Rolls-Royce claims to be “embracing the finest principles of its founding father” with the Phantom Series II it’s presenting at Geneva. More precisely, the principles by which Sir Henry Royce urged his employees “to take the best that exists and make it better”.
So what is better about the Phantom Series II family of models? Nothing revolutionary, perhaps, but Rolls-Royce has introduced a number of improvements in the design, drive-train and technology of the cars. First, there’s the “striking” new front end, with re-styled bumpers and rectangular light apertures – plus the first full LED headlamps to be standard on a production car.
Then there’s a new satellite navigation system, updated with 3D maps that incorporate landscape topography, guided tours and enhanced points of interest, as well as composite route planning – and all on an 8.8-inch control centre display. Meanwhile, front, rear and top-view cameras help the driver to manoeuvre a by-no-means-small car more easily.
The word that always appears in the Rolls-Royce lexicon – ‘waftability’ – makes its appearance yet again, now enhanced by a new 8-speed automatic gearbox and rear differential that is, claims Rolls, the perfect complement to the V12 direct injection engine. Combined fuel consumption improves by 10 per cent, while CO2 emissions fall from 388 to 347g/km as a result.
Nothing startlingly new, then, but enough to justify the claim that the Series II makes the best just that little bit better.