THE PHANTOM RETURNS

The Rolls Royce Phantom hardly even falls into the “car” category. But today, probably the most lauded maker of motor cars showcased the new 8th generation Phantom. The vehicle itself has been around since 1925, you can just imagine the calibre of people this kind of motoring excellence has conveyed. But to see the new one in the flesh, currently the only one in the Southern Hemisphere was enough for me.

Aside from the astonishing design it’s the facts and figures that really escalate this vehicle to soaring heights, that’s before we even get to the price tag. The short wheelbase version is a smidge over 5.7 metres long, the stretch variant 5.8 metres. It weighs between 2560kg and 2610kg and is propelled along by a 6.75-litre V12 that pumps out 420kW and 900Nm at 1700rpm.

There’s 130kg of sound insulation and 6mm thick windows, this as Rolls Royce claims would have to be the quietest production car in the world. The 0-100km dash is done and dusted in just 5.3 seconds and 5.4 seconds for the longer wheelbase offering. Having driven both the Ghost and Wraith from a standing start I have no doubt the occupants will not have any sense of how effortless the acceleration is.

The high roller is also fitted with four-wheel steering, mainly to reduce the turning circle to 13.09 metres. Although still owned by BMW the new Phantom is now 100 per cent unique, no longer is it a gold-plated BMW 7 Series. An all-aluminium spaceframe will now underpin every future Rolls Royce and there’s been an injection of technology to further iron out that famous “magic carpet ride”.

Interior wise there is a piece of glass panelling known as the “Gallery” across the dash that allows owners to personalise their own moving art piece. The laser headlights can light up the road 600 metres ahead and as with any Rolls Royce, owners are expected to customise their commissioned vehicle way more than the base $950,000 price tag. The extended Phantom wheelbase model kicks off at just a mere $1,100,000. If we ever get to have a crack at one, I’ll be double checking my greenslip.

The new Phantom is such an unbelievable creation it’s almost obscene. Also guess what? Those Teflon covered umbrellas still slide out of the doors, plus they’ve been crash tested… whatever that means.