Phan­tom in­jects high-tech into its su­per-lux­ury mix

The Star Early Edition - - NEW MODELS -

From Page 1

halves were per­fect mir­ror im­ages of each other, the new Phan­tom dash­board is a sheet of tough­ened glass.

Un­der it, on the driver’s side, is a chrome-framed 31cm colour TFT dis­play with LED back­light­ing, show­ing three big round di­als with chrome sur­rounds, beau­ti­ful vir­tual nee­dles, jewel-like Roll­sRoyce chap­lets and clear let­ter­ing for speed, power re­serve, fuel and tem­per­a­ture lev­els.

It’s also pos­si­ble to spec cus­tom art­works be­hind the glass panel, al­low­ing own­ers to take a piece of their pri­vate gallery with them. Rolls-Royce has al­ready worked with a num­ber of artists, de­sign­ers and de­sign col­lec­tives to show just what is pos­si­ble be­hind the glass, rang­ing from an oil paint­ing of the South Downs of Eng­land in Au­tumn by Chi­nese artist Liang Yuan­wei, to a gold-plated 3D-printed map of the owner’s DNA by Ger­man de­signer Thorsten Franck.

You can choose a favoured artist or de­signer to work with Roll­sRoyce to cre­ate a truly in­di­vid­ual work of art that spans the width of ‘The Gallery’ in your Phan­tom, or you can choose from a vast col­lec­tion of silk, wood, metal or leather fin­ishes, which are avail­able off the shelf.

For the first time, the pan­theon grille (about 12mm taller than that of the Phan­tom VII) is part of the body rather than a separate de­sign el­e­ment, and made of hand-pol­ished stain­less steel rather than nickel sil­ver, while the door han­dles, usu­ally cast in alu­minium and satin-fin­ished on premium cars, are in­stead carved from solid stain­less steel and hand-pol­ished to a warm glow.

The four rec­tan­gu­lar head­lights frame the day­light run­ning lights and laser pro­jec­tors, ca­pa­ble of il­lu­mi­nat­ing ob­jects 600 me­tres ahead. And fi­nally, the Phan­tom rides on the big­gest wheels yet spec­i­fied by Rolls-Royce, 22” al­loy rims with self-right­ing cen­tre lo­gos. Along with the lighter, stiffer chas­sis comes four-wheel steer­ing and self-lev­el­ing air suspension which makes mil­lions of cal­cu­la­tions every sec­ond, re­act­ing to body and wheel ac­cel­er­a­tion, steer­ing move­ments and the in­put of a for­ward stereo cam­era that reads the road ahead and ad­justs the suspension for every bump be­fore the car even gets there.

The nat­u­rally-as­pi­rated 6.75-litre V12 that pow­ers every Rolls-Royce has been re-en­gi­neered for the Phan­tom with two tur­bocharg­ers mak­ing to­tal out­puts of 420kW and 900Nm.

It drives the rear wheels through new eight-speed au­to­matic ZF satel­lite-aided trans­mis­sion that uses GPS lo­ca­tion to en­sure that it is al­ways in the right gear for what’s com­ing up around the bend, de­pend­ing on how hard you’ve been lean­ing on the ac­cel­er­a­tor to­day.

The most im­me­di­ate con­se­quence of all this be­spoke lux­ury is that it is no longer pos­si­ble to quote a price for a Rolls-Royce un­til you have fin­ished spec­i­fy­ing your unique car - but in any case, if you need to ask the price, you can’t af­ford it.

There is no plas­tic in­side the new Phan­tom; every switch and con­trol is made of metal, glass or wrapped in leather.

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