The next generation of the Rolls-Royce Phantom, which was revealed Thursday evening, marks a shift within the ultra luxury automaker.
All the special luxury touches are there, of course, but what makes the 2018 Phantom different is its all-new aluminum architecture, which will underpin every future Rolls-Royce. It’s a notable change that will mean the same underlying architecture will be used on Rolls-Royce vehicles of varying size and weight as well as with different propulsion, traction, and control systems.
The new architecture was designed to produce a lighter and 30% stiffer vehicle that aims to make the ride more comfortable.
Engineers also gave Phantom VIII new 6.75-liter V12 engine that is 10% quieter than its predecessor. There have been changes to the exterior as well, notably the front grille, which is raised higher than previous generations of the Phantom. The grille has also been integrated into the bodywork, which Rolls-Royce says produces a cleaner look.
There are numerous small changes throughout the vehicle and all the luxury touches one might expect to find in a Rolls-Royce. The seats are new and wood paneling across the back of the front seats are a nod to the Eames Lounge Chair of 1956.
Behind that wood panelling, the back seat occupants will discover theater monitors. A center console in the back has been upgraded and includes a drinks cabinet with whisky glasses and decanter, champagne flutes, and coolbox.
Perhaps one of the more interesting details is what Rolls-Royce has done with the car’s dashboard and instrument panel area, a space it calls “The Gallery.” All the elements, which include the instrument digital dials, are enclosed in a single piece of glass. Instruments show speed, power reserve, fuel and temperature levels and the displays also indicate changes in settings like cruise control, navigation instructions, and driver assistance systems.
But the typically blank area that normally is used to hide components can be turned into a piece of art. Customers will be able choose an artist or designer to work with to create an individual work that could be an oil painting or even a gold-plated 3D-printed map of an owner’s DNA.
And then there’s the tech.
A fully loaded Phantom has an advanced driver assistance system that includes four cameras that provide better visibility such as helicopter view, active cruise control, collision warning, pedestrian warning, cross-traffic warning, lane departure and lane change warning. The vehicle also has a high-resolution head-up display, WiFi hotspot, and navigation and entertainment systems.