Evo India - - ED SPEAK - SIRISH CHAN­DRAN [email protected]­ub­lish­ @SirishChan­dran

WHAT RE­ALLY IS THE BEST? THE BEST CAR? THE best bike? How can you paint a sweep­ing state­ment such as the one on our cover this month? Aren’t we leav­ing our­selves open to a mil­lion ques­tions?

In truth, yes, though you will also un­der­stand why we’ve said what we have once you read our story start­ing on page 62. I’m not say­ing that the en­gi­neers at Fer­rari or Porsche aren’t equally fa­nat­i­cal or de­tail ori­ented but the word ‘best’ has al­ways been associated with lux­ury, not per­for­mance or lap times. And when it comes to lux­ury, my word, the Phan­tom VIII is from an­other planet. The si­lence is ex­tra­or­di­nary, the op­u­lence mind bend­ing, the visual state­ment over­pow­er­ing. I’ve never driven a car that has come close; where you sink into the back seat and wish you never have to get out. But the rea­son why the Phan­tom is on the cover of a per­for­mance-ori­ented mag­a­zine is that it is a joy to drive.

Now there’s great joy to be hand in can­ing an 812 Su­per­fast through the hills of Mo­dena or drift­ing round Turn 8 of the BIC in the AMG GT R. But, equally, there’s great joy to be had in glid­ing the Phan­tom VIII from cor­ner to cor­ner over the very same Alpine roads that James Bond chased Goldfin­ger. Of course there’s body roll and sus­pen­sion squat and a large thin-rimmed steer­ing wheel and a lofty seat­ing po­si­tion – all the an­tithe­sis of ev­ery­thing that evo In­dia stands for – yet it is ab­so­lutely de­light­ful. More than any other car in the world, rear-wheel steer­ing trans­forms the Phan­tom giv­ing it an agility that is utterly ridicu­lous for a car this vast. In purely ob­jec­tive terms, the Rolls is damn fast. But han­dling is as much about the sub­jec­tive as­pects as it is about lap times, and judg­ing by how wide our smiles were, the Phan­tom aces The Thrill of Driv­ing test. It is the best car in the world. ⌧

‘The word best has al­ways been associated with lux­ury, not per­for­mance or lap times’

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