For those who play in the deep end (read: not me), the 8th generation Rolls Royce Phantom has been uncovered. Or more to the point, uncovered for the great unwashed. If you’re really part of the cognoscenti, you saw this in a private viewing months ago.
You don’t so much order a Rolls Royce Phantom as commission its’ creation. After all, when you’re dabbling in the seven figure end of the spectrum, why would you do something as plebeian as ordering from the brochure? Paint, leather trims – the choice is completely endless. I must admit while I don’t think I could handle it practically, I’m completely smitten with the purple leather in the press release photos. The ‘Gallery’ or the section of dashboard that houses the gauges, infotainment and clock can be finished in myriad woods, metals, leathers, silks or your own bespoke artwork. Yes, Rolls Royce will work with your favourite artist or designer to realise your vision. Want a gold-plated 3D map of your DNA by German product designer Thorsten Franck? Sure. Hand made porcelain roses by Nymphenberg? Not a problem. An oil painting inspired by the South Downs of England in Autumn by renowned Chinese fine artist Liang Yuanwei? Natch.
This is what Rolls Royce is about. Elegance, Opulence, The Finest Quality, Craftsmanship.
As hard as the Brits are resisting it, the German influence is clearly creeping in at Rolls. The more I read the press release, the more it feels like it was written in two halves. Engineers talk about the 30% increase in stiffness in the new Architecture of Luxury, which impressively, is a spaceframe construction but then the Phantom VII was a spaceframe too so not as impressive as first thought. Power and performance? In the past at Rolls the use of such terms would have prompted the washing of one’s caviar receptacle with soap. This time figures have been published. In the past the power produced by a Rolls Royce engine wasn’t quoted as a figure, it was simply ‘adequate’. The figures don’t bear repeating here because I’m sure the power produced by the 6.75 litre, Twin Turbo V12 would no doubt be adequate.
This is the Rolls Royce Phantom. To go further into numbers is vulgar and redundant. All you need to know is in the the promise and pomp of the badge. Indeed, what ‘Rolls Royce Phantom’ promises is ‘the best car in the world.’ It’s very German to get caught up in 30% stiffer chassis and 10% quieter cabin. With a Rolls all that is needed is “This does feel nicer than the last one, sir”. Who cares how the power compares to a Bentley Mulsanne or a Mercedes Maybach? Those cars are bought by the little people who have the shortsightedness to care about such mundane things. A Rolls buyer should be more absorbed in commissioning their bespoke artwork for their Gallery.
The rest of us can look forward to seeing it from a distance in the next Jason Derulo video.