Travel torque: There’s a new Phantom in town

2018-02-27 14:55

For a few hours Melinda Ferguson got to experience firsthand “the world’s most luxurious car” at the Cape Town reveal of the New Rolls-Royce Phantom.

Rating: 5 Stars

Price: Money’s no object dahlings

As I sat inside the new eighth generation Rolls-Royce Phantom, dubbed “the world’s most luxurious car” it truly felt like I was having a once in a lifetime luxury experience. For a few hours last Thursday, along with a select group of Cape Town motoring media, time stood still as we experienced ‘The Embrace’ of an interior exuding effortless luxury that only comes with true timeless class.

Swathed in the finest of leathers, lambs wool and metals, whether I sat in the front or back of the new Phantom, every inch of this awe-inspiring machine had me going “ooh ahh”. What especially rocked my world was the expansive roof liner with LEDs set into the ceiling to resemble a brilliant star-speckled constellation.

The Phantom was first introduced back in 1925 and today is the world’s longest-lived model. Despite its almost century old run, there have only ever been seven Phantoms including the “Fred Astaire Phantom I” and John Lennon’s memorable psychedelic-painted Phantom V. That’s until the eighth generation, with an all new chassis was revealed to the world via a live-stream in July 2017.

The Rolls-Royce brand has become synonymous with “bespoke”. Nowhere does it apply more than in the New Phantom’s dashboard, dubbed “The Gallery” which is literally a palette for connoisseurs-in-luxury to dream up their most creative desires, working closely with their favourite artist or designer to create a dash as unique as their fingerprint. So if you’re into the classics your dash could be an oil painting landscape, or if you want to get really personal, how about a gold-plated 3D map of your DNA?

“Pimp your ride” takes on a whole new meaning in the New Phantom, which has also been called “The world’s most silent car”, by Rolls-Royce. There’s 130kg of insulation as well as 6mm-thick triple insulated glass all-round the vehicle to validate the claim.

Oozing with tech and safety the all-new aluminium “architecture of luxury” underpinning the New Phantom is lighter, stiffer, quieter and more technologically advanced, delivering a whole new level of “magic carpet ride”.

I’ve always been a huge fan of the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy mascot which – if you look carefully – you’ll notice is now mounted half an inch higher than its predecessor.

Up to now I’ve just been salivating about looks and luxury, but nowhere is the Phantom more impressive than in the specs, power and performance department. An all-new 6.75 litre twin-turbo V12 engine sits at the heart of this refined brute, delivering a mind-blowing 900 Nm of torque and 450 kW of insane power, reaching 0-100 kms in just 5.1 seconds. Satellite Aided Transmission, rear-wheel steering and a myriad of behind the scenes technology have been added to make the New Phantom the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce ever.

At the impressive unveiling of the New Phantom, hosted in the Aston Martin showroom at the V&A Watefront, Marek Letowt, general manager of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Sandton was on top form as he said: “With the New Phantom, the luxury benchmark has now been redefined. The 2018 Phantom heralds a new luxury business model, demonstrating that Rolls-Royce operates in the luxury goods industry like no other.”

It’s apparently crass to mention money in the same breath as Rolls-Royce, but of course for us plebs it’s kind of inevitable to salivate from a distance and wonder. I did a secret google to discover that the base model New Phantom costs in the region of $450 000 (about R5.2 million at the current exchange rate) but with all the bespoke options you can easily add another $150 000 to the price tag, making it a close to R7 million purchase. Dream on baby. Unless I sell a lot of books this year, a few hours inside the Nee Phantom is all I’m ever going to afford.

Melinda Ferguson
Motoring journalist
City Press
p:0117139001  e:
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December 9 2018