If you're in the market to buy a vehicle in the luxury sedan segment and if your income bracket extends beyond six zeros then perhaps a Rolls-Royce is the choice for you. There is no more obvious sign of wealth and success than owning one of these vehicles. For years Rolls-Royce has combined state-of-the-art technology with their timeless contemporary design and the recently upgraded Phantom family is no exception to this tradition. First launched in 2003, the Rolls-Royce Phantom model line now includes the sedan (Phantom saloon), an additional extended wheel base version, the Coupé and the Drophead Coupé. Each member of the Phantom family displays a unique personality of its own but all continue to share the powerful presence for which Rolls-Royce is renowned. For 2013, all Phantom models receive a few upgrades that subtly improve the overall driving and riding experience for those who want to take the wheel or prefer to be chauffeured in luxury.
On the outside, The Phantom has a powerful stance. With its iconic proportions and famous front grille the Phantom has a rare sense of scale and occasion that makes it a truly modern interpretation of a Rolls-Royce. There is a 2:1 wheel-to-height ratio which is unmistakeably Rolls-Royce as are the coach-style doors on its sides. The Phantom has new rectangular adaptive LED Headlamps: In addition to the thin daylight running light bar dividing the upper driving lights and lower high beams, the entire LED cluster is fully adaptable depending on vehicle speed and weather conditions. The Phantom's exterior paintwork comes in sixteen different colours however, their 'Bespoke' programme offers 44,000 different hues and further personalisation including two-tone finishes and hand-painted five-metre coachlines.
The Phantom interior exudes luxury andupon entering through the coach-style power-closing rear doors (in which you will find a cleverly hidden Rolls-Royce umbrella for bad weather days), one can be forgiven for thinking you've entered an executive lounge. There is a fine choice of materials, all put together beautifully with leather and genuine wood on nearly all interior surfaces. Other luxurious specifications include: front and rear parking sensors, front heated bucket seats with memory and fold-out trays on the seatbacks, heated rear seats, Bluetooth connectivity, BMW's central iDrive controller, a GPS navigation system that also picks up local television programming (UK & US compatible), a multi-zone climate control system, a power sunroof, power trunk lid, illuminated mirrors, a 420-watt sound system with dual subwoofers, a six-disc CD changer, and satellite radio. Additionally there is a 360 degree top camera view that allows you to see everything around the car for easier manoeuvres in tight spaces via a large 22.4cm screen.
Complementing the already portly 338kW, 720Nm of torque, direct-injection 6.7-litre V-12 engine is an even smoother ZF 8-speed automatic transmission that makes the Phantom accelerate quickly to speeds much like a jetliner taking flight. The added benefit of more gears also improves the car’s fuel consumption by 10 percent. For more spirited drivers, available for the first time is a dynamic package that includes stiffer anti-roll bars, suspension and sportier gearbox and brake calibrations. Phantom goes 0-100km/h in 5.9 seconds and its top speed is governed at 240km/h.
Phantom features technologically advanced safety specs and Rolls-Royce has covered all the bases and more: ABS, stability control, front, side, overhead and knee airbags, anti-whiplash head restraints, seat-belt pretentioners and a very advanced security system comes as standard.
The Rolls-Royce Phantom is refined, immensely comfortable and far more agile than its size suggests. It's not just a car for getting from point A to point B, but rather in the most exclusive, serene and relaxing manner it provides an escape into an environment that oozes money and luxury. Pricing is determined by the amount of customisations a client opts for, however, in this category of vehicle, cost is probably not a primary concern anyway.