Rolls-Royce Phantom

Mk V111

Rolls-Royce Phantom, 2020, front
Rolls-Royce Phantom, 2020, side
Rolls-Royce Phantom, 2020, rear
Rolls-Royce Phantom, 2020, rear seats
Rolls-Royce Phantom, 2020, interior
Rolls-Royce Phantom, 2020, night sky head lining

CAR makers often make ambitious claims for their models - some justified, some questionable.

But only one is renowned for producing the best car in the world.

And if Rolls-Royce does make the best in the world the mighty Phantom has to be the best of the best.

Weighing in at 2.6 tonnes the all-new 19ft long Phantom V111 is the biggest, the most luxurious and yes, the most expensive Roller the company makes.

Even a basic Phantom costs more than an average house in Britain but nobody buys a basic model. Each one is bespoke. Everyone specs their Phantom to their own taste both inside and out, and that costs.

The car driven here - in an unusual silk rather than matt finish - had a whopping £119,000 worth of additional equipment on it sending the total on-the-road price to an eye watering £507,000.

But the new Phantom is a car like no other. It's a sublime blend of unimaginable luxury and hi-tech equipment and arguably unequalled build quality.

You can't even see any visible lines between the body panels. It's as if it's been hewn from a solid block of aluminium.

Despite sitting on a new all-aluminium space frame the new model is still heavier than the one it replaces, partly because of the all-new space age technology incorporated into it and partly because of increased on-board luxury.

And no expense has been spared in ensuring that the latest Phantom is what Rolls-Royce describes as "the most silent motor in the world".

There's 6mm double glazing all round, double layer floor sections, the use of high absorption material and 130 kg of sound insulation,

Even the tyres on the huge 22-inch wheels have been specially developed for this car boasting a foam layer on the inside to eliminate road noise.

This car is so quiet that when acoustic engineers first checked the sound levels they were getting they were so low they thought their instruments were giving faulty readings and had them checked over.

Along with the silence comes the famous Rolls-Royce "magic carpet ride" created by onboard cameras looking ahead, analysing every approaching bump and dip on the surface and adjusting the self-levelling air suspension accordingly to cope with it in advance.

The result is a car which feels as if it's floating along on air, hovercraft style. Yet when you want to drive it more sportingly the suspension recognises it and adapts in milliseconds.

Sit in the rear passenger seats and you're one step up from being in the first class section of an aircraft.

Before taking the wheel I relaxed in the heated and cooled back seats which are multi adjustable at the touch of a button, can be programmed to give you a gentle massage on long journeys and even have heated armrests.

You sink into the finest hide and the carpets and mats are so thick your feet disappear into them. You can even alter the angle of the floor section your feet are resting on.

As I pushed a chrome button on the side of the front seatbacks a highly polished picnic table lowered in front of me followed by a monitor for watching TV as well as controlling on-board features.

But the most dramatic effect was above my head as the roof headliner was totally covered with tiny LEDs giving the illusion of stars in the night sky.

In keeping with tradition the rear doors on the Phantom open the opposite way to conventional car doors and - as with the front doors - can be closed from inside at the touch of a button. Would you expect anything less?

And it was nice to see that even on the new car Rolls-Royce has maintained some aspects of its heritage like the organ stop switches for the air vents, the super slim steering wheel and the power reserve monitor instead of a rev counter

The dashboard in this car is now termed "the gallery" and is enclosed in an uninterrupted run of toughened glass allowing buyers to display works of art behind it.

But the most traditional feature of course is the iconic "Spirit of Ecstasy" figurine which rises from the top of the bonnet as you open the door to tell other drivers they are looking at the epitome of motoring excellence.

And in the interests of modernity the Phantom is packed with every safety feature you can mention including a head-up display and night vision.

A completely silent engine was the specification for the new car so the Mk V111 is powered by a completely new 6.75-litre V12 engine with two turbo chargers to give plenty of power at low revs to eliminate any noise.

Mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox with a column change it powers this giant car to 62 miles per hour in just 4.9 seconds and on to a restricted top speed of 150mph.

To drive it is to love it. It's hard to believe anything as big can move that quickly and in complete silence. The power reserve is enormous no matter what speed you are doing and four-wheel-steer gives it the agility you need for such a long car.

FAST FACTS

Rolls-Royce Phantom Mk V111

Price: £507,210

Mechanical: 601ps, 6,750cc, 12cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 150mph

0-62mph: 4.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 19.5

Insurance Group: 20

C02 emissions: 329g/km

Bik rating: 37%

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