As the last stand of the British motoring industry, the Rolls-Royce Phantom is as ostentatious and majestic as one would expect. It has been Rolls-Royce's flagship since it was introduced in 2003, and other than the introduction of coupe and convertible models, it has seen little need for change. Evidently its wealthy owners, rappers, athletes, and royalty don't either.
The Phantom can be ordered in four basic body styles: the standard Phantom, the Phantom extended wheelbase sedan, the Phantom Coupe, and the Phantom Drophead Coupe, which is Rolls-speak for convertible. Whichever model you order, every Phantom comes with the same 6.7-liter V-12 that shoves with quiet authority. Rolls-Royce doesn't disclose horsepower figures, claiming that it's uncouth, but the Phantom has more than enough power.
Each model has its own personality and eccentricities. The Drophead, for example, features a full-length cloth roof with fiber-optic lights embedded, for a "starry night" effect with the top up. The doors on the Coupe and Drophead that are hinged at the rear and open outwards, and the Sedan features umbrellas in the door jambs that pop out at the push of a button. Every model is built with the highest in handcrafted luxury, and the ability to devour cross-continental miles in the utmost comfort.
Body styles: 4-door sedan, 2-door coupe, 2-door convertible
Engine: 6.7L V-12
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Models: Phantom, Phantom Coupe, Phantom Drophead Coupe, Phantom EWB
Change and progress come slow at Rolls-Royce, and the Phantom was last updated with a new front bumper and grille, as well as new audio and visual connectivity to the rear-mounted monitors. Twenty-one-inch wheels are now standard, and LEDs illuminate the door handles. The controls for the power windows have also been relocated.
All Phantom models are imposing, stately machines in their own ways, with aluminum alloy body panels and stainless steel front grilles. The Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament disappears into the grille when the car is parked. The Drophead can be optioned with teak wood decking over the rear roof lid, and both Coupe and Drophead come equipped with a brushed-aluminum center hood. Of course, at this price point, anything can be customized to one's discerning tastes.
Only the best for Rolls-Royce: sumptuous leather, polished metal, and exotic woods cover every surface, available in a multitude of colors, fabrics, and styles. Old World charm meets 21st-century technology, however: a DVD entertainment system, 26-speaker surround sound, 18-way power front seats, and iPod connectivity are all included.
Performance & Handling
Each Phantom model has enough power to compose itself down the road. Both Coupe and Drophead are slightly more nimble, relatively speaking, and easier to maneuver than the longer sedan variants. Steering is light and not particularly full of feel. Brakes are powerful if not overboosted, and unlike the wafting Rolls of yore, body roll is kept at a minimum.
Front, side, and curtain airbags are standard equipment on all models, along with traction and stability control. The Phantom Sedan has full-length side curtain airbags for rear seat occupants. The Drophead Coupe features automatic rollover protection.
EPA Fuel Economy
11 mpg city/18 mpg highway
- Old World luxury
- First-class materials, inside and out
- Effortless V-12 power
- Responsive and controlled drive despite the size
You Won't Like
- Eye-watering price
- EWB better with a chauffeur
- Parking any Phantom is a pain
The ultimate in motorized luxury
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