Rolls-Royce debuts new Phantom with fresh styling, modern techby Justin King
Not hindered by a shared BMW Group platform, the eighth-generation Phantom is built upon a unique all-aluminum architecture that claims to bring the brand's 'Magic Carpet Ride' to a whole new level.
Rolls-Royce has finally unveiled the eighth-generation Phantom, built upon a dedicated all-aluminum 'Architecture of Luxury.'
Avoiding a shared BMW Group platform allowed designers and engineers to modernize the brand's flagship model without compromising its iconic proportions or sacrificing ultra-luxury features.
The company decided to utilize a lightweight space-frame architecture, which will underpin all future Rolls-Royce models in the coming years. The new structure is said to be lighter yet 30 percent more rigid than the Phantom VII's chassis. A stiff frame, revamped air suspension system and chassis control systems are claimed to bring the brand's "Magic Carpet Ride" experience to a whole new level.
The suspension upgrades include a new 'flagbearer' system that monitors forward-facing stereo cameras to proactively adjust the active suspension system at speeds up to 62 mph.
To further reduce cabin noise, the new Phantom is equipped with nearly 300 pounds of sound insulation, enormous cast-aluminum joints, and a "double skin" alloy on the floor and bulkhead that is fitted with foam and felt layers in certain areas. The tires also contain foam to nearly eliminate cavity noise and drop overall tire sound levels by 9db.
The development team achieved a 10-percent reduction in ride noise at 62 mph. The company says the drop caused its acoustic test engineer to double-check his instrument calibrations.
The aluminum architecture is paired with a completely new 6.75-liter V12, benefiting from two turbochargers for 563 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque.
The new Phantom's interior design centers around 'The Gallery,' framing digital instrument dials in chrome to blend modern technology with classic craftsmanship. The layout also includes an analog clock and a retractable screen that stows itself behind the center stack when not in use.
Customers can commission unique pieces or art or other features to be placed in the glass-protected gallery. The company has already worked with artists to install a Liang Yuanwei painting and a gold-plated 3D-printed map of an owner's DNA.
The company has not yet announced pricing or specific launch dates for the Phantom VIII, but it is already highlighting upcoming models that will benefit from the same platform architecture.
"The Architecture of Luxury will carry every future Rolls-Royce, not just the New Phantom," says Rolls-Royce engineering director Philip Koehn. "Project Cullinan and eventually the next Ghost, Wraith, Dawn will ride on this architecture, as well as future coachbuild projects."