‘The Great Eight Phantoms’ exhibition to welcome the latest iteration.
When you talk about Rolls-Royce, your mind immediately conjures up images of opulence and unadulterated luxury. Rolls-Royce has been the transport of choice for heads of state, rockstars, captains of industry, and royalty since time immemorial, with the previous-generation Phantom VII bringing the marque’s ethos of luxury above all else into a new era.
And while the Phantom VII might seem like the quintessential Rolls-Royce, it’s been an amazing 14-years since it first debuted. The Phantom VII signalled a new beginning for the brand, being the first car to be produced at the brand-new ‘Home of Rolls-Royce’ in Goodwood, West Sussex. A truly modern Rolls-Royce, it brought with it things like a modern infotainment system, Teflon-coated umbrellas in the doors, and rear-hinged coach doors to allow for better ingress and egress into the rear. The luxury behemoth was motivated by a 338kW ‘six-and-three-quarter’ litre V12, able to launch it from rest to 100km/h in just 5.9-seconds.
Of course, since then, the Rolls-Royce range has expanded to include the Ghost, Wraith, and Dawn, all sitting below the Phantom family (made up of the Phantom, Phantom Extended Wheelbase, Phantom Coupé and Phantom Drophead). With the Phantom retired at the end of 2016, Rolls-Royce has announced that the 8th-generation Phantom limousine will be making its global debut in Mayfair, London on the 27th of July, at ‘The Great Eight Phantoms’ exhibition.
With a 92-year history, the Phantom nameplate was first seen in 1925, when the car was developed in secret as the ‘Eastern Armoured Car,’ claimed to be an armoured military vehicle for Lawrence of Arabia. Rolls-Royce even went to the extent of leaving bits of armour plating lying around to confuse would-be spies as they developed ‘the best car in the world.’
The Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII will share its platform with the impending Cullinan SUV, which should see an aluminium-intensive architecture that should bring some weight savings. Motivation will likely come from an evolution of the 6.75-litre V12 from the previous-generation model, or possibly the smaller 6.6-litre V12 from the Dawn cabriolet. An Autocar report suggests that the Phantom may gain all-wheel drive if it shares its underpinnings with the Cullinan, though the “high-sided” SUV may keep that to itself.