Rolls-Royce has taken the concept of bespoke automobile to a new level with the newly released Phantom VIII. It was listed earlier in the year by TLR as one of the top automobiles to watch in 2017.
The Phantom VIII’s monumental design was made possible by a precision joining process that eliminates most of the visible joint lines between body panels.
While the hand-polished stainless grille sits higher than before, for the first time on a Rolls-Royce it is integrated into the surrounding bodywork and not sitting proud of painted surfaces.
The mile-long hood is now without embellishment; no centre spear or style lines complicate the clean and expansive surface.
Similarly, the headlights are all updated, with the new laser lamps employing a somewhat softer light with a range of nearly 2,000 feet.
But the Phantom VIII—which is priced from about $450,000 and arrives in the United States in spring 2018—still has a formal presence like no other luxury sedan.
This is partly attributable to its classic 2-to-1 proportion that establishes a style line above the tops of the wheel wells at two-thirds the height of the roof.
The wheel rims are 22 inches in diameter and rest on Rolls-Royce Silent-Seal tires that contribute to a ride quality aimed at being superior to that of any other automobile.
Understanding that the Phantom VIII would be an imposing sight, Taylor wanted every occasion of its appearance to engender goodwill among other motorists through its slightly softer stance, coming or going.
To that end, the rear of the car is smoother, sleeker, and more raked and elegant, with tail lamps that seem to say, “Excuse me, please, with sincerest thanks,” when passing. And passing is something the Phantom VIII can do with all the power and fury of the Cretaceous period’s tyrant king, Tyrannosaurus rex. Yet unlike a dinosaur, the Phantom VIII moves silently, and while its driver may steer it, technology is really the one driving the new Phantom.
Giles Taylor, director of design at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars since 2012, was the man with the heavy responsibility of making the Phantom VIII the best Phantom yet.
Alongside its predecessor, the new Phantom’s evolution in design is evident, and it becomes clear how much more contemporary the newer car appears. The design is truly magical.
The “Architecture of Luxury” is how the manufacturer describes the Phantom VIII’s all-aluminium spaceframe chassis.
Thirty percent more rigid than its predecessor, it is lighter and stiffer than conventional unibody designs employed by larger-volume manufacturers. It also allows chassis optimization for both the standard-length and extended-wheelbase versions of the four-door Phantom VIII.
Suspension at either end is new, with double wishbones at the front and a five-link rear-axle design. Handling and agility are enhanced by four-wheel steering and complemented by self-levelling air suspension that makes millions of calculations per second to adjust electromagnetic shock absorbers.
Apropos of hot rods, the new Phantom uses a 6.75-liter V-12 engine of identical displacement to its predecessor but with an entirely new design; it is immediately distinguished by twin turbocharging that results in greater power and torque with reduced emissions.
The smooth, quiet engine develops 563 hp and, importantly, an ample 664 ft lbs of torque in full bloom from only 1,700 rpm.
Speed is electronically governed to 155 mph, and 60 mph is achieved from standstill in 5.3 seconds. The Satellite Aided Transmission, coupled to the ZF 8-speed automatic gearbox, drives the rear wheels.
First developed for the Rolls-Royce Wraith, this transmission is linked to a GPS receiver that analyses data to determine optimum gearing for road and traffic conditions.
The Phantom VIII could claim to be the most luxurious automobile ever made. The tasteful understatement of its interior is in perfect keeping with the marque’s well-bred demeanour. The Phantom’s floors are covered in lamb’s wool.
No carmaker does bespoke like Rolls-Royce. You can pre-order yours at Coscharis Motors Lagos Nigeria.