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All-new Rolls-Royce Phantom revealed

On sale in 2018 as first of new aluminium-chassis family.

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The new Rolls-Royce Phantom has been unveiled at an event in London – the second generation of the car that began the renaissance of the Rolls-Royce brand under the ownership of BMW in 2003.

Rolls-Royce describes the new Phantom as the most technologically advanced car it has ever produced. It is the first of a family to be built on a new all-aluminium platform dubbed the ‘Architecture of Luxury”, and will be followed in 2019 by the brand’s first SUV, currently named Project Cullinan.

The new, lighter architecture produces a car slightly shorter than its predecessor with a 19mm shorter wheelbase, but 30% stiffer, with resultant improvements to ride comfort. This will be further aided by electronic chassis control systems and self-levelling air suspension, using a stereo camera system integrated into the windscreen to see the road ahead and adjust the chassis ahead of road indentations.

The suspension is new too, a combination of a double-wishbone front and five-link rear axle, while four-wheel steering is added to the menu, all focused on passenger comfort to produce the latest evolution of what Rolls-Royce describes as its ‘magic carpet’ ride.

First turbo engine

Power for the Phantom comes from a newly-created engine, which is still a V12 configuration but turbocharged for the first time. The 6.75-litre unit boasts twin turbos and offers 582hp along with 900Nm of torque from just 1700rpm, likely to produce a 5.3-second 0-62mph time. Matched to a satellite-aided eight-speed transmission the powertrain is said to help produce what its creators describe as “the most silent motor car in the world.”

The new Phantom is expected on sale in 2018 at prices yet to be revealed. Industry sources suggest they will start from around £400,000, while a version with a 200mm longer wheelbase will also be offered.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.