The flagship in the Rolls Royce line has worn the Phantom moniker for many years now. And while prior to the current generation Phantom, Rolls Royce was garnering the reputation of being old world luxury sleds with all the technology of a model T. BMW, who owns Rolls Royce announced a all new Phantom would be coming to customers in 2003. Many in the automotive and financial markets dismissed this as the kind of press release to be found after a new owner comes to the table. This however, was soon shown to be unfounded as BMW brought a grandiose jewel of a luxury automobile to the table meeting all the expectations of what should be in a Rolls Royce flagship.
It may not have the most techno gizmos in the ultra luxury segment, but it certainly offers the most old world charm, mixed with technology aplenty. Top quality leather and wood abound.
This 6000 lb. statement on wheels sprawls to a nearly 20 ft. length and an extended wheelbase model adds another 10 inches to that. Riding on a supple air suspension system, the performance of the big Rolls is a surprise. It features massive, powerful brakes that bring this freight train mass to a stop in superb fashion.
Bodystyles: 4-door sedan, 2-door coupe, 2-door convertible
Engines: 6.7L V-12
Transmissions: 6-speed automatic
Models: Phantom, Phantom Coupe, Phantom Drophead Coupe, Phantom EWB
In 2009, the Phantom and Phantom EWB received standard 21-inch wheels, a new front bumper and grille, LED door handle illumination, and a redesigned rear passenger compartment.
All Phantom models are imposing, stately machines in their own ways, each with aluminum alloy body panels and stainless steel front grilles. The Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament disappears into the grille when the car is parked.
First-class materials and nothing less make up the cabin of each Phantom model. Old-world charm meets new world as hand-polished wood melds with a 21st century iDrive-like infotainment interface. Everything you see and touch is real — leather, wood, and metal.
The Phantom sedans are both relaxed and calmly powerful on the road, as are the Coupe and Drophead Coupe. Both Coupe and Drophead Coupe are slightly more nimble (if you can consider any Rolls as such), and easier to maneuver than the longer sedan variants. Steering is light and not particularly full of feel, but every Phantom charts a steady course down the road. Brakes are powerful, if not overboosted, and engineers have kept body roll to a minimum.
Front occupant front airbags, side airbags, and side curtain airbags are standard equipment on all models, as is traction and stability control. Sedan models have full-length side curtain airbags for rear seat occupants. The Drophead Coupe features automatically deployed roll-over protection.
11 mpg city/18 mpg highway
- Old-world charm
- First-class luxury materials
- Effortless V-12 power
- Responsive and controlled drive, despite size
- Costs as much as a modest California home
- EWB not as enjoyable to drive, as to be driven in
- Parking any Phantom is a pain
The ultimate automotive extravagance
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