Sequels are rarely better than the books, films or shows they succeed. And yet the functional superiority of the new Phantom over its super-luxury peers may be even greater than the margin by which its predecessor led its field.

Despite the strides taken by the latest A8 and S-Class full-sized executive saloons and even by the Bentley Mulsanne, the Phantom surpasses by some distance what they offer in every way that’s critical for a genuinely luxurious car: on mechanical refinement, ride comfort, cabin isolation, convenience, outright space, lavish richness and easy drivability.

The world’s greatest and finest luxury car is now also the very best

It has grandness, ostentation and sense of occasion far in advance of anything else on four wheels, yet that was true of its predecessor.

But it also seems even better aimed at the tastes and preferences of its customer base than its predecessor was; it has an even deeper and more easily accessed reserve of silken performance to plunder; and it has added greater dynamic flexibility and range without having compromised the supreme highlights of its utterly singular and special driving experience.