So you approach your Rolls-Royce Phantom for the first time. You tug the thick, solid metal doorhandle and climb in the front, noting the almost oily leather and the driving position which eyeballs off-roaders.
Switchgear is simple and kept to an absolute minimum. The whole vertical edifice is built of thick blocks of beautiful and entirely appropriate veneer and rolls of leather, beneath some of which hide the controls a modern luxury car demands but you might seldom use; the chromed rotary controller for the iDrive, the cordless phone and the seat controls.
Immediately the Phantom’s cabin feels decisively different to any other, an impression the car must muster to justify its price and which a Maybach, its only real rival until the company's demise, failed to.
Yes, the rear-hinged doors are unique and dramatic but whether they’re actually any easier to negotiate seems a matter of personal preference.
Look around the Phantom’s interior – taking in the curved and immensely comfortable rear bench – and you’ll see that everything has a quality of construction that simply goes beyond the automotive.
The outdated sat-nav and communications systems have both been upgraded as part of the Series II revisions, and the dash has been made a touch flatter. The dash was one of the finest parts of the Phantom, so Rolls-Royce has been careful not to spoil it.