27 July 2017, London
“From its debut in 1925, a Rolls-Royce Phantom has been the choice of the world’s most influential and powerful men and women, and as a result, a constant presence at history’s most defining moments.
As this next chapter in the Rolls-Royce story opens, the New Phantom points the way forward for the global luxury industry. It is a creation of great beauty and power, a dominant symbol of wealth and human achievement. It is an icon and an artwork that embraces the personal desires of each of our individual customers.” — Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
The launch of the new Rolls-Royce Phantom yesterday coincided with the opening of the Great Phantoms Exhibition in Mayfair, London. It is the culmination of 8 weeks of teasing as Rolls-Royce brought together 8 of the greatest Phantoms in the world for the first time. Read the original [AlphaLuxe report HERE]
There is quite a lot to take in as this Rolls Royce Phantom VIII is like none before and brims with superlative luxury technology. For all you busy moguls and AlphaLuxe fat cats out there, here is the Executive Summary:
New Phantom — Key Points
- Wholly new, contemporary design interpretation of Rolls-Royce Phantom DNA
- New aluminium ‘Architecture of Luxury’ maintains architectural and proportional lineage of Rolls-Royce while delivering a new level of ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ because it is lighter, stiffer, quieter and more technologically advanced.
- ‘The Embrace’ emphasises the sense of occasion and effortlessness of entry into New Phantom. As the patron settles into the car, an assistant or valet steps forward and lightly touches the sensor on the door handle so closes with a whisper by itself, enveloping the occupant in ‘The Embrace’. No crass slamming of doors here!
- ‘The Suite’ re-defines Rolls-Royce comfort and refinement inside – the benchmark just got raised….
- ‘The Gallery’ is a completely new luxury concept and departure from any motor car dashboard over the last 100 years. Patrons will be able to commission a truly individual work of art that spans the width of The Gallery in their New Phantom.
- All new 6.75 litre twin-turbo V12 engine for near silent conveyance at low engine revs.
- New Phantom is the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce ever.
Every new Phantom since 1925 has taken on the mantle of ‘Best Car in the World’ through Rolls-Royce’s pursuit of perfection setting the benchmark for the most discerning luxury patrons.
A new benchmark was set yesterday as the New Phantom – the eighth incarnation – premiered. Rolls-Royce turned away from theb usual luxury car industry practice of shared platforms to an entirerly new luxury business model.
New Luxury World – New Phantom
Instead of following other manufacturers using economies of scale by sharing platforms with mass market manufacturers, Rolls-Royce determined that the future of true luxury lies in true small-volume manufacture of a dedicated ‘Architecture of Luxury’.
“This realisation was a moment of clarity about the destiny of Rolls-Royce,” reflects Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “Every one of our customers – each a connoisseur of luxury in the extreme – were asking for something more individual to them, not less. We were adamant that that was what they should have.”
They plan to apply this vision into every future Rolls-Royce…Ghost, Wraith, Dawn and coach-build projects will ride on this architecture.
What is this ‘Architecture of Luxury’?
The Phantom VII already had a spaceframe architecture as a good starting point and inspiration to create a new framework for future Rolls-Royces; like one big coachbuild project. This means forging long-term relationships with smaller suppliers run by families that will focus on Rolls-Royce, providing more attention and quality expectations far beyond any other automotive makers.
The Architecture of Luxury is an all-aluminium spaceframe architecture designed by Rolls-Royce for every future Rolls-Royce. No future Rolls-Royce will be of monocoque construction as used by mass-manufacturers and some mass-luxury brands. Your future Rolls-Royce will not share platforms with SUV or GT cars. The Architecture of Luxury has been designed and engineered in such a way as to be scalable to the size and weight requirements of different Rolls-Royce models, including those with different propulsion, traction and control systems.
Geeky Engineering Bits
The technophobes can skip this part; Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
The new aluminium spaceframe is lighter and 30% stiffer for best-in-class ride comfort aided by air suspension and chassis control systems, delivering peerless ‘effortless’ ride and handling and optimal vibration comfort performance. These include a double-wishbone front axle, a 5-link rear axle and four-wheel steering to deliver control over lateral roll and shear forces providing agility and stability, for an undisturbed passenger whatever the driving conditions.
The Magic Carpet Ride also improves because of the lighter architecture and latest generation of self-levelling air suspension. The suspension makes millions of calculations every second as it continuously varies the electronically controlled shock absorber adjustment system – reacting to body and wheel acceleration, steering inputs and camera information. The new Flagbearer system – named after men who were required by law to carry a red flag ahead of early motor cars – adds a stereo camera integrated in the windscreen to see the road ahead, adjusting suspension proactively at speeds up to 100km/h.
Most Silent Motor Car in the World
Double glazing with 6mm glass, more than 130kg of sound insulation between the double-skin alloy in floor and bulkheads with the largest ever cast aluminium joints contribute to better sound insulation. Rolls-Royce and the tyre supplier invented ‘Silent-Seal’ tires – with a foam layer placed inside the tyre to wipe out tyre cavity noise and reduce overall tyre noise by 9db. This motor car that is approximately 10 per cent quieter than its predecessor at 100km/h.
The heart of a Rolls-Royce – the magnificent V12 reinvented
Focusing on creating the most silent motor car in the world, a completely silent engine with more low-end output at lower revs was needed. The completely new, 6.75-litre V12 twin-turbocharged engine provides a low-end torque output of 900Nm at an incredibly low 1,700rpm whilst also delivering 563bhp or 420kW of power, resulting in “Stately” low speed progress and an “adequate” surge of power when one needs to press on.
We are astounded by the Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT) that knows what road conditions lies ahead to predict the ratios required from the ZF 8-Speed automatic gearbox.
The most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce ever
The Electronic Architecture of the New Phantom is the largest ever component produced by the BMW Group, let alone Rolls-Royce, helping to make New Phantom the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce ever. This central nervous system connects and controls all the advanced intelligence systems of New Phantom. These include: Alertness Assistant, a 4-camera system with Panoramic View, all-round visibility including helicopter view, Night Vision and Vision Assist, Active Cruise Control, collision warning, pedestrian warning, cross-traffic warning, lane departure and lane change warning, an industry leading 7 x 3-inch high-resolution head-up display, WiFi hotspot, and the latest navigation and entertainment systems.
We’re expecting an automatic coffee-maker anytime soon… 🙂
New Phantom – No treble, Its all about the Grand Arrival
The New Phantom is all about the iconic presence and an increased elegance of line suggesting both poise and stability at speed and an unrushed Grand Arrival.
The purity is all about “Nothingness”. The precision body joining process ensures there are few, if any, visible join lines between body panels to give the impression of being hewn from a solid block of aluminium.
The iconic Pantheon grill has been brought forward to contemporary wide-screen tastes and raised higher than that of its predecessor. Naturally, this means that the Spirit of Ecstasy stands a half inch higher. The hand-polished stainless steel grill continues the precious and timeless heritage of the Phantom lines.
Emanating from the upper tips of the grille, the polished stainless steel strips curve along the upper edges of the bonnet and around the windscreen, accentuating the length of the bonnet and seamlessly blending the cabin to the lower area, as though swept by the wind.
The side profile is of lightness and sleek agility with rakish lines.
At the business end – that’s the rear where the client sits – there is a subtle scallop on the rear roof line that assures preserved head room. The wide C-pillars afford privacy to the occupants.
You eye is drawn to numerous details like the tapered tail, boot-lid creases and Double-R badges. The purposely substantial hand-polished stainless steel handles provides tactile reassurance of the Rolls-Royce living experience.
‘The Embrace’ of the World’s Leading Luxury Item
The fundamental goal is ‘The Embrace’ of the World’s Leading Luxury Item.
Whether you wish to drive or be driven, this motor car envelopes you in Rolls-Royce comfort and refinement with finest materials, technology and spaces.
The rear and now front doors can be effortlessly and silently closed from the inside and outside. Technology is hidden until required, spaces and surfaces are clean, and the eye rests only on beauty as if in an art gallery.
Beneath the largest Starlight Headliner ever seen in a Rolls-Royce, exquisitely tactile wood panelling that can be commissioned for the door interiors, centre consoles, dashboard and picnic tables, encircles the passenger in only the most beautiful and authentic materials.
The seats are sculpted and hand-crafted to deliver even more comfort. The sweep of wood panelling across the back of the front seats have clearly been influenced by the famous Eames Lounge Chair of 1956, a design so regarded by patrons of luxury that it is part of the New York Museum of Modern Art’s permanent display. Cleverly secreted behind those wood panels are the Rear Picnic tables and Rear Theatre Monitors.
Phantom patrons can commission different seating choices like the more intimate lounge seat, individual seats with occasional armrest, individual seats with fixed centre console and the newly introduced sleeping seat. In any configuration effortless conversation is aided with the very careful angling of the rear seats. This ensures occupants are able to talk to each other without straining their necks.
The new fixed rear centre console has been enhanced with a drinks cabinet with whisky glasses and decanter, champagne flutes and cool-box.
‘The Gallery’ is a luxury reinterpretation of a motor car’s dashboard and instrument panel area. All of the elements within ‘The Gallery’ are enclosed in toughened glass that runs the full width of the dash area. Within it, the instrument digital dials are framed with chrome, adding a degree of jewellery and continuity throughout the front of the interior.
Behind the physical chrome surrounds of the instrument dials are a futuristic approach to clearer instruments for the driver like 12.3 inch TFT colour displays with LED backlighting. Also behind the glass of ‘The Gallery’ is the analogue clock – a nod to the saying that it is “the loudest sound you can hear in a Rolls-Royce …” and the central information screen can be retracted behind the centre stack when not in use. The standard clock features a dark face and the surround is finished in black leather.
However, each Bespoke Clock features a more intricate design, including a lighter backlit face with crystal effect details and counterweighted hands, and is finished to match the material selected within ‘The Gallery’.
That’s the display space in the centre of the dashboard above.
The Art of Movement
Realising that Rolls-Royce clients are patrons of art and indeed have their own private collections, the dashboard was reinterpreted from being a dead expanse into a focal point. Taking a motoring constant that has existed for a century, but served little purpose but to hide airbags and componentry, and give it another purpose, space to breathe, the real purpose of ‘The Gallery’ – to be just that, a gallery.
As a Bespoke Commission, customers will be able to choose a favoured artist or designer to work with Rolls-Royce to create a truly individual work of art that spans the width of ‘The Gallery’ in their New Phantom. Examples already exist like an oil painting inspired by the South Downs of England in Autumn by renowned Chinese fine artist Liang Yuanwei, a gold-plated 3D-printed map of an owners DNA created by the ‘enfant terrible’ of German product design Thorsten Franck, a hand-made stem of the finest porcelain roses handmade by world renowned porcelain manufacturer Nymphenberg and an abstract design in silk by young British artist Helen Amy Murray.
In addition to these Bespoke Commissions, which will take longer to deliver, Rolls-Royce has created a stunning collection of forward-looking Gallery treatments of silk, wood, metal and leather, which are available immediately.
The Architecture of Luxury, ‘The Gallery’, The Embrace, The Art of Movement, the best possible materials in the world and peerless Rolls-Royce design and engineering; the ‘Best Car in the World’ just got better.
The video of the launch is a tad lengthy but well worth a look if you have the time and inclination.
VIDEO Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII Premiere (20 minutes)
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).