Whether you’re entering the Phantom by the front or the rear-hinged coach rear door, you open it with a large, solid and tactile stainless steel door handle. Both front and rear doors will now close automatically behind you at the touch of a button. (Previously, only the Phantom’s rear doors did that.)
The same motor mechanism doubles as an intelligent stay for each closure, keeping it at precisely the angle at which you left it on your way in and out, until you’re ready for it to close; as if it were being held by an invisible chauffeur.
Whether Phantom ‘patrons’ (a word Rolls-Royce prefers to owners, customers or drivers) choose to drive or be driven, they’ll settle into an environment of such richness, grandness and comfort that very few other cars in the world really compare. After you stride on board, you step backwards into the car’s back seats, as if being ushered into some vintage carriage, where you’ll find greater leg and head room, as measured by us, than in either a long-wheelbase S-Class or a Bentley Mulsanne. That, it should be noted, is before the option of adding another 220mm to the car’s wheelbase and associated cabin length in the EWB version, should you want to. Clearly, you’re extremely unlikely to need to.
There are four options available on back seat orientation: a standard rear bench with a folding armrest and a middle seatbelt; two individual seats and a larger fixed centre console; special two-seat ‘lounge’ rear bench; and a set-up with one of the chairs capable of motoring flat into a ‘sleeping seat’. Our test car had the standard set-up but even here the layout felt extraordinarily special, the outer seats being angled inboard slightly so as to make for easier conversation between passengers.