“It has to be said, we are pleased indeed to feature and review the new Rolls-Royce Phantom in HOMME Digital Magazine. Since the late great British actor, writer and mentor Sir Dirk Bogarde pontificated about the eloquence of the Rolls-Royce motor car, of which he owned many, we have had a yearning for this great marque” ~ Dato’ Nicholas Pinder – Editor-In-Chief – HOMME Digital Magazine.
Inside the new Rolls-Royce Phantom, an uninterrupted application of glass across the front fascia provides an unprecedented opportunity to present artwork, within your motor car.
An understanding that the super-luxury marque’s patrons are increasingly collectors of fine and contemporary art led the Rolls-Royce Design Team, fronted by Design Director, Giles Taylor, to create a space behind this glass in which patrons can commission and curate art, a space aptly named ‘The Gallery’.
“As patrons increasingly commission a Rolls-Royce for its aesthetic power, they trust in the knowledge that only the finest materials fashioned at the hands of a collective of skilled artisans will produce a motor car that transcends its primary role as a means of conveyance, to become a meaningful and substantive expression of art, design and engineering excellence. ‘The Gallery’ is an innovation that furthers Rolls-Royce’s unparalleled Bespoke capabilities. Patrons are now invited to commission artworks for their own personal Gallery within Phantom, in essence, bringing art, within art.” ~ Torsten Müller Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said.
Rolls-Royce’s standing as creator of the most celebrated objects in the world is informed by an intimate understanding that true luxury is personal. This philosophy has driven the marque’s collective of designers, artisans and engineers to constantly evolve the canvas from which patrons of luxury can express their tastes and lifestyle requirements.
An intrinsic part of the Rolls-Royce Design team’s responsibility is to understand and immerse themselves in a world of luxury far beyond automotive horizons. Drawing inspiration from the worlds of fashion, art and design, the collective continually examines the work of experts in their fields, furthering skills and knowledge in order to push the boundaries beyond the limitations car designers are usually confined to.
From a simple application of wood or metal, to a more complex use of materials not normally viable in an automotive context and enhanced by incorporating relief, ‘The Gallery’ extends the patron’s experience of curation with the marque to a new realm.
In this spirit, Alex Innes, Rolls-Royce Bespoke Designer and Creative Lead Designer of ‘The Gallery’ Artist Commissions, has invited artists and master artisans from around the world to interpret ‘The Gallery’.
The result? A collection of unique and artistic creations, free from the constraints of automotive design, to inspire the marque’s patrons, in a way that only Rolls-Royce can.
A truly Bespoke commission, Thorsten Franck’s Rolls-Royce Phantom Gallery, Digital Soul, is an artistic interpretation of its Patron’s DNA. Thorsten, from Munich, Germany, is a product designer who acts as a conduit between computer-generated design, additive manufacturing and hand-craftsmanship.
Thorsten’s fusion of human endeavour with technology results in a work which juxtaposes the pre-disposed expectations of additive manufacturing and computer generated design by creating an alluring and visually complex fascia for New Phantom, adapting the use of technology to render an artwork as unique as a fingerprint.
Franck begins by capturing the patron’s character in a unique algorithm. This data is then transcribed using the art of 3D printing, forming the largest piece of 3D printed stainless steel featured in a production car, made possible only by this use of additive manufacturing.
Here, traditional artisanal craft blends exquisitely with tomorrow’s production methods. More than one day of polishing produced a work worthy of being plated in 24 carat gold. The work interacts with the changing light of the day, reflecting brilliance whilst casting shadows. The visual characteristics of gold ensure each observer’s experience will be a personal one dictated by their physical position in Phantom and the strength of the sun’s rays or soft glow of the up-lit stage lights on the gold, set within ‘The Gallery’.
Thorsten Franck said of the commission, “Additive manufacturing is often viewed as a convenience or solution. My work embraces this technology and manipulates it to produce a unique work of art that could not be created by man alone. I have mapped an algorithm to interpret your soul. The visual aesthetics of gold change throughout the day by reflecting the light; there is life in this sculpture.”
Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg
A truly individual rose, conceived and bred exclusively for Rolls-Royce in the English countryside by award-winning Harkness Roses, was flown to the Nymphenburg Palace in Bavaria, Southern Germany, to awaiting master artisans from world-renowned porcelain manufacturer Nymphenburg. Here, the rose was examined in its varying stages, from bud to lush flower in full bloom, and crafted freely by hand in the finest of porcelain for the elegant sanctuary of ‘The Gallery’.
For this collaboration, a new porcelain formula was developed in the manufactory in Munich, Germany. The development process alone lasted three months in order to create porcelain as fine as the petal of the rose itself. The range of roses depicted shows the varying stages of the life of this rose, with some of the most elaborate blossoms consisting of up to 80 individual elements freely shaped by hand.
The delicate aesthetic is accented in a contemporary way by the marriage of black and white, a pairing uniquely perfected for this artwork. Until now, the processing of white and black porcelain paste has been strictly separated in the manufactory’s production process, as even the smallest residue of black paste on a craftsperson’s tools, invisible to the naked eye, leads to impurities that only become visible after firing. Black porcelain had previously been held for the preserve of casting, meaning the black paste had to be developed to ensure it was as malleable as its white counterpart. For this unique design, white and black paste has been created in parallel, in the same soft state, at the workstation of Anton Hörl, a master craftsman for Nymphenburg for over 40 years.
But each individual blossom only acquires its final appearance when it is fired. Since the porcelain changes during the firing process, and also shrinks by 17 per cent, individual firing supports have had to be made. Also made from porcelain, these supported the blossoms and leaves, preventing the draw of gravity. The white and black bisque porcelain has been fired in a single process for the first time, requiring the expert knowledge of the Nyphenburg kiln foremen, who have developed a process with different firing curves, which achieve an optimal result in just one firing process.
Anton Hörl, Master Porcelain Maker, Nymphenburg, commented, “Nature is simply perfect and imitating it is a challenge. We as artists have to ensure that our emulation does nature justice. I wanted to feel the tension of each individual blossom. The observer must be able to recognise not only the variety, but also its unique character.”
The rose, bred for Rolls-Royce by Philip Harkness of Harkness Roses, was developed for its strength, resilience and intricate bloom. The flower is large, opening from a plump rounded bud into a large cupped bloom. The rose is strong with an admirable resistance to disease.
Sina Maria Eggl, Rolls-Royce Bespoke Designer, said, “Our search for the quintessential English rose led us to award-winning Harkness Roses. Here we collaboratively bred a rose worthy of its newly found immortal being. Nymphenburg and Rolls-Royce engaged in an artistic dialogue, allowing an advancement of existing methods of manufacture and shifting the limits of what’s possible.”
Rose breeder Philip Harkness of Harkness Roses, added, “A rose has the ability to captivate you on many levels. It is a thing of beauty, it can stimulate the senses with wonderful perfume, the soft touch of the petals or the rasping pain from a thorn. It touches our emotions, signifies love and appears in some of our finest poetry. How can a simple flower live up to this expectation? The new rose that Rolls-Royce has commissioned makes easy work of the task. Observe the glory of the bloom. There can be few more enjoyable experiences, thanks to the unending generosity and diversity of nature captured in one single rose.”
Helen Amy Murray
British artist Helen Amy Murray reinterprets an icon. On visiting the Home of Rolls-Royce, Helen encountered the figurine of the Spirit of Ecstasy which led her to an exploration of the line drawings of its creator, sculptor and illustrator Charles Sykes. The Spirit of Ecstasy, based on Sykes’ original bronze statue ‘The Whisper’, has graced the prow of every Rolls-Royce motor car since 1911 and in doing so, has become a muse to artists around the world for over 100 years.
Helen is an artist with a natural affinity with fabric. Her work masterfully sculpts textiles, most frequently leather, suede and their faux counterparts, into unique three-dimensional decorative surfaces and compelling works of art. With a wide portfolio ranging from large-scale wall hangings to unique pieces of furniture, Helen’s work captivates in its sculpted textural form.
With a Masters Degree in Textile Design from London’s Central St Martins, Rolls-Royce Bespoke Colour and Trim Designer, Cherica Haye, was perfectly placed to collaborate with Helen. Together, they experimented, developed and refined various iterations of this Gallery’s design.
Helen has skilfully created a work for New Phantom’s Gallery with a dual illusion. On first glance, a serene landscape emerges from a delicate organic form. The sculpted silk appliqué provides a mesmerising aesthetic with a linear style, from which, on closer examination, a subtle draped female form appears, the wing of the elusive Spirit of Ecstasy. Even then, she appears shrouded in mystery, with the design only hinting at her form through the delicate silhouette of the line of her neck that emerges from the edge of ‘The Gallery’.
By creating different planes to the design through directional sculpting, Helen has created individual contours, beautiful in their own right, that fuse together to form a larger cohesive figural form.
Helen Amy Murray, artist, said of the design, “I was inspired by the ethereal quality of the illustrations of The Spirit of Ecstasy by Charles Sykes. They led me to incorporate the female form into my work; I wanted my Gallery commission to look soft and organic. The subtle spacing of lines brings the draped figure into perspective.”
Cherica Haye, Rolls-Royce Bespoke Colour and Trim Designer commented, “The Spirit of Ecstasy extends her graceful wing to enrapture her passengers and convey them to a serene sanctuary, where the whisper of flight imbues calmness and tranquillity in Helen Amy Murray’s Phantom Gallery. A true connection can be felt between Helen’s materials and the subject, enhancing the graceful ambience of the Phantom’s calm interior.”
A Moment in Time
“The sweet spot of luxury is a beautiful crafted object, but somehow at the core of the object, is something that is personal to the client.” Ian Abel, Co-founder, Based Upon.
It is a resonant understanding of this belief that led Rolls-Royce to Based Upon, a collective of artists located in the heart of London’s East End. A desire to commission an item so personal it becomes a treasured legacy, surpassing superficial material acquisition to become true luxury, is epitomised in A Moment in Time. The work beguiles, speaking of the perceived control on time that Phantom commands. Time stands still as you encounter the presence of the motor car.
Considered storytelling is at the heart of Based Upon’s ethos. The collective journeys the world uncovering rich narratives to inform works ranging from public sculpture to finely crafted surface applications for private residences, which have aesthetics at the fore, blurring the lines of function and meaning.
Personal significance lies at the core of both Based Upon and Rolls-Royce’s endeavour. The former, with tales of the patron interwoven to the heart of its being, the latter, an item which transcends its original role, to become an aesthetic representation of personal endeavour.
On exploring the foundations of the world’s most celebrated brand, Based Upon uncovered a marque that was founded on experimentation, bold excitement and a desire to accomplish feats that were deemed impossible. “This, excited us”, commented Ian Abell, Based Upon’s co-founder. “When you get a brand like Rolls-Royce that has a brand value that’s so heavy and so weighty in the consciousness of design, of luxury, of Britain, of innovation, combined with The Gallery’s specific brief and parameters of project, we got excited with that.”
“The spirit of Rolls-Royce, namely, speed with silence, absence of vibration, the mysterious harnessing of great energy, and a beautiful living organism of superb grace…”, the prose of Claude Johnson, Managing Director of Rolls-Royce at the time of the Hon. Charles Rolls and Sir Henry Royce. Based Upon sought to encapsulate this spirit which is still found at the heart of the marque today, alive in the Spirit of Ecstasy as she graces the prow of each motor car made at the Home of Rolls-Royce.
This led to Based Upon’s interpretation of New Phantom’s Gallery. Lex Welch, Co-founder of Based Upon, commented, “We tried to capture a moment as though the Spirit of Ecstasy’s shawl was allowed to drape over the car at high speed, capturing that moment that leaves time standing still, as the Spirit of Ecstasy trails all in her wake.”
The creation of A Moment in Time is as remarkable as its muse. A swath of silk was pulled through a tank of water, weighted and suspended, controlling this moment. Captured on camera, the resulting fluid form was then analysed by the Rolls-Royce Design team and the artists of Based Upon, before being remastered in clay. A malleable wax sculpture was then reworked to optimise the impact of ‘The Gallery’s’ space. This final interpretation was machined from a solid billet of aluminium, polished to accentuate the curvature of the alluded fabric.
Alex Innes, Rolls-Royce Bespoke Designer, said of the collaboration, “Based Upon incorporate the essence of true luxury into every element of their work. From the research and development, to materials and execution, theirs is a perfect art of intellect and skill, melded with an abundance of creativity. Their interpretation of ‘The Gallery’ is a truly emotive adaptation of the presence of Phantom.”
Phantom has been the canvas for some of the most opulent expressions of true luxury in recent years. From handwoven, hand-embroidered and hand-painted silk, to elaborate depictions of cityscapes made from thousands of individually set pieces of marquetry, Phantom embodies the Bespoke wishes of patrons like no other.
British Designer and Goldsmith, Richard Fox, has himself been part of Phantom’s rich history. The allure of gemstones and the desire of Phantom’s patrons to furnish their interior cabin with precious metals and captivating stones has led Richard Fox to embellish many personal Rolls-Royce commissions with precious and semi-precious jewels including diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies and Tanzanite.
Astrum, meaning star, constellation, glory, immortality and Heaven, was a concept produced by Alex Innes of Rolls-Royce Bespoke Design and Richard Fox of Fox Silver for New Phantom’s Gallery.
Inspiration was sought from artists who had explored the starburst formation in both the natural and man-made world. Sea urchins and plants, explosions and skyscapes, all had influence on Astrum’s final design.
A star burst emanates from a centrally placed single brilliant cut diamond, encased in platinum. Each solid silver spear, filed, soldered, shaped and hand-polished, has been created to carry pear-cut amethysts, evoking a precious jewel-like quality to the artwork. The backing has been engraved with a guilloche effect, a technique found in the finest of jewellery, formed to incorporate the curvature of the dashboard and to provide visual depth to ‘The Gallery’. A rich amethyst lacquer, named Violet de Nuit, is used to reflect and intensify the colour of the stones carried at the ends of the spears.
The clock, viewed by many patrons as the jewel of the interior, carries an additional guilloche design in sterling silver with the same amethyst tint complementing that of the main body of work. Fine wires have been laser-welded to the spears, positioned so the stones stand proudly against the resplendent backdrop.
Alex Innes, Rolls-Royce Bespoke Designer, said of the commission, “Richard Fox’s work can be found in some of our recent most highly Bespoke iterations of Phantom. It is fitting therefore that he has turned his hand to ‘The Gallery’, a space in which patrons are invited to commission unique works of art, to bring objet d’art to the centre stage of their New Phantom.”
Richard Fox MDes RCA commented, “The Gallery offers patrons of Phantom an unparalleled level of Bespoke opportunities. The use of natural gemstones and a brilliant cut diamond will bring movement to ‘The Gallery’, as light refracts, accentuating the depth of the design. This work brings an entirely new interpretation of diamonds to the dashboard.”
Wings of flight transcend the worldly stage to cosset Phantom’s occupants in rich, iridescent, sumptuous luxury.
Swiss-based Nature Squared creates beautiful things for beautiful spaces. Applying heritage artistic crafts to ethically sourced and sustainable natural materials, Nature Squared embrace technical innovation to transform nature’s beauty. In a move that echo’s the views of Rolls-Royce, Nature Squared embraces artisanal skills which are the antithesis of mass production. Their work can be found in the upper echelons of many industries where a desire to be surrounded by objects of outstanding natural beauty prevails.
Alex Innes, Rolls-Royce Bespoke Designer and Creative Lead Designer of the artistic Gallery commissions, commented, “Nature Squared is an established materials specialist which creates astoundingly beautiful finishes using the latest technology to transform sustainable natural materials. A desire to redefine expectations of the use of these natural sources leads Nature Squared to an unrivalled realm with luxury at its core.”
For their Phantom Gallery commission, Nature Squared was inspired to work with items that have until now been impossible to incorporate into a motor car. Feathers, which exude luxury, are a bold and progressive aesthetic to incorporate into an automotive context. Extensive research was carried out to identify a sustainable species of bird with a rich dense plumage which would provide an opulent and decadent interior to adorn Phantom’s Gallery. Over 3,000 tail feathers were selected for their iridescence, individually shaped to accentuate the sheen and rich hue of the natural feathers and hand-sewn onto an open pore fabric in a design that originates from the heart of ‘The Gallery’, the clock. Additive manufacturing was used to emulate the musculature of a natural wing to bring life to the creation, creating an atmospheric artwork that brings both movement and fragility to this Gallery.
The clock alone is a work to be revered. Continuing their exploration of organic materials, the centrepiece is inlaid with ethically and sustainably sourced Jade green abalone, which emphasises the lustrous texture of the feathers.
Martin Ehrath, Head of Research and Development for Nature Squared, commented, “The inky iridescence and sumptuous texture of the feathers provide a sense of true luxury. Phantom’s clock has been softly cossetted by feathers, their fragility protected by ‘The Gallery’s’ glass fascia. The timeless beauty and elegant grace of this Gallery is preserved in the sanctity of Phantom’s interior.”
Liang Yuanwei is a widely acclaimed and internationally exhibited Chinese artist. In her commission for the New Phantom, she ponders the Autumnal tones of the English countryside that surround the Home of Rolls-Royce in West Sussex, which she encountered during her time with the marque. The atmospheric countryside of England, with fertile soil and abundant vegetation and differing layers of colours from green to yellow, even red, are redolent in her artwork for ‘The Gallery’.
Liang Yuanwei said of the commission, “My artwork for ‘The Gallery’ is reflective of the impression that I get from the marque, having seen the human and natural environment of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ headquarters. I wanted to capture the atmosphere and reproduce it. That feeling is sophisticated, a sophistication that envelops you.”
Liang Yuanwei applies paint so thickly that it appears almost sculpted, carving floral and geometric patterns whose fissures are filled with additional layers of paint to create a finish resembling silk or satin. Her work masterfully captures the impression and texture of fabric through her application of paint. Here, from seemingly random strokes applied from left to right, come exquisite forms. In a serene and meditative scene, the closer you observe, the more you find.
Alex Innes, Rolls-Royce Bespoke Designer commented, “The landscape in which artists present their work is evolving. Liang Yuanwei embraces the opportunity presented by the New Phantom Gallery to create a mesmerising painting that is reminiscent of the countryside surrounding the Home of Rolls-Royce.”
“I saw that it was possible to combine my artistic vision with the vision of Rolls-Royce. I have found a common ground between my own creative system and what I feel is the culture of Rolls-Royce. My work references this. commented Liang Yuanwei.
She continued, “Like painting, the many aesthetic details of a car represent the brand’s values and heritage. In each historical era, a brand must choose a particular direction over other options. This choice represents its view of the world in that era. Over time, a brand’s culture is passed on to the present. Some things persist, some things elapse, some things are abandoned, and some things evolve. This is the way of inheritance with a sense of responsibility, like the detailed strokes of a painting. This is also the approach to my work.”
“From its debut in 1925, a Rolls-Royce Phantom has been the choice of the world’s most influential and powerful men and women, and as a result, a constant presence at history’s most defining moments.
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.” ~ Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
New Phantom at a glance
A wholly new, contemporary design interpretation of Rolls-Royce Phantom DNA
The all-new aluminium ‘Architecture of Luxury’ underpinning New Phantom ensures the architectural and proportional lineage of Rolls-Royce while delivering a whole new level of ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ because it is lighter, stiffer, quieter and more technologically advanced.
‘The Embrace’ enhances the sense of occasion and effortlessness of entry into New Phantom. As the patron settles in to the car, an assistant or valet steps forward and lightly touches the sensor on the door handle so it whispers closed of its own accord, enveloping the occupant in ‘The Embrace’.
‘The Suite’ re-defines Rolls-Royce comfort and refinement inside – already the benchmark for any mode of conveyance.
‘The Gallery’ is an unprecedented new concept in luxury. Reinterpreting the motor car’s dashboard for the first time in 100 years, patrons will be able to commission a truly individual work of art that spans the width of The Gallery in their New Phantom.
All new 6.75 litre twin-turbo V12 engine is the silently beating heart of New Phantom.
New Phantom is the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce ever.
From the moment Sir Henry Royce introduced the Rolls-Royce Phantom in 1925 it was judged ‘The Best Car in the World’ by the cognoscenti. As a result it has conveyed some of the world’s most influential and powerful men and women to the most defining historical moments over the last 92 years.
Every new Phantom that has subsequently appeared has successfully retained the title of ‘Best Car in the World’ as a result of Rolls-Royce’s tireless pursuit of perfection, visionary engineering, aesthetic acuity and deep understanding of what the world’s leading luxury item should be. Quite simply, Rolls-Royce has innovated for almost a century to set the benchmark and satisfy the most discerning luxury patrons.
A new benchmark will be set today as the New Phantom – the eight generation of this great nameplate – arrives. Not satisfied with simply launching a motor car that is a wholly contemporary design interpretation of Phantom DNA and a technological tour de force, Rolls-Royce has revolutionised the luxury car industry itself by shifting away from the status quo of shared platforms to an entirely new luxury business model.
As the next chapter in the Rolls-Royce story opens, the New Rolls-Royce Phantom points the way forward for the global luxury industry.
Peter Schwarzenbauer, Chairman of Rolls-Royce and Member of the Board of the BMW Group said:
“The global introduction of a new Rolls-Royce is always a very special moment within the BMW Group. This particular occasion is all the more special because we are introducing an all-new Phantom, the flagship of the Rolls-Royce brand and the world’s foremost luxury product. New Phantom is a powerful statement of design, engineering and Bespoke expertise and I am delighted with the response we have received from our many highly discerning customers worldwide. The BMW Group remains fully committed to the future of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and is proud of the many achievements made by the brand since its acquisition.”
The Genesis of New Phantom
Quite contrary to how other so-called luxury manufacturers are trying to realise economies of scale by sharing platforms with mass market manufacturers, Rolls-Royce concluded that the future of true luxury lies in true small-volume manufacture of a dedicated ‘Architecture of Luxury’.
“This realisation was a moment of clarity about the destiny of Rolls-Royce,” reflects Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “Every one of our customers – each a connoisseur of luxury in the extreme – were asking for something more individual to them, not less. We were adamant that that was what they should have.”
“Key to Rolls-Royce realising its vision of being the world’s leading luxury brand, today and in the future, is an architecture that spans the entire Rolls-Royce family,” comments Philip Koehn, Director of Engineering. “The Architecture of Luxury will carry every future Rolls-Royce, not just the New Phantom. Project Cullinan and eventually the next Ghost, Wraith, Dawn will ride on this architecture, as well as future coachbuild projects.”
“Phantom VII’s spaceframe architecture was a good starting point and inspiration, but we wanted to do much more,” adds Giles Taylor, Director of Design. “The Architecture of Luxury gives me the canvas to protect the lineage and brand integrity of Rolls-Royce without compromise. Starting with New Phantom, I have the framework to create a future range of true Rolls-Royces. In essence, this is one big coachbuild project.”
“Our approach has been to forge long-term relationships with smaller suppliers run by families that will focus on us, giving us much more attention and therefore results that live within a quality expectation far beyond any other automotive concern,” continues Koehn. “For a brand to operate in such a manner within a larger automotive group is unheard of and truly revolutionary.”
What is the Architecture of Luxury?
The Architecture of Luxury is an all-aluminium spaceframe architecture designed by Rolls-Royce engineers that will underpin every future Rolls-Royce beginning with the New Phantom. As such, no future Rolls-Royce will be of monocoque construction as used by mass-manufacturers and some mass-luxury brands.
It is a truly revolutionary approach for the motor industry, and one that is informed by Rolls-Royce’s standing as a luxury house in the business of cars. Whilst the majority of so-called luxury manufacturers are limited to sharing individual platforms in a specific sector with mass brands for say their SUV or GT offerings, thereby introducing unacceptable compromise, Rolls-Royce will be uncompromising in only using its own architecture across all its motor cars, whatever the sector.
It has been designed and engineered from the ground up in such a way as to be scalable to the size and weight requirements of different future Rolls-Royce models, including those with different propulsion, traction and control systems, thus underpinning the long-term future product roadmap.
Approximately 30% more rigid than the spaceframe architecture on which sat Phantom VII, the new architecture is at the heart of how the next generation of Rolls-Royces deliver the Rolls-Royce experience in terms of ride comfort, acoustic comfort, seat comfort, exterior presence and interior space.
Engineering a Modern Masterpiece
The New Phantom will be the first of a new generation of Rolls-Royces to benefit from the creation of the Architecture of Luxury. This new architecture serves as the foundation on which this eighth generation of Phantom reaffirms its position as ‘The Best Car in the World’ by taking the best fundamentals and making them better.
The first major benefit of the new architecture for the New Phantom are lightness, increased stiffness, efficient production of standard and extended wheelbase bodies and uncompromised exterior surface design.
The all-new aluminium spaceframe structure delivers extraordinary car body stiffness for exceptional ‘best-in-class’ functional performance whilst also being lighter. Indeed New Phantom is 30% more rigid than its predecessor, leading to better ride comfort.
Accompanying the increased stiffness of the spaceframe is a best-in-class high comfort chassis with air suspension and state-of-the-art chassis control systems, delivering peerless ‘effortless’ ride and handling and optimal vibration comfort performance.
A new double-wishbone front axle and 5-link rear axle deliver astounding levels of control over lateral roll and shear forces and delivering incredible agility and stability, as does the addition of four-wheel steering, all contributing to an undisturbed passenger whatever the driving conditions.
Rolls-Royce’s celebrated Magic Carpet Ride also improves as a result of the new lighter architecture, and the latest generation of self-levelling air suspension. The suspension 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 Flagbearer – evocative of those men who were required by law to carry a red flag ahead of early motor cars – adds a stereo camera system integrated in the windscreen to see the road ahead, adjusting suspension proactively rather than reactively up to 100km/h.
The most silent motor car in the world
Incalculable effort was expended to create “the most silent motor car in the world” including 6mm two-layer glazing all around the car, more than 130kg of sound insulation, the largest ever cast aluminium joints in a body-in-white for better sound insulation, and use of high absorption materials.
Acoustic insulation from road noise has been helped by the employment of double skin alloy on areas within the floor and bulkhead of the spaceframe. This is a feature unique to New Phantom. Further noise insulation by inserting heavy foam and felt layers are between these skins to provide sound insulation not witnessed before in the car industry.
In addition, high absorption layers within the headliner, in the doors and in the boot cavity have further aided insulation and reduced reverberation. Rolls-Royce also worked closely with its tyre supplier to invent ‘Silent-Seal’ tires – which feature a specific foam layer placed inside the tyre to wipe out tyre cavity noise and reduce overall tyre noise by 9db, meaning that conversation within the car is completely effortless.
All in all it is a perfect 360° cocooning effect in a motor car that is approximately 10% quieter than its predecessor at 100km/h. Indeed, when Rolls-Royce’s acoustic test engineer versed reviewed results road and vibration tests, the sound levels were so low they had to check their instruments were calibrated correctly.
The heart of a Rolls-Royce – the magnificent V12 reinvented
At the heart of every Rolls-Royce of the modern period lies the power of a V12 engine. At the beginning of this next chapter of Rolls-Royce’s existence, and with the creation of the Architecture of Luxury, the New Phantom also benefits from a completely new engine.
With the focus on creating the most silent motor car in the world, a completely silent engine was also required, and that meant more low-end output at lower revs to ensure that silence. Hence a completely new, 6.75-litre V12 powertrain has been engineered for New Phantom, in place of the previous naturally aspirated V12 engine.
The new V12 Phantom engine employs two turbo chargers that contribute to a low-end torque output of 900Nm at an incredibly low 1,700rpm whilst also delivering 563bhp or 420kW of power, resulting in calm low speed progress associated with state occasions and an unfussed surge of power when one needs to press on. The addition of Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT), married to a ZF 8-Speed gearbox also ensures that the driver is prepared for whatever the road has in store for them.
The most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce ever
Another benchmark, the Electronic Architecture of the New Phantom is the largest ever component produced by the BMW Group, let alone Rolls-Royce, helping to make New Phantom the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce ever.
This central nervous system connects and controls all the various advanced intelligence systems of New Phantom, making it the most advanced luxury motor car available. Some, but not all, assistance systems on-board New Phantom include Alertness Assistant, a 4 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, an industry leading 7×3 High-resolution head-up display, WiFi hotspot, and of course the latest navigation and entertainment systems.
New Phantom – A Contemporary Design Masterpiece
“Phantom is the epitome of effortless style, an historical nameplate that occupies a rarefied space in the luxury constellation and conjures a rare magic all of its own. New Phantom raises a glass to an illustrious design legacy whilst forging a modern and revitalised presence for the next era of Royce-Royce design” ~ Giles Taylor, Director of Design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
The first Rolls-Royce to be built on the new Architecture of Luxury, the New Phantom is a wholly new and contemporary interpretation of the Phantom DNA, delivering new levels of iconic presence and an increased elegance of line suggesting both poise and stability at speed and an unrushed Grand Arrival.
On first glance the New Phantom is remarkable in its purity. Thanks to the new Architecture of Luxury and new engineering processes, the precision body joining process ensures there are few, if any, visible join lines between body panels, giving New Phantom the appearance of being hewn from a solid block of aluminium. It is truly a triumph of design and engineering departments working hand in hand to create a beautiful masterpiece.
Its opening gesture immediately demonstrates a radical contemporisation of Phantom, through the reimagining of the Pantheon grille at the heart of the design. The strong portrait grille is raised higher than that of Phantom VII today, also resulting in a positioning of the Spirit of Ecstasy approximately a half inch higher. Redolent of the futuristic design first hinted at on the grille of 103EX last year, but also influenced by the James Young-era Silver Cloud.
However, unlike 103EX and all previous Phantoms, New Phantom’s grille is for the first time integrated into the surrounding bodywork. The resulting effect is a cleaner, reduced design with modernity and clarity, allowing all New Phantom’s lines to connect with this iconic statement of power and flow from it.
In addition, a new purposeful headlamp graphic gives a confident and focussed expression with fresh, frosted internals that feel open and optimistic, whilst accommodating an expressive ring of daytime driving lights and the most advanced laserlight system of any motorcar that at night casts light well over 600 metres down the road.
This flow is achieved through the handcrafting of beautiful, authentic materials and subtle creases in the bodywork. The key front to rear line begins inboard from the top edge of the grille moving outwards along the body to the rear, lending a sense of dynamism to New Phantom, whilst the front wing line fades just after the door handle suggesting pace and fluidity.
The grille itself is created from hand-polished stainless steel, a material that highlights the precious and timeless nature of this New Phantom and its modern architecture through the use of a visually warm and highly tactile material. Emanating from the upper tips of the grille, the polished stainless steel strips curve along the upper edges of the bonnet and around the windscreen, accentuating the length of the bonnet and seamlessly blending the cabin to the lower volume as though swept by the wind.
From the side, New Phantom has the iconic 2:1 proportions that have endeared so many to every generation of Phantom, featuring a short front and long rear overhang, an upright front and a flowing rear. The rear lines of the car in side view circle forward to the waft line and lead the eye back through the front wheel. The largest single-piece of hand-polished stainless steel on any motor car is the side frame finisher of New Phantom. It beautifully accentuates the elegant stance of the car and with a rounded softer feel, preserves the iconic wide C-pillar for privacy, whilst allowing the eye to transition easily to the rear. Furthermore, a single polished stainless steel strip is placed on the sill of the Extended Wheelbase Phantom to differentiate it.
“The side view design theme of Phantom recalls the elegance of Phantom V. By separating the front wing line from the waist line, we introduce a sense of movement and this line circles back under the car inferring a lighter, fleetness of foot,” comment Taylor.
A lot happens at the back of New Phantom as the design evokes the beautiful flowing rears of the 1950’s and 1960’s Phantoms. The rear glass, again defined by an impeccably crafted stainless steel frame, is more raked and the rear lines sleeker than the previous Phantom, whilst a subtle scallop on the rear roof line that hovers above the rear occupant’s assures one of preserved head room.
The eye is also drawn inboard by a neat tapered tail, which is constructed of super formed aluminium to ensure more join-free surfaces and flowing bumper lines around the rear light graphic. Subtle creases in the bootlid that hark back to the more pronounced boots of earlier Phantoms flow on to a pronounced boot lid finisher. Again in stainless steel this feature echoes the front grille whilst allowing the airflow to gracefully depart from the rear of the car. Even the jewel-like rear light cluster is furnished in exquisite detail with the famous Double-RR badges etched in.
Hand-polished stainless steel also envelops the first touchpoints of New Phantom – the handles on the iconic coach doors. Unlike the trend for insubstantial fared in handles, Rolls-Royce understands that the substance of a Rolls-Royce door handle is key to the owners every day physical experience of their motor car, and the feel of this beautiful material under the hand is highly satisfying to them.
The final visual expression of Phantom is its wheels, which of course conform to the golden mean of Rolls-Royce design proportion. Essential to providing the sensation of flight on land, the largest high-value alloy wheel ever employed on a Rolls-Royce is offered. At 22-inches, the diameter when shod in Rolls-Royce’s Seal Technology Tyres delivers a Magic Carpet Ride never experienced in a Rolls-Royce before.
Phantom: The World’s Leading Luxury Item
Stepping aboard the New Phantom is an occasion in itself. The coach doors stand open. The only choice is whether one drives or is driven. As the patron settles into the car, an assistant or valet steps forward and lightly touches the sensor on the door handle. The door automatically whispers closed of its own accord, enveloping the occupant in ‘The Embrace of the World’s Leading Luxury Item’.
Fundamental to the rear occupant’s experience and enjoyment of their New Phantom is this ‘Embrace’. It re-defines Rolls-Royce comfort and refinement – already the benchmark for any carmaker – to create a detoxifying environment whilst cocooning the occupant in the finest of materials, whilst all four doors are enhanced with this new technology to enfold the occupant. The rear and now front doors can also be effortlessly closed from the inside.
‘The Embrace’ is the vision of Giles Taylor, inspired by his creation of 103EX. He has taken great strides towards evoking the spirit of 103EX with the futuristic interior design of the New Phantom, where nothing detracts from calmness and tranquillity in this particular sanctuary. Technology is hidden until required, spaces and surfaces are clean, and the eye rests only on beauty as if in an Art Gallery.
As one would expect from a Rolls-Royce, the environment is crafted from the most precious and contemporary of materials. What is unexpected is the feeling of lightness and simplicity, an effortless elegance.
From one’s position on beautifully enhanced rear seats, the occupant is borne along in near-silence as if on a pillow of air, thanks to much enhanced ride and acoustic comfort. When in need of a space to reflect on issues of import or simply lost in thought, ones imagination is inspired by the largest Starlight Headliner ever seen in a Rolls-Royce. High gloss, exquisitely tactile wood panelling that can be commissioned for the door interiors, centre consoles, dashboard and picnic tables, encircles the passenger in only the most beautiful and authentic materials.
The lines at the front of the interior lean forward suggesting a progressive nature, while in contrast the rear doors lean back, relaxing the character of the rear environment. When designing the armrests, the J-Class yacht was heavily referenced as a design inspiration. The tension and ‘hull’ of the armrests are directly influenced by these large sailing yachts.
The seats are newly sculpted and hand-crafted to deliver even more comfort. They feature a strong horizontal element through the top of the seat, imparting a sense of width, comfort and presence, whilst visually enhanced with a vertical interpretation of the seat ‘bullet’ previously seen in Wraith and Dawn. The sweep of wood panelling across the back of the front seats have clearly been influenced by the famous Eames Lounge Chair of 1956, a design so regarded by patrons of luxury that it is part of the New York Museum of Modern Art’s permanent display.
Cleverly secreted behind the wood panelling on the rear of the front seats are the Rear Picnic tables and Rear Theatre Monitors, which are electrically deployed and retracted at the effortless touch of a button, ensuring an uncompromised theatre experience. Rolls-Royce’s customary attention to detail even dictates that the seat controls are repositioned from the centre armrest to a more intuitive position for the user.
Phantom patrons will be able to commission different seating choices best suited to their requirements. Choices include the more intimate Lounge Seat, Individual Seats with occasional armrest, Individual Seats with Fixed Centre Console and the newly introduced Sleeping Seat.
The new Fixed Rear Centre Console receives significant enhancement, by incorporating a drinks cabinet with whisky glasses and decanter, champagne flutes and coolbox. In any configuration effortless conversation is aided with the very careful angling of the rear seats. This ensures occupants are able to talk to each other without straining their necks.
The sense of touch is also satisfied by the continued use of the finest and most authentic materials throughout the interior. Every item of switchgear is made from metal – such as the iconic eyeball vents and organ stop controllers, seat and light switches, violin key window switches – glass or wrapped in the finest leather as dials including the new front and rear Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controllers.
Meanwhile, further unseen levels of comfort and refinement are introduced into the Phantom Suite with heated surfaces operated in conjunction with the seat heating functionality. Areas throughout the interior that are now heated include the front door armrests, front centre console lid, lower C-Pillar, rear side armrests with all Individual Seats, and rear centre armrest.
The Gallery – an unprecedented new concept in luxury
At the heart of the New Phantom’s wholly modern design aesthetic is The Gallery, a wholly contemporary and luxury reinterpretation of a motor car’s dashboard and instrument panel area.
Whilst the character of the monolithic, upright dashboard pays contemporary homage to Rolls-Royce models of the past, with one clean, symmetrical surface, the main fascia veneer takes the eye from the lower centre up and outwards to create a sense of width.
All of the elements within The Gallery are enclosed 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, adding a degree of jewellery and continuity throughout the front of the interior.
Behind the physical chrome surrounds of the instrument dials, Rolls-Royce has embraced a more futuristic approach to clearer instruments for the driver, something requested by Rolls-Royce customers around the world. 12.3 inch TFT colour displays with LED back lighting now communicate all driver information from within the round chrome surrounds, with the displays themselves designed with clear and beautiful virtual needles, Rolls-Royce jewellery-like chaplets and clear lettering.
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 whole host of other information.
Also behind the glass of The Gallery are housed the analogue clock – a nod the fact that it is ‘the loudest sound you can hear in a Rolls-Royce …” and the central information screen which can be retracted behind the centre stack when not in use.
The standard clock features a dark face and the surround is finished in black leather. However, each Bespoke Clock features a more intricate design, including a lighter backlit face with crystal effect details and counter weighted hands, and is finished to match the material selected within The Gallery.
The Art of Movement
“Art is at the heart of the conception of the New Phantom’s interior,” comments Taylor. “As an interest, we know that a huge number of our clients are patrons of Art and indeed have their own private collections. Art is a binding factor for many of them.”
This binding factor was what inspired Taylor to radically reinterpret the motor cars’ dashboard from being a dead expanse into a riveting focal point. “I wanted to take a motoring constant that has existed for a century, but served little purpose but to hide airbags and componentry, and give it another purpose, space to breathe,” comments Taylor.
Hence the real purpose of The Gallery – to be just that, a gallery.
By realising a space in the upper dashboard, Taylor envisioned a new use – to create an area for Bespoke works of Art and thereby multiply the personalisation potential for every owner of a New Phantom.
“In the 18th Century, miniatures were highly fashionable and valuable items of Art that allowed their owners to carry images of their loved one with them wherever they travelled. I really loved that idea of taking your Art with you, when travelling, and so I acted on it,” continued Taylor. “Now, our clients will be able to do the same.”
As a Bespoke Commission, customers will be able to choose a favoured artist or designer to work with Rolls-Royce to create a truly individual work of art that spans the width of The Gallery in their New Phantom.
Rolls-Royce has already worked with a number of artists, designers and design collectives to demonstrate what kind of creations are possible to put behind the glass of The Gallery for the owners pleasure. Works as various as an oil painting inspired by the South Downs of England in Autumn by renowned Chinese fine artist Lian Yangwei, a gold-plated 3D-printed map of an owners DNA created by the enfant terrible of German product design Thorsten Franck, a hand-made stem of the finest porcelain roses handmade by world renowned porcelain manufacturer Nymphenberg or an abstract design in silk by young British artist Helen Amy Murray are some of the creations inspired by this most unusual of Gallery spaces.
In addition to these Bespoke Commissions, which will take longer to deliver, Rolls-Royce’s craftspeople and designers at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood have created a stunning collection of forward-looking Gallery treatments of silk, wood, metal and leather, which available immediately.
The Architecture of Luxury, The Gallery, The Embrace, The Art of Movement, the best possible materials in the world and peerless Rolls-Royce design and engineering. The New Rolls-Royce Phantom resets the benchmark not only as ‘the Best Car in the World’, but as the world’s leading luxury item. As the next chapter in Rolls-Royce’s story opens, the New Rolls-Royce Phantom points the way forward for the global luxury industry.
The Great Phantoms
From when Sir Henry Royce introduced it as the successor to the Silver Ghost in 1925, a Rolls-Royce Phantom has stood witness to history’s most defining moments over those 92 years, having conveyed some of the world’s most influential and powerful men and women to those momentous occasions.
Its standing as the longest existing nameplate in the world of motoring is testament to Phantom’s enduring importance to every generation’s leaders; from heads of state to generals, royalty to rock stars, stars of the silver screen to titans of industry.
Rolls-Royce began producing the Phantom I in 1925. It was developed in great secrecy, with the project code-named Eastern Armoured Car. This suggested Rolls-Royce was intent on producing the kind of military vehicles used in the First World War, most famously by Lawrence of Arabia. Sections of armour plate were left lying around the factory to confuse curious competitors eager to glean the secret of making the ‘best cars in the world’.
The Phantom I was an instant success. The new 7.668-litre straight-six engine gave the car a fresh spring in its step. When General Motors opened a testing ground in Michigan, it was discovered that no cars could manage even two laps of the 4-mile circuit at full throttle without damaging their engines big ends – where the piston attaches to the crankshaft. However, Phantom I performed with consummate imperiousness and managed that, and more, at a steady 80mph without failure.
Sir Henry Royce’s restless desire to, in his own words, “take the best that exists and make it better” quickly led to the creation of the Phantom II in 1929, this time with a totally new chassis, which significantly improved the handling, as well as a re-designed engine.
The next Phantom, the third in the line, was to be Sir Henry Royce’s last project. He passed away in 1933, aged 70, about 12 months into the development of the car. The finished model, with its peerless 12 cylinder engine, was unveiled two years later and production lasted from 1936 until the Second World War. The final chassis was produced in 1941, although the war meant it did not receive its coachwork until 1947. No announcement came about a replacement and it looked as if the most compelling story in automotive history was over.
In 1950, Phantom IV appeared. The car was originally intended to be a one-off for Prince Philip and the then Princess Elizabeth. However, once seen, a further 17 were commissioned exclusively for other royal families and heads of state around the world. Fitted with a straight-eight engine and featuring a revolutionary new gearing treatment, it performed superbly at low speeds – essential for taking part in ceremonial parades – and featured the kneeling version of the famous Spirit of Ecstasy bonnet mascot.
The Phantom V was produced between 1959 and 1968 and 516 of this hugely successful model were made for clients including the Queen Mother, governors of Hong Kong, King Olav of Norway, Elvis Presley and most famously, John Lennon.
The long-running Phantom VI (1968-90) carried on the royal connection, notably with the Silver Jubilee Car, a raised-roof version presented to Queen Elizabeth II in 1977 by the British motor industry to celebrate her 25 years on the throne, and later famously used at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.
The Renaissance of Rolls-Royce complete
After the Phantom VI ceased production in 1990, it took another 13 years for the next and perhaps most significant example of the breed to arrive.
As far back as 1971, the Rolls-Royce aeronautic and automotive conglomerate had gone into receivership, although it continued to trade for two years until the company was floated on the stock market as Rolls-Royce plc and the motor cars business was spun off. In 1980, now known as Rolls-Royce Motors, the company was merged with British engineering conglomerate Vickers, and it continued to manufacture small numbers of motor cars throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
In 1998, Vickers decided to sell Rolls-Royce Motors, and the Rolls-Royce marque was acquired by the BMW Group. As the new custodians of Rolls-Royce, BMW started just with the brand and a blank sheet of paper. It committed to launch a new company, a new factory and a new car on 1 January 2003. It kept its promise and completed in emphatic style what was described at the time as the ‘last great automotive adventure’.
At a minute past midnight on New Year’s Day 2003, the renaissance of Rolls-Royce as the maker of ‘The Best Car in the World’ began, under the auspices of the newly minted Rolls-Royce Motor Cars with the appearance of the first Goodwood Phantom, what we now know as Phantom VII. Built at the new Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England it was sharply contemporary yet timeless, retaining Phantom’s characteristic aesthetic and arrived with every possible comfort a new breed of discerning luxury consumer could desire. Exquisite detail right down to the car’s Teflon-coated umbrellas and self-righting wheel-centres left a curious public in no doubt the marque was in safe hands.
Vehicle length 5762 mm / 226.8 in
Vehicle length (USA) 5770 mm / 227.2 in
Vehicle width 2018 mm / 79.4 in
Vehicle height (unladen) 1646 mm / 64.8 in
Wheelbase 3552 mm / 139.8 in
Boot volume (DIN) 548 ltr / 19 ft3
Unladen weight (DIN) 2560 kg / 5643.8 lbs
Engine / cylinders / valves V / 12 / 48
Fuel type 10:1 / Premium unleaded*
Fuel management Direct injection
Max torque @ engine speed 900 Nm / 664 lb ft @ 1700 rpm
Power output @ engine speed 563 bhp / 571 PS / 420 kW @ 5000 rpm
Top speed 155 mph / 250 km/h
Acceleration 0-60 mph 5.1 sec
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 5.3 sec
Fuel consumption ‡
Urban 21.3 ltr/100 km / 13.3 mpg
Extra urban 9.7 ltr/100 km / 29.1 mpg
Combined consumption 13.9 ltr/100 km / 20.3 mpg
CO2 emissions (combined) 318 g/km
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS – EXTENDED WHEELBASE
Vehicle length 5982 mm / 235.5 in
Vehicle length (USA) 5990 mm / 235.8 in
Vehicle width 2018 mm / 79.4 in
Vehicle height (unladen) 1656 mm / 65.2 in
Wheelbase 3772 mm / 148.5 in
Turning circle 13.77 m / 45.2 ft
Unladen weight (DIN) 2610 kg / 5754.1 lbs
Engine / cylinders / valves V / 12 / 48
Fuel type 10:1 / Premium unleaded*
Fuel management Direct injection
Max torque @ engine speed 900 Nm / 664 lb ft @ 1700 rpm
Power output @ engine speed 563 bhp / 571 PS / 420 kW @ 5000 rpm
Top speed 155 mph / 250 km/h
Acceleration 0-60 mph 5.2 sec
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 5.4 sec
Fuel consumption ‡
Urban 21.4 ltr/100 km / 13.2 mpg
Extra urban 9.7 ltr/100 km / 29.1 mpg
Combined consumption 13.9 ltr/100 km / 20.3 mpg
CO2 emissions (combined) 319 g/km
* The engine is designed for Octane grade 95 fuel; however, it may be run on fuel with a minimum Octane grade of 91.
† Manufacturer’s test results. Actual acceleration results may vary depending on specifications of the vehicle, road and environmental conditions, testing procedures and driving styles. These results should be used for comparison only and verification should not be attempted on public roads.
‡ Fuel consumption is determined in accordance with the ECE driving cycle, made up of approximately one-third urban traffic and two-thirds extra-urban driving (based on the distance covered). CO2 emissions are measured in addition to fuel consumption. Fuel consumption and CO2 emission figures are dependent on tyre format. Further information on the official fuel consumption and on the official specific CO2 emissions of new automobiles can be found in the guidelines on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new automobiles at http://carfueldata.direct.gov.uk/, http://www.dat.de/en/offers/publications/guideline-for-fuel-consumption.html or your local government authority.
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