By Stewart Smith on 2017-07-31 - Stewart was the former motoring editor of the Coventry Telegraph and is now a freelance contributor to Eurekar. He is based in Scotland and specialises in First Drive reviews.
WHEN it comes to luxury motoring it's true to say that most people will think of Rolls-Royce, and the latest version, the Phantom VIII, will be on UK roads at the beginning of next year.
From its debut in 1925, a Rolls-Royce Phantom has been the choice of many of the world's most influential and powerful men and women, and the latest Goodwood-built luxury motor is offering even more as far as comfort, performance and high-tech equipment is concerned.
The new Phantom comes with all-new aluminium underpinnings delivering a whole new level of what Rolls-Royce call a "Magic Carpet Ride" because it is lighter, stiffer, quieter and more technologically advanced.
Suspension improvements include a self-levelling air system which makes millions of calculations every second as it continuously varies the electronically controlled shock absorber adjustment system - reacting to body and wheel acceleration, steering inputs and camera information.
In addition, the Phantom adds a stereo camera system integrated in the windscreen to see the road ahead, adjusting suspension proactively rather than reactively up to 62mph.
Rollys-Royce, now part of BMW, says the new Phantom is the most silent motor car in the world and it boasts 6mm two-layer glazing all around the car and more than 130kg of sound insulation with the largest ever cast aluminium joints in a body-in-white and use of high absorption materials.
The Phantom comes packed with a huge amount of advanced intelligence systems including an alertness assistant, a four-camera system with panoramic view, all-round visibility including helicopter view, night vision and vision assist, active cruise control, collision warning, pedestrian warning, cross-traffic warning, lane departure and lane change warning, a high-resolution head-up display, Wi-Fi hotspot, and the latest navigation and entertainment systems.
One special feature is the dashboard and instrument panel area on the Phantom which Rolls-Royce has dubbed "The Gallery".
Wealthy owners can specify works of art which are displayed in an uninterrupted swathe of toughened glass that runs the full width of the dash area. Within it, the instrument digital dials are framed with chrome.
A 12.3-inch colour display with LED backlighting gives the driver information from within the round chrome surrounds In addition to speed, power reserve, fuel and temperature levels, the displays also react to provide essential information on cruise control settings, navigation instructions, driver assistance systems and a host of other information.
As far as power goes, the new Phantom comes with a completely new twin turbo-charged 6.75-litre V12 powertrain in place of the previous naturally aspirated V12 engine.
Torsten Muler-Otvos, chief executive officer for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said: "As this next chapter in the Rolls-Royce story opens, the new Phantom points the way forward for the global luxury industry. It is a creation of great beauty and power, a dominant symbol of wealth and human achievement. It is an icon and an artwork that embraces the personal desires of each of our individual customers."
Price of this new motoring icon is expected to be upwards of £300,000.
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