The Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII Is a Good Car for Hunting Wabbits

The newest amenity in luxury autos? Silence.

By Shari Gab

 
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31 July 2017

At first glance, the just released Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII might leave one scratching their head and asking where the new Phantom is. But when you’ve cornered the opulence market like Rolls, you stick to what you know and you give the distinguished people what they want.

This is majesty, refined.

Only the second contemporary Phantom that has been released since the model’s premiere in 1925, the BMW Group had unveiled the Phantom VII in 2003 and held fast with the design up until 2011. And before that, the VI enjoyed a very healthy production run from 1968 spanning all the way until 1990.

Rolls’ flagship ride, the Phantom is the company’s largest cash cow worldwide. That’s not something that you tussle with. That is something one needs merely perfect.

Here’s what $440,000+ of motor mastery garners.

Phantom VIII (9 images)

Peace and Quiet
If you’ve ever questioned the value of a Rolls, chances are you haven’t been in one. This is proclaimed to be the “world’s most silent car.” It’s stated to be 10 percent quieter than the VII at 60 mph. This due to being lined with about 300 pounds of insulation to divide the passengers and the outside world, including “silent-seal” tires lined with foam.

The construction itself is based on a new all-aluminum ‘Architecture of Luxury,’ making the VIII “lighter, stiffer, quieter and more technologically advanced,” said Giles Taylor, Director of Design.

Additionally, under the hood the Phantom VIII has — rather than the VII’s naturally aspirated V12 — a 6.75L V12 turbocharged engine humming along with 563 ponies. That turbo means power at lower revolutions ensuring heightened silence at speed. It’s poised and stable for its grand arrival.

And to boot, passengers don’t even have to withstand the harsh bang of door closing. Rolls has integrated the Phantom with ‘The Embrace.’ Once the owner or passenger is nestled into the vehicle, by touching a sensor on the door handle, the door “automatically whispers closed of its own accord.”

It’s a pin drop quiet magic carpet ride.

It’s an Art Gallery
Luxury car manufacturers love customization. It allows the customers to get something special and exactly want down to the last detail. It also comes with a hefty price tag. And while Rolls has a comprehensive customization program, the VIII takes things to new heights.

The Phantom’s “Gallery” is a glassed-in display case on the passenger side dash wherein customers can commission fine art to inlay. Such commissioned artists include Thorsten Franck with a 3D-printed, gold-plated rendering of the client’s DNA,  Nymphenburg Porcelain of Bavaria with an arrangement of white porcelain roses inspired by the particular strain Harkness Roses grown to celebrate the arrival of Phantom VIII and Liang Yuanwei’s painting of the South Downs of England.

The VIII does come with one permanent installation, that classic analog clock, the tick of which is “the loudest sound you can hear in a Rolls-Royce.”

The Difference Is in the Details
Rolls is an innovative breed of its own. It’s not Tesla. So when you step inside, you’re not going to get the massive infotainment center or the futuristic gadgetry. It’s a design legacy not beholden to our modern times.

The seats’ wood detail is influenced by the timeless Eames Lounge chair. And cleverly hidden behind the wood paneling live Rear Picnic tables and Rear Theatre Monitors, which are electrically deployed and retracted with simple the touch of a button.

Different seating configurations are available, as well, for commission to suit the client’s needs with an intimate lounge seat, individual seats with occasional armrest, seats with a fixed console and the new sleeping seat … for sleeping.

And the console itself has been enhanced with a drink cabinet, whiskey glasses and decanter, champagne flutes and a cool box.

Beyond a seat heating functionality, the VIII also has the capability to heat the front door armrests, the front center console, the lower C-Pillar, the rear side armrests and the rear center armrest. So, basically everything but the floor and the Swarovski-crystaled ceiling. But I wouldn’t put it past them that that’s an option should you so desire.

All in all, "the New Phantom raises a glass to an illustrious design legacy and it forges a modern and revitalised presence for the next era of Rolls,"  said Taylor. And it sets the stage for an electric future, albeit 10 years or so down the road.

It is, in short, a masterpiece.

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