|2009 Phantom||2011 Phantom 102EX Experimental Electric||2011 Bespoke Phantom Drophead Coupe|
2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom news, pictures, and information
The Phantom and Phantom Extended WheelbaseWhen Rolls-Royce Motor Cars unveiled the Phantom in 2003, it heralded a new age for the marque, proudly reclaiming its position at the forefront of automotive design and engineering.
Working to the maxim of company founder Sir Henry Royce – 'Strive for perfection in everything you do' – the design and engineering teams spent four years developing this breakthrough model. Úsing the most advanced technology, whilst drawing inspiration from the company's rich heritage, their goal was clearcut: to develop a 21st century Rolls-Royce that would be truly worthy of the famous Spirit of Ecstasy.
The result was the Phantom. Built at a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Goodwood, this flagship Rolls-Royce ensured the company's renaissance by combining the spirit of its illustrious forebears wîth ground-breaking technology and visionary engineering techniques.
DesignCreating a strong identity for the Phantom was essential, says chief designer Ian Cameron: 'Our priority was to create a car that was obviously a Rolls-Royce from any angle, even if the Spirit of Ecstasy or the famous grille could not be seen.'
To identify this core essence, the design team immersed themselves in the brand and its history. This revealed classic styling cues such as a long bonnet, wide C-pillars and discrete windows, all of which were incorporated into the Phantom's design. Its powerful, upright stance and dynamic, rising profile are also unmistakably Rolls-Royce. Yet advanced features such as a unique aluminium spaceframe and pioneering direct petrol-injection engine leave no doubt that this is a car at the cutting edge of technology.
Exactly the same can be said of the unique rear coach doors, which stand as testament to the sophisticated engineering to be found throughout the Phantom. Hinged at the back, they allow rear passengers to enter and exit the car gracefully, and can be closed at the press of a button.
The interior of the Phantom is clean and contemporary, the simplicity of the design belying the technology beneath. Any controls not needed for everyday driving are kept out of sight until required. The multi-media screen, for example, is hidden behind a revolving panel in the centre of the dashboard that normally displays a round, analogue clock. This apparent simplicity extends to the operation of the controls as well: even the highly sophisticated audio system can be operated using just one button.
A hallmark of Rolls-Royce, and of the Phantom in particular, is the way in which the most advanced technology combines wîth traditional hand-craftsmanship to produce something extraordinary. The switches for the power windows and audio system are beautifully crafted ‘violin keys', while the chrome air vents are operated by traditional ‘organ stops'. Together wîth the use of the finest leather and wood veneers, it is this fusion of high technology and hand-craftsmanship that gives the interior its unique and luxurious feel.
At the core of the Phantom is a sophisticated, lightweight, aluminium spaceframe – a unique and advanced platform conceived specifically by Rolls-Royce's engineering team to provide a refined and accomplished driving experience.
Constructed from more than 200 box sections of cast aluminium extrusion, the Phantom's spaceframe has the rigidity of a Formula 1 racing car. Manufactured entirely by hand, using around 120 metres of weld, the spaceframe is finished as if it were a precision instrument: each one is checked by laser to ensure accuracy to within a fraction of a millimetre. The completed frame is then placed in a computer-guided machining platform – the largest in the automotive – where the critical points are milled wîth unparalleled precision.
Without the need to provide structural support, the Phantom's body panels are simply fastened to the spaceframe. Made from lightweight aluminium and composite materials, they add minimal weight to the car. Only the boot is formed of steel, engineered to aid the 50/50 weight distribution so desirable for perfect handling.
The Phantom's lightweight and rigid spaceframe provides the foundation for its extraordinary dynamic ability. It has excellent handling – enthusiastic drivers will appreciate the precision wîth which it can be placed on the road – but not at the expense of the ride, which is as serene and comfortable as one would expect of a Rolls-Royce. The spaceframe also helps to eliminate noise, vibration and harshness, contributing immensely to the calm and tranquillity of the Phantom's interior.
The exceptional integrity of the aluminium spaceframe also provides significant safety benefits, offering excellent occupant protection. Yet it is not the only area in which safety is built into the Phantom's design. The position of the rear seats behind the C-pillar, for example, is inherently safer than the conventional position next to the doors and negates the need for rear side-impact airbags. In a collision, furthermore, the impact is progressively absorbed by crumple zones designed to dissipate the force through the chassis and understructure. Naturally, the Phantom has been engineered to pass all current safety legislation.
In addition, the Phantom incorporates a raft of safety systems utilising the very latest in technology and controlled by the Intelligent Safety and Information System (ISIS). ISIS takes readings from sensors located throughout the car and, in the event of an impact, makes up to 4000 calculations a second to establish its severity before deploying airbags and, or seatbelt pre-tensioners as necessary. ISIS works in conjunction wîth the other safety systems fitted to the Phantom, including Dynamic Stability Control and Dynamic Traction Control.
At the heart of the Phantom lies its naturally aspirated 6.75-litre V12 engine. Designed specifically for the Phantom, and hand-assembled by Rolls-Royce technicians, this sophisticated engine develops a massive 720 lb ft of torque, 413 lb ft of which is available at 1000 rpm. On the road that translates into instant, muscular power, carrying the Phantom from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds. Maximising the extraordinary traction of the Phantom V12, a six-speed, electronically controlled, automatic transmission helps to deliver the seamless, effortless progress for which Rolls-Royce is famed.
The Phantom offers an unparalleled passenger experience, and yet many owners have suggested that the best place to sit is behind the wheel. The view from the elevated driver's seat down the long sweep of bonnet to the Spirit of Ecstasy is the most inspirational in motoring, while the beautifully crafted, thin-rimmed §teering wheel is a pleasure to hold and provides instant feedback from the wheels. Despite its dimensions, the Phantom has excellent dynamics and is easy to place accurately through corners. Exhilarating yet supremely relaxing, it delivers a driving experience of purity and precision.
Strikingly modern and immaculately proportioned, the Phantom is a car of extraordinary elegance. Matching the beauty of its exterior design is the mirror-like lustre of the paintwork, testament to the great skill of Goodwood's paint technicians. Five layers of paint and clear lacquer are applied to each Phantom – seven if it's a two-tone car – and between each application, our technicians sand the body by hand. After the final layer has been applied, the body is hand-polished for five hours to give a finish of unrivalled depth and sheen.
There are 15 standard exterior colours from which customers can choose, although up to 45,000 different hues are available through the Bespoke programme. In keeping wîth Rolls-Royce tradition, single or double coachlines can be specified. Almost six metres long, and precisely level, these are painstakingly painted by hand in a process that takes three hours for each line. Our Bespoke artists can also design and apply individual motifs to a customer's Phantom.
|Engine : 6.7 L., 12-cylinder|
Power: 453 hp
Torque: 531 ft-lbs
The rear seats are elevated by 18 mm, giving rear passengers a peerless view out of the car, while head room is generous at 979 mm. Lounge seating wîth slightly curved outer edges allows passengers to turn towards one another comfortably; if preferred, however, the option of individual seats may be specified, adding a centre console which can be used to house a drinks cabinet, additional audiovisual equipment or other Bespoke items.
The Lexicon audio system delivers a quality of sound unrivalled in the automotive world. Engineered to recording standard, this system uses studio-grade Lexicon components and is unique to the Phantom, using 15 speakers and a nine-channel amplifier to deliver 420 watts of sound. Two subwoofers are housed within 16-litre resonance chambers in the space created by the Phantom's double floor, while a combination of 100 mm mid-range and 25 mm tweeter arrays are located in the front and rear doors, on the parcel shelf and above the instrument panel. The result is an acoustic ‘sweet spot' that encompasses the whole interior, giving the perfect, surround-sound listening experience from anywhere in the car.
For further entertainment, theatre configuration adds two 12-inch monitors within the veneered picnic tables in the rear. These screens are linked to a six-DVD changer and also allow viewing of digital television, depending on market restrictions. In combination wîth the Lexicon audio system, this option can make any journey in the Phantom a truly cinematic experience.
Only the very finest materials are used in the Rolls-Royce Phantom. Both the leather hides and the exquisite wood veneers are hand-selected by specialists from our leather and wood workshops – to ensure not only that they are of the highest quality, but also that they have aesthetic characteristics appropriate to the interior of the Phantom. They are then painstakingly prepared so that their inherent natural beauty and quality is displayed to best effect.
It takes between 15 and 18 hides to upholster one Phantom – more for the Phantom Extended Wheelbase. Each one comes from specially selected herds of cattle, and only the most supple mature bull hides are used. Each hide is checked meticulously by hand to identify any imperfections. The 450 individual leather parts are then cut out using a precision laser before being carefully stitched by hand.
Three different types of leather are used: natural grain for the seats and trims, pre-shrunk in sun-lit areas and tipped (embossed) on the centre console and door trims to provide an attractive variation. The barrel-dyeing process used to colour the leather gives a rich, uniform pigmentation through the entire hide whilst maintaining the natural feel, softness and grain. There are 13 standard colours, but many more are available through the Bespoke programme.
Depending on specification, up to 43 wood parts are used in each Phantom. Each of these is constructed from up to 28 layers of wood, interspersed wîth thin sheets of aluminium to ensure strength and to prevent splintering in the event of an impact.
The wood veneers used are sourced from sustainable forests and chosen for their richness and complexity of grain. There are six standard veneers, including Burr Walnut and Bird's Eye Maple, but any number are available through the Bespoke programme. Whichever they choose, customers can be assured of an unrivalled quality of finish. Craftsmen, many drawn from the yacht-building and fine cabinet-making industries, carefully book-match every veneer used inside the Phantom. This highly skilled technique ensures that the grain on the left-hand side of each panel is an exact mirror image of that on the right. Not only does this symmetry apply to each panel, however, but across the cabin as a whole, giving each Phantom an exquisite and unique interior.
Our craftsmen can also employ traditional marquetry techniques to inlay materials of a customer's choice into the wood veneers. From cross-banding wîth boxwood to inlays of silver or mother-of-pearl, these techniques can be used to create a distinctive alternative to the single veneer finish.
While the Phantom has an extensive options list, the Bespoke programme allows customers to create a car that is completely personal to them by specifying features that are not usually available and 65 per cent of Rolls-Royce customers choose to do this. Examples include a one-off colour for the paint or leather, or the use of an unusual wood to complement the interior.
Customers may choose to personalise their Phantom by specifying embroidery on the interior leather: our Bespoke interior designers can fulfil any request, from simple initials to embroidered images. Customised tread plates incorporating text or pictures can also be produced, perhaps featuring an owner's name or celebrating an event or limited edition.
The Phantom's glovebox has been designed for adaptation: Bespoke possibilities include the fitting of a set of fountain pens or a humidor, perhaps complemented by a leather writing surface in the rear picnic tables or a Bespoke ashtray. Through modifications to the Phantom's body, the already spacious boot can be extended still further, giving additional room for an 85-litre suitcase. This allows a total of four large suitcases to be stowed.
Whether the request is a 24-carat gold Spirit of Ecstasy or visible exhaust pipes, anything is possible. The Bespoke programme is limited only by the customer's imagination.
Phantom Extended Wheelbase
In 2005, the Phantom was joined by a longer model, the Phantom Extended Wheelbase, which offers additional space for rear passengers while maintaining the beauty of the standard Phantom as well as its first-class driving performance and the comfort of all four occupants.
To create the Phantom Extended Wheelbase, an additional 250 mm was added to the rear passenger compartment behind the B-pillars. The extra length is achieved simply by using longer extrusions in the construction of the spaceframe, which was engineered specifically to allow for longer-wheelbase models. As a result, no torsional rigidity is lost, so the Phantom Extended Wheelbase retains not only the powerful looks of the standard car, but also its outstanding dynamic performance and driving refinement. The only major new parts required are a new aluminium roof and door panels – and thanks to Goodwood's flexible production processes, the Phantom Extended Wheelbase can be built alongside the Phantom without any difficulty.
The interior of the Phantom Extended Wheelbase offers significant additional space and lends itself particularly well to the inclusion of Bespoke features – for example, a partition wall for passenger privacy. Other possibilities include drinks cabinets in the rear doors or additional audiovisual equipment, while many customers choose to add rear compartment curtains or even a safe in the boot. Through the Bespoke programme, any number of options can be explored.
Since the company was founded in 1904, Rolls-Royce has been inspired by one thing above all else – the pursuit of perfection – and the Phantom is testament to that philosophy. Representing the very finest in automotive engineering and design, it is a true Rolls-Royce for the 21st century.
Key information at a glance
• On 28 July 1998, BMW becomes custodian of the marque and begins ‘Project Rolls-Royce', the challenge to create a new manufacturing facility, train a new workforce and design an entirely new car. Described as 'the last great adventure in motoring'.
• 2003 sees the launch of the Phantom and the official opening of the manufacturing plant at Goodwood in West Sussex, England.
• In 2005, the Phantom Extended Wheelbase is launched in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific in response to customer demand for a more chauffeur-orientated Phantom.
• In 2006, the Phantom Extended Wheelbase is launched in Europe and the ÚSA, again in response to customer demand.
• Phantom Drophead Coupé launched in January 2007.
• Classic Rolls-Royce design cues: long bonnet and wheelbase, short front and long rear overhangs, wide C-pillars for privacy, discrete windows.
• Coach doors are designed to make entry and exit as graceful as possible.
• Teflon-coated umbrellas housed in rear doors.
• Interlinked RR wheel centres, engineered to remain upright at all times.
• Elevated seating position for both driver and passengers; rear seat is 18 mm / 0.7 in higher than the front seats, allowing an uninterrupted view of the Spirit of Ecstasy.
• Rear lounge seat is curved at outer edges, creating a social space whereby people can turn towards each other wîth greater ease.
• Phantom features Michelin PAX wheels as standard. The design team established that perfect proportions were maintained by using wheels that are half the overall height of the car.
• The Phantom uses the largest all-aluminium spaceframe chassis in the automotive .
• There are approximately 120 metres of hand-welding in each spaceframe.
• The Phantom weighs only 2.5 tonnes, considerably lighter than an equivalent steel body.
• Safety systems are controlled by ISIS (Intelligent Safety and Information System) which makes 4000 calculations a second in an impact to assess whether airbags need to be deployed.
• It takes, on average, 460 hours to hand-build each Phantom, not including engine or body-building time.
• The body can spend up to seven days in the paintshop alone, each car receiving five coats in total, or seven for a two-tone specification.
• After the painting process, each car is hand-polished for five hours.
• Customers can choose from 15 standard exterior paint colours, or 45,000 Bespoke colours, for their Phantom.
• Between 15 and 18 hides are used in each Phantom.
• All leather parts are cut wîth the help of a precision laser and stitched by hand.
• Úp to 43 book-matched wood parts are fitted to each Phantom, depending on specification.
• Each wood part is made of up to 28 layers, interspersed wîth aluminium sheets to ensure strength in the event of an impact.
• 6.75-litre V12 Rolls-Royce engine is unique to the Phantom. Maximum power is 453 bhp / 338 kW wîth peak torque of 531 lb ft / 720 Nm; 413 lb ft / 560 Nm of that is available at 1000 rpm.
• Phantom acceleration: 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds (0-100 kph in 5.9 seconds). Phantom Extended Wheelbase: 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds (0-100 kph in 6.1 seconds).
• Phantom fuel consumption: 18.0 mpg (15.7 litres/100 km) on the official combined cycle. Phantom Extended Wheelbase: 17.9 mpg (15.8 litres/100 km).
• The Phantom has a power reserve gauge in place of a rev counter. At 100 mph, the gauge shows that around 90 per cent of power remains untapped.
• The Phantom is virtually silent, even at motorway speeds.Source - Rolls-Royce
The Rolls-Royce Phantom'Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it.'
Sir Henry Royce
The Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chief Engineer and Founder gave us these words over 100 years ago, and they remain the cornerstone of the company philosophy.
When the new Phantom was unveiled in January 2003, it marked a renaissance for arguably the most famous name in the automotive world; a name that has become synonymous wîth excellence.
'Project Rolls-Royce' began on 28 July 1998, when BMW Group became custodian of the marque. The new Phantom is the result of an intense four-year design and engineering programme that not only produced an entirely new motor car, but also established a new company and a new manufacturing plant at Goodwood in the South of England. At the time, it was described as 'the last great adventure in motoring'.
DESIGN'Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble.'
Sir Henry Royce
The Rolls-Royce Phantom is not about achieving a single superlative - the biggest, the fastest, and the most powerful. Rather, it is about finding the optimum balance of all these attributes and more. With a Rolls-Royce, superlatives are found in the details. New thinking and attention to detail can be seen in a number of areas of the Phantom - the coach doors designed to make entry and exit as graceful as possible, a retractable Spirit of Ecstasy that hides away at the touch of a button, the Teflon-coated umbrellas housed in the rear doors and the interlinked RR wheel centres, engineered to remain upright at all times.
Authenticity is the key element. Ian Cameron, Chief Designer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, explains: 'Our absolute priority was to create a motor car that is clearly a Rolls-Royce even when the radiator grille is not in view. More than this, the new car has to stand apart from all others on the road.'
Authentic design elements, such as a long bonnet and wheelbase, short front and long rear overhang, strong C-pillar and discreet rear window, run throughout the Phantom, combining wîth 21st century engineering integrity to create a car wîth genuine presence.
Generous interior proportions and the elevated position of the electrically operated front seats give a sense of authority. Rear passengers are seated 18 mm (0.7 in) higher than those in front, allowing an uninterrupted view of the Spirit of Ecstasy. Sat alongside the C-pillar, behind the rear side glass and well behind a conventional saloon arrangement, rear occupants enjoy an unrivalled sense of privacy and security.
The size of the motor car is a balance between design and engineering considerations. For example, the requirement for a prominent seating position and substantial interior space determined the wheelbase, floor height, width and standing height, which in turn determined the axle position and wheel size. As a result, the new car's wheelbase is 3570 mm (140.6 in) while the overall length is 5834 mm (229.7 in). It is 1632 mm (64.3 in) tall and 1990 mm (78.3 in) wide. The 460 litre/16.2 cu ft (DIN) boot is large enough to take four sets of golf clubs wîth ease.
The rear interior compartment is unique in every respect. Taking a fundamental step back, the design team started out by asking a simple question: 'What is the best way to get into and out of the rear of a motor car?'
The answer was coach doors, hinged at the rear, which allow passengers to enter and exit wîth decorum. Once they are seated, the door can be closed automatically simply by pressing a small button on the C-post. And because they allow the passengers to sit further back in the body of the car, coach doors also provide improved side impact protection. So much so that the Phantom has no need for rear side airbags.
Each C-post contains a panelled quarter mirror which, from within, appears to be a continuation of the side window, but offers a degree of privacy without having to resort to darkened windows or curtains. And when both front and rear doors are open, they form a protective barrier around a passenger entering or leaving the car.
The coach doors house another surprise feature. Within each rear door is an umbrella which is released at the touch of a button. After use, it can be stored even when wet: special drainage channels are incorporated into the coach door, and the umbrella material is coated wîth Teflon to ensure that it will not rot.
Inside, the design called for an open, almost flat, rear floor to allow passengers to move easily from one side of the car to the other - to exit the car at the kerb side, for example - and to create an inviting ambience. Maximum rear headroom was also a priority, wîth a figure of 979 mm (38.5 in) achieved.
The rear seats are available in two different configurations: lounge and theatre. Lounge seats have room for three passengers and are distinctly curved at their outer sides. With no lateral separation, this seating arrangement allows rear passengers to turn easily towards each other on a journey, making it easier to converse and enjoy an intimate environment. The theatre seating concept provides twin individual seats separated by a centre console that can house personal entertainment equipment, a drinks cabinet or other bespoke items.
All the doors and the boot lid have automatic soft closing which ensures they are securely fastened without the need for them to be slammed shut.
'Rolls-Royce supremacy is the reward of superlative design and meticulous care in manufacture.'
Rolls-Royce sales brochure, 1928
As expected from a Rolls-Royce, the interior features the finest materials found in any car. Two types of leather finishes are used - a natural grain hide for seating and a textured 'tipped' leather for door panniers and centre consoles. Naturally, it is the softest used in the automobile .
Deep-pile carpets are covered wîth sumptuous lambswool rugs, while metal surfaces have either a high-polish Sterling finish, such as the air vents, 'organ stops' and lighting consoles, or a satin finish, which is used on the door-handle surrounds and §teering column stalks. The headlining is of a wool and cashmere blend, providing a light and airy contrast to the leather surface of the central roof console.
No fewer than six different veneers are available for the woodwork: Figured Mahogany from West Africa, Burr Walnut, Birdseye Maple and Black Tulip from North America, and Oak Burr and Elm Cluster from Europe.
The switchgear displays a modern interpretation of the traditional Rolls-Royce principles of simplicity and clarity. Great care has been taken to balance the need to access a large number of functions without increasing complexity.
As a result, the major controls will be recognisable to long-standing Rolls-Royce owners, wîth iconic 'organ stops' still used to control the flow of air to the face-level vents. These have been joined by 'violin keys', similar in shape to the tuning heads on a violin, for minor switchgear.
A column-mounted, electronically controlled gear selection lever is retained, while a slim, leather-covered, three-spoke §teering wheel incorporates controls for the telephone, audio and navigation systems, as well as a button that allows the driver to access a 'low' mode for the gearbox.
Ahead of the driver is an instrument cluster comprised of three black-faced circular dials. A central speedometer is flanked by a split gauge for fuel level and water temperature, and a unique power reserve gauge which communicates the 'adequacy' of available power - for example, at 100 mph, the engine has 75 per cent of its total power capability left.
A notable innovation appears in the centre of the dashboard. A veneered panel housing the analogue clock swivels to reveal a monitor for vehicle settings, satellite navigation, on-board television and the telephone system. A controller, discreetly stowed in the centre console when not required, allows the driver to access these various specialist functions.
Starting point for the sophisticated ventilation system was to minimise the intrusive effect of direct forceful airflow, by providing indirect airflow for greater comfort. The circular air conditioning and heating controls are familiar items, controlling the six temperature zone interior wîth individual fan control for all four quarters of the cabin. Complementing a conventional heated rear window, the front side windows of the Phantom are heated for effective, noiseless demisting.
Light fittings, which can be found in the front and centre roof consoles and in the C-posts, are art-deco inspired; there are two reading lights in the front and twin reading lights for each side in the rear. Ambient interior lighting for night-time driving is provided by LEDs in the roof, while a brighter 'boulevard' setting allows rear passengers to see each other - or be seen - without distracting the driver.
'There is no evidence of an engine power ... until that power is required. Then it comes in a volume and wîth a fluency that is almost incredible, having regard to any sign of sensible effort in its delivery.'
Rolls-Royce Phantom II brochure, 1929
A Rolls-Royce is often perceived as the perfect chauffeur-driven car, where the primary concern is for the comfort of the rear passengers. But Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has a fundamental understanding of how the Phantom will be used, and the truth is rather different. While there will be occasions when an owner would prefer to enjoy his or her Phantom from the rear compartment, many owners will spend considerable time driving themselves.
Central to the design, therefore, has been the concept of relaxed control. This can be seen in the elevated driving position, the effortless operation of the controls and the refined performance of the engine.
A 6.75-litre V12 built to a Rolls-Royce specification by BMW, the engine offers ample power and huge reserves of torque, combined wîth exceptional fuel economy: headline figures include the 5.7 seconds that see it sprint from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h in 5.9 seconds) and the 25.7 mpg (11.0 ltr/100 km) it returns over the EÚ extra urban fuel economy cycle.
Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that the Phantom can cover 44 metres (144 ft) in just 4.0 seconds from a standing start. It's a figure many sports cars would be hard pressed to match. Top speed has been limited to 149 mph (240 km/h).
Maximum power is 453 bhp (338 kW) wîth peak torque of 720 Nm (531 lb ft) reached at 3,500 rpm. More significantly, 75 per cent of that torque is available from 1,000 rpm, making the power delivery seem effortless.
This refined engine performance does much to give the Phantom its 'waftability', a Rolls-Royce trademark that can be traced back to the turn of the last century. In 1907, a writer from the British motoring magazine Autocar described riding in the Rolls-Royce 40/50 hp as '... the feeling of being wafted through the countryside'. Engineers at Rolls-Royce quickly coined the term 'waftability' to encapsulate that sensation.
Waftability is achieved in many ways. Effortless acceleration from low engine speeds is one. Near silence of operation is another. A cosseting ride is a given, as is the refinement and comfort of the interior.
But waftability can also be found in the lines of the motor car itself: standing still, the Phantom looks ready to glide off. It's in the natural operation of the controls and in the minimum demands placed on the driver. The feeling can even be found in the masterly view from the driver's seat, over the long bonnet and front wings to the Spirit of Ecstasy and beyond.
Ergonomic features include a large-diameter §teering wheel combining traditional Rolls-Royce cues wîth modern technology: in use it has the lightness and tactility of a precision instrument. The thin-rimmed wheel is wrapped in leather wîth a hidden joint to make it more comfortable to the touch and automatically tilts away when the electronic ignition key is removed to ease entry and exit. The engine is started and stopped via a push button mounted within the ignition panel.
Double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension combine to give the driver stress-free access to the Phantom's full performance potential without compromising exceptional ride comfort. The rack and pinion §teering gives delightful feel through the wheel and the perfectly balanced chassis, wîth 50/50 weight distribution, ensures precise handling wîth excellent feedback of road and driving behaviour.
Naturally, for a Rolls-Royce motor car, such performance is matched by extraordinary tranquillity. Even at speed, the V12 engine emits no more than a distant hum. At idle, it is virtually silent. Engineered into the motor car is a dual-note exhaust: at low engine speeds, a valve in the system closes to increase back pressure and reduce the exhaust note to a whisper for understated arrivals and departures.
Combined wîth the synchronised wheel centres, which ensure that the interlinked RR badges on all four wheels are always in an upright position, the silence makes the Rolls-Royce Phantom appear to be gliding rather than driving away.
'Strive for perfection in everything you do.'
Sir Henry Royce
Adopting a fundamental rather than an incremental approach to designing a new motor car, the Rolls-Royce Phantom benefits from the application of innovative technology, most notably in its aluminium space frame structure. As well as being far lighter than a steel shell of an equivalent size, it is significantly more rigid, to the benefit of both handling and ride comfort.
Since the space frame is fully structural, the outer panels are simply fastened to the frame itself. Most of these, including the bonnet and rear wings are made from lightweight aluminium, or composite materials; only the boot lid is made of steel to aid weight distribution.
The vehicle package concept brings wîth it other bonus features and allows the use of coach doors as well as a double floor, providing an area for essential services without intruding into passenger space. In addition, the extra rigidity provides the highest levels of comfort and quietness as well as exceptional passive safety attributes.
Drive is to the rear wheels via a 'shift-by-wire', six-speed automatic transmission tuned to match the characteristics of the V12 engine. Electronic control means that, in normal use, the Phantom starts off in second gear wîth early up-shifts and late down-shifts.
However, by engaging the kickdown switch, which is integrated into the throttle pedal assembly, the car will set off in first and the full performance of the engine will be released. Similarly, engaging kickdown on the move allows later up-shifts and more immediate response. The gearbox incorporates a 'low' mode, suitable for steep mountain descents.
Mounted well ahead of the passenger compartment for optimum sound insulation, the engine itself is one of the most advanced in the world. Remarkably compact, the all-aluminium unit has four valves per cylinder, 48 in all, twin overhead camshafts per cylinder bank, four in all, and a long intake manifold for optimum low-end torque. It features direct fuel injection, fully variable valve lift control and variable valve timing.
Considering the size and performance potential of the Phantom, fuel economy is exceptional: over the EÚ extra urban cycle the Phantom returns 25.7 mpg (11.0 ltr/100 km) wîth a combined figure of 17.8 mpg (15.9 ltr/100 km). The fuel tank has a capacity of 22 imperial gallons (100 litres).
The huge wheels and tyres have been specially developed for the Rolls-Royce Phantom: it is the first car in the world to feature the advanced PAX run-flat tyre system from Michelin as standard. The 21-inch aluminium wheel option, shod wîth Goodyear tyres, illustrates a more sporting side to the Phantom's character.
Massive brakes - 374 mm (14.7 in) ventilated discs at the front and 370 mm (14.5 in) ventilated discs at the rear - bring peace of mind, as does the fact that the Phantom has passed all current and anticipated crash-test requirements.
Not only does its aluminium space frame bring significant benefits in occupant safety, but the Phantom also features a raft of passive restraint systems, including the Intelligent Safety Integration System (ISIS), which uses a decentralised optical network of sensors to permit intelligent triggering of the airbags. Dual-stage front bags are complemented by door-mounted side airbags in the front and window airbags running the length of the interior.
Sir Henry Royce
A Rolls-Royce motor car never has, and never will be, mass-produced. More than 260 man hours go into each Rolls-Royce Phantom, wîth many of the traditional features - such as the coach lines and exquisite cabinetry - still completed by hand.
The Phantom is, however, a 21st century motor car and the finest craftsmanship is augmented by advanced technical solutions: the result is a marriage of traditional skills and modern machinery, of human endeavour and technological achievement.
But there is no substitute for human involvement. A five-axis CNC milling machine might give the dimensional accuracy required for the interior trim, but it cannot ensure the veneer grains and patterns are aesthetically matched. Only the trained human eye and the sensitivity of human finger tips can ensure the highest quality hides and finest veneers are used in the Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Hand-crafting also allows much greater scope to satisfy individual customer demands. Such is the choice of colours, textures, veneers and equipment that it is highly unlikely that two identical Rolls-Royce Phantoms will ever be produced, unless deliberately commissioned, of course.
'The quality remains long after the price is forgotten.'
Sir Henry Royce
For nearly 100 years, Rolls-Royce has been the icon of motor engineering and design. The name has entered the language as the expression of perfection in a range of endeavours far beyond the motor .
The new Rolls-Royce Phantom is entirely in keeping wîth that long and illustrious heritage yet, at the same time, is totally contemporary. It reflects the timeless values of quality, distinction and authority, combining the best of the past wîth the best modern design, engineering and technology to re-interpret the character of Rolls-Royce in the 21st century.Source - Rolls-Royce
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|2010 Rolls-Royce models|
|Rolls-Royce Phantom Bespoke LWB|
|Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe|
|Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe|
|Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe 60th Anniversary Special Edition|
|Similarly Sized Vehicles from 2010|
|Alfa Romeo Pandion Concept|
|Audi Q7 S-Line|
|Audi R15 plus TDI|
|BMW GTRS3 M3 Widebody|
|Other models by Rolls-Royce|
|Vehicle Recall Information|
|2009 Phantom||2011 Phantom 102EX Experimental Electric||2011 Bespoke Phantom Drophead Coupe|