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Eighth-Generation Rolls-Royce Phantom is the New Pinnacle of Four-Door Luxury

Nearly twenty feet of excess

Fourteen years have passed since the first BMW-developed Phantom was dropped on our collective consciousness in 2003. The big-body sedan set new standards for luxury and refinement, and more than a decade on, the updated Phantom Series II remains at the pinnacle of the hyper-luxe segment. Still, the years were starting to show, so Rolls-Royce returned to the leather-wrapped drawing board and created an all-new Phantom for the one percent of the one percent.

Don't worry, oligarchs - this new Roller is still as big and brash as the bygone limo. Compared to the previous Phantom, the eighth-generation one loses 2.8 inches of overall length, but still measures a hefty 227.2 inches, or a whopping 18.9 feet, lengthwise. For scale, the standard wheelbase Phantom out-stretches a 2017 GMC Yukon Denali XL by almost three inches. It's almost as wide, too, growing by 1.1 inches to 79.4 inches — an inch shy of the Yukon.

If, for some strange reason, you need more space, hop up to the Phantom Extended Wheelbase, which adds 8.6 inches of both length and wheelbase. Compared to the older EWB, the new long-legged Phantom adds an additional 1.9-inches to the wheelbase and an extra four inches to the overall length.

Visually, the eight-gen is unmistakably Rolls-Royce. Previous Phantom buyers aren't the type to enjoy surprises, so stylistic changes are evolutionary. The existing car's upright shoulders, flat hood, and rounded rear are present, albeit with added creases and sculpted surfaces. Up front, there are influences pulled from the Ghost, Wraith, and a number of modern Rolls concepts, especially in the furrowed headlights, defined sides of the fascia, and lower valence. Move around back, and you'll see a smooth and defined rear profile, especially surrounding the decklid.

The most impressive change occurs underneath the new slab-sided skin. In spite of all-new aluminum architecture, revised sound deadening, updated materials, and cutting-edge construction, the 2018 Phantom somehow manages to pack on an additional 218 pounds for a belt-busting 5,862 pounds, roughly 100 pounds more than a 4x4 Yukon XL (the new EWB tips the scales at 5,958 pounds, 62 more than the previous generation).

Fortunately, it looks like Rolls worked hard on managing this extra bulk. A completely new air suspension keeps the ride glassy smooth, while a revised five-link rear suspension and rear-wheel steering ensures the behemoth won't keel over when your chauffeur takes a turn a bit too aggressively. Easy does it, Jeeves.

Under the "bonnet" sits Rolls-Royce's familiar 6.75-liter V-12, but it's been fitted with twin turbochargers that shred the rear rubber with 563 hp and a mighty 664 lb-ft of torque via a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic. It looks like forced induction does a soul good - this is a 110 hp and 133 lb-ft boost over the outgoing naturally aspirated V-12. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic. As is the case with other Rollers, the unit is satellite controlled, with predictive shifts based on the layout of the road. We're sure this is best bragged about over caviar at the equestrian club.

Inside, heads-of-state, shipping magnates, and A-list celebrities will be none the wiser regarding the extra gumption and chassis finesse. This is the quietest car ever to emerge from its factory — and is claimed to be the quietest in the world. 286 pounds of sound insulation, thick exterior glazing, massive cast aluminum joints, and specialized tire inserts have reduced road noise to previously unseen levels.

When this deafening silence makes you drowsy, just sit back in the cushiest seat this side of a Barcalounger or, more specifically, the 1953 Herman Miller Eames lounge chair that provided the posterior-assuaging inspiration. From front to back, the Phantom is dressed to the neck with the highest quality leather, wood, metal, and glass surfaces they can source. Those familiar with the older Phantom will feel right at home with the same luxurious features for passengers, including the requisite chilled compartment for whiskey, champagne, or imported water from the Alps.

If you ever tell your driver to scoot over, you'll be pleased to find Rolls finally dragged the Phantom into modernity. There's a full suite of camera views, drivers assistance, alerts, Wifi hotspot, infotainment, and navigation systems.

Since BMW took over in the early 2000s, Rolls-Royce has put a focus on design and art, especially with the fabulous art deco touches of the older car. Now, the eight-generation elevates this to a new level, offering enormously wealthy patrons the opportunity for adding bespoke designs and fixed art pieces to the upper portion of the front dash area.

Rolls calls these art segments the Gallery. There's a fair bit of designs to choose from, the most notable of which is a dash insert designed as the physical representation of your personal DNA code, cast in gold. Other Galleries include porcelain roses set in glass, aged multicolored feathers, an oil painting, and jewel-esque sunburst design. According to Rolls, some take longer than others, but expect each to cost thousands.

There's no word on availability or production, but we wouldn't be surprised if certain customers already had their order in to Rolls for their next four-door runabout. As for pricing, well, if you have to ask…