features a glass panel that spans the width of dashboard. This is a canvas on which you can commission artists to create a masterpiece or pick from an array of high-quality artwork from the carmaker’s cache. Of course, there’s pretty much every luxury feature here but the ones that stand out are the champagne chiller and the Starlight roof that replicates the night sky and stars all over the headliner.
Under the hood, you’ll find a gargantuan 6.75-litre, twin-turbo, V12 petrol engine that makes a hefty 571hp. What’s even more impressive is the locomotive-like 900Nm of peak torque. Which means, despite its 2.5 tonne weight, the Phantom VIII can sprint from 0-100kph in just 5.4 seconds. Power is delivered via a sophisticated 8-speed automatic transmission.
A Rolls is synonymous with luxury and opulence and the Phantom is the grandest of them all. So, is the price! The PhantomVIII (standard) is priced at Rs 9.5 crore while the chauffer driven will prefer the longer version that’ll set you back by an eye-watering Rs 11.35 crore. Unsurprisingly then, the Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII is the most expensive car on sale in India as of now. Well worth, the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’.