Since 1925 the Rolls-Royce Phantom has represented the pinnacle in automotive excellence adorned by the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ with her outstretched arms and flowing gowns.
The model for this famous hood ornament was Eleanor Thornton a secretary at The Car Illustrated magazine who had a long standing secret relationship with John Walter Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu, the magazine’s editor from 1902.
Now in its eighth generation, the Rolls-Royce Phantom was officially launched recently in Australia at the luxury Darling Hotel in Sydney.
The Phantom is simply the most exquisite car you will ever have the pleasure of being in the presence of. Words and photographs don’t do justice to what this car encapsulates, but I will give it a go anyway.
It all begins with the ‘Architecture of Luxury’, an all aluminium spaceframe that promises great leaps in technology, with a drivetrain and driver assistance systems that produce a ‘magic carpet ride’.
This is all good news for Australian buyers of the Phantom who choose to punt their cars along themselves more than other owners around the world.
The chassis has air suspension and state-of-the-art chassis control systems that deliver ‘effortless’ ride and handling. This ‘effortlessness’ is in part thanks to the 6.75 litre twin-turbocharged V12 engine that delivers 563hp and 900Nm of torque. When the Phantom was started for the gallery present at the launch you could barely hear the engine running.
The Phantom has an unladen weight of 2,560kg, which includes 130kg of sound insulation, but it can still do 0-100km/h in 5.3 seconds with a limited top speed of 250km/hr. It must be surreal to feel this type of performance from such a hefty car!
The Phantom should not be thought of as just a car, but rather a moving seven star hotel suite where passengers are cocooned in the finest leathers and veneers. All of which smell and feel as divine as you would expect from such a beautiful work of art.
Speaking of art, the Phantom now has a centrepiece that the creators have called ‘The Gallery’. Harking back to the 1800’s when the aristocracy would embark on a Grand Tour of the Continent and take their priceless art collections with them.
The Phantom has an application of glass that runs uninterrupted across the dashboard fascia where the owner can customise it with their own selection of art. Maybe an owner could choose to have a child’s artwork immortalised in their Phantom or something a little more elegant like this one off masterpiece using feathers?
Although the Phantom is not the most popular vehicle for women in the Rolls-Royce range, that would be the Dawn, I could see myself driving this magnificent machine with my children in the back soaking up all the finest workmanship that can be offered in a motor car. Of course they would be sipping water not champagne!
With the notion of ‘if you have to ask the price then you can’t afford it anyway’ in mind the starting price for the Standard Wheelbase Phantom is $AUD950,000 and the Phantom Extended Wheelbase (an extra 220mm longer for greater rear passenger leg room) is $AUD1,100,000.
For more information visit the Rolls-Royce Sydney Showroom.