One more generation of the epic, highly-exclusive Phantom from Rolls-Royce is here, working hard to innovate where extreme luxury and lavishness are the most important elements. This brand, one that is well-known for incredibly expensive luxury cars, has been quite active in the last few years with fresh developments.
Now, this new update for the Phantom model represents the next step in a journey with no end in sight. As many experts suggest, this model will continue its run in the decades to come as long it remains fresh and up-to-date, adding what is considered the novelties in the automotive industry.
We had a while already without fresh upgrades for the Phantom model. The reasons behind this are unclear but they don’t matter that much. The important thing is that 2018 will be the year of a newer model, one that seems to pack features that we’ll appreciate.
There is a very long history behind the Phantom name, probably the longest in the automotive history. The luxury carmaker had been claiming that the Phantom is the longest running vehicle available today. This is quite an achievement, especially for a car that is so exclusive and aims to a very distinguish market.
While it seems quite similar to what we had already, the 2018 Phantom implies big upgrades in many different aspects, bringing us an entirely different luxury car. The design team embarked on an exciting journey that demanded a full upgrade of the looks without losing its original scent.
Without losing more time, this is the moment when we move forward to understand what lays behind the 2018 Phantom, an exquisite luxury vehicle that plans to dominate its high-class segment.
Powerplant and Mechanics Onboard
Rolls-Royce hasn’t been cheap in terms of power. The 2018 Phantom packs great power under the hood, considerably more than its lavish predecessor. This is a clear response to the increasing power outputs in the luxury segment. Wealthy customers are not satisfied with luxury along; they want to add a lot of firepower to the experience.
The 2018 Phantom comes with a massive twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V-12 engine. This powerplant, which features many upgrades in comparison with the Phantom’s direct predecessor and its close siblings, produces up to 563 horsepower and a maximum torque of 664 lb-ft, fully available at 1700 rpm.
In order to complete the dominating setup, the 2018 Phantom is getting an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission that sends all the power produced to the rear axle. An all-wheel-drive layout will not be available as Rolls-Royce considered inappropriate for the current model. However, the transmission packs plenty more, leaving us with a quite capable gearbox option. The ZF onboard uses a geolocation system that optimizes the gears used for optimum performance depending on the terrain conditions.
At the end, the 2018 Phantom will not make the most from all the generated power. Unfortunately, this model is electronically limited to 155 mph (250 km/h). With the tuned V-12 chosen for this model, it’s clear that it can go way beyond. In this matter, the carmaker made comments about a prototype unit without top speed limitations. In this case, it went beyond 186 mph (300 km/h) during internal tests.
New Platform and Upgraded Suspension
Yes, at first sight, the 2018 Phantom looks very similar to what we had already. However, if we take away the bodywork, the entire brand-new structure will be revealed. The new model is debuting an aluminum spaceframe platform, one that will be present in future Rolls-Royce models that are under development. This platform was named as the Architecture of Luxury, a quite accurate title.
The dimensions have been modifying in all aspects. For example, the fresh wheelbase is smaller, with 140 inches. The same happens with the length, that is now 227.2 inches, representing a slight reduction of 2.8 inches. However, a bigger version will be also available for those customers looking for more legroom.
In terms of suspension, the Phantom received a generous treatment as well. We are now getting upgraded elements like active anti-roll bars and electrically controlled air springs. The suspension layout is mostly based on aluminum-made parts, being as light as it can be. Despite this, it doesn’t lack practicability and outstanding perks. The Magic Carpet Ride is one of those likable features, one that scans the road ahead through the car’s scan cameras and creates the right conditions to smoothly go beyond any bumps that may affect the experience.
Again, the 2018 Phantom looks surprisingly similar to its predecessor. However, Rolls-Royce invested plenty in its delicate renovation. We are seeing an almost entirely new car, including in terms of design.
Changes are all over the place. The previous design pattern, considered as Brutalist, was carefully revisited in order to make it more luxurious and smoother. We see new lines that weren’t present before, something that is appealing so far.
New elements present in its design play a fundamental role in its differentiation with the predecessor. For example, the front grille, which is delicately made of stainless steel, is taller on this model. Another exciting addition to this model is the frosted-glass headlights with upgraded laser beams. Standard wheels come in 21-inch of size, having a 22-inch option available.
Taking Luxury to the Next Level
Rolls-Royce, as other high-end luxury carmakers, takes seriously the experience once inside the cabin. We are talking about the place where the happy customer will spend most of his or her time while in the company of the car.
As usual, most of the work goes for the rear seats, where wealthy passengers enjoy their ride. Many elements of the outgoing seventh generation are present, as expected. Things like rotary controls are still used both in the front and rear. A good detail is the circular instruments bezels, which deliver the impression of being analog while they work as digital in the back-end.
In the rear seats, things look like the same as before. Wealthy passengers will enjoy top-notch materials as wood, leather, and luxurious carpeting. The wooden picnic tables continue to be in place, as a customer-favorite element that will not go anywhere. However, Rolls-Royce decided to make a slight upgrade on them by making them power-operated now.
Tech is also in place, mainly with a pair of 12-inch screens that come integrated to the rear side of the massive front seats. But possibly, the most interesting novelty inside the cabin is the so-called Gallery. This feature is a toughened glass panel that will be placed on top of the dashboard. These will be exclusive pieces of artwork that will certainly make unique differences among the clients.
The Most Silent Ride
But there is something more about the cabin that Rolls-Royce wanted us to know. The 2018 Phantom is heavier than its predecessor for a very good reason. This model comes with 287 pounds of acoustic insulation hardware alone. All the equipment plus triple-layer 0.2-inch glasses for the windows aim to create the most silent experience on the road.
The carmaker is claiming that this new model is 10 percent quieter than its predecessor, which was already surprisingly silent. Also, Rolls-Royce partnered up with Continental in order to develop high-end tires for this same purpose, called the Silent Seal. These are based of foam to reduce the noise generated while spinning on the asphalt at cruise speed.
Rolls-Royce’s ambitions to create the most silent ride possible may be the reason while the 2018 Phantom isn’t getting an all-wheel-drive configuration as this one is often louder in its operation.
The Bottom Line
The 2018 Phantom represents Rolls-Royce’s new stance in the high-end luxury market, achieving to innovating with a century-old vehicle. All the modifications made a sum up into a bulky list, one that we would not believe.
While the seventh generation of the Phantom looks similar to the brand-new one, let’s always remember that there are big differences to be mentioned. A whole new platform sits under the vehicle, providing what are the foundations for upcoming developments, including a highly anticipated SUV.
Without an official base price, we can speculate that the 2018 Phantom will be between US$450,000 and US$500,000 for the base model. The one with the extended wheelbase will be certainly more expensive. However, few of the wealthy customers that Rolls-Royce has been fully satisfied with the base models, especially considering the wide array of customization options available, which go from the smallest details to the most prominent ones.