The all-new Rolls-Royce Phantom arrives next year promising ride comfort and interior luxury of an unprecedented quality, as well as a greatly improved driving experience.
Unveiled in London, the eighth-generation Phantom is the second to be built under BMW ownership and has been completely redesigned and reengineered from the ground up. It has been in development for six years and is the first in a series of all-new Rolls-Royces built on a bespoke aluminium spaceframe architecture.
In 2019 the Phantom will be followed by the luxury car maker’s first SUV, codenamed Project Cullinan, while replacements for the rest of the range will be built on the same underpinnings as part of the ever greater autonomy Rolls is receiving from BMW.
It is the Phantom that comes first for the new era of Rolls, with company boss Torsten Müller-Ötvös calling the fourdoor saloon “the pinnacle” of Rolls-Royce, the ultimate expression of the Rolls-Royce brand and the very top of the range, despite the growing popularity of SUVs.
“We start from the pinnacle, that is never different,” he said. “The first task is to get this car perfect, then Cullinan, then future models as well.”
Rolls engineering chief Philip Koehn said the new architecture, called Architecture of Luxury, and the technology within it helps to create an “unprecedented blend” of ride comfort and stability. Power comes from a twin-turbocharged 6.75-litre V12 engine, while the car’s design is one of “effortless elegance”, according to styling boss Giles Taylor.
The all-new aluminium spaceframe used by the new Phantom results in a significant 30% increase in rigidity over that of the previous car. Rolls-Royce says the body is the stiffest in production, and it has required a huge investment in new technology for riveting and spot welding in order for it to build it. The architecture is one that is bespoke to Rolls and has no BMW content.