Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II: update for ‘apex’ of luxury cars

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Rolls-Royce has unveiled a series of updates to its flagship Phantom, creating a new ‘expression’ of the eighth-generation model.

The current generation of the famous name was introduced in 2017 and according to Rolls-Royce, the Phantom Series II will maintain its place as the “pinnacle” of luxury cars while bringing subtle upgrades to meet customer demand.

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Even by the scale of most mid-life facelifts, the changes to the Phantom are relatively minor, but Rolls-Royce says this is in response to owners who “begged” the brand not to make major changes.

At the front, the iconic Pantheon grille has been redesigned to further emphasize the Spirit of Ecstasy and RR emblem. It’s also now backlit to subtly illuminate the grille’s upright slats – a process first seen on the smaller Ghost. A new trim line across the top of the grille also connects it more closely to the LED position lights. Below that, the headlights feature new laser-cut starlights that reflect the fiberglass starlights in the car’s headliner.

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For the first time, the grille and other exterior trim elements can also be specified in dark chrome instead of the traditional bright chrome.

A new choice of wheels rounds out the exterior changes with a 3D-milled stainless steel wheel with triangular facets among the options. A disc wheel reminiscent of the closed-back design of the 1920’s Phantoms is also available, in polished stainless steel and black lacquer.

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Behind the gently revised grille, the Phantom’s powerplant and drivetrain remain the same. The traditional 6.75-liter V12 engine is retained and delivers 563 hp, which is sent to the road via an eight-speed gearbox.

The interior of the Phantom is also carried over almost unchanged from the previous version, although a thicker steering wheel has been installed. New for the Series II is an updated suite of connected services, linking the car to the Whispers Private Members app, only available to Rolls-Royce owners. The service allows owners to send navigation destinations from their phone to the vehicle, as well as track the car’s location and status, and allow them to book it in at a dealership for servicing.

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The new Phantom also marks a departure for Rolls-Royce, which is exploring more sustainable and eco-friendly material options with the bespoke Platino. This model features traditional leather upholstery on the front seats, but uses two fabric finishes on the back – a durable silk and a bamboo fiber material – both of which feature abstract interpretations of the woven Spirit of Ecstasy.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said: “Phantom occupies an unrivaled position at the forefront of the luxury world. As our flagship product, it represents the best of Rolls-Royce design, engineering and craftsmanship – a perfect blend of vision, creativity, the finest materials, skill, patience and precision.

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“With the Phantom Series II, we’ve preserved and carefully protected everything that our customers love about this superlative luxury product; subtle but meaningful improvements reflect their evolving tastes and needs.”

The Hantom Platino shows Rolls-Royce’s experiments with leather-free upholstery

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