The new Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII is literally art on wheels
If you were lucky enough to attend the reveal, or watch the livestream from home, you saw that Rolls-Royce has put great effort into the presentation of their new Phantom. Set in a dark room with a bright neon purple hue emanating from the ceiling, the new beast sat smackdab in the centre, with a chandelier light installation shielding it from view. An introduction was made from CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös, who has stated: “What you’ll see with Phantom VIII, number one, is that it is a Phantom. It is a true Phantom and that is very important for our customers. The design language has evolved in a much more modern way and unseen levels of technology have been incorporated, including rear-wheel steering — a first for the car — a new 12-cylinder engine, and the latest technology when it comes to streaming, entertainment, man and machine interface, and safety. Phantom VIII is the most up-to-date, technology-driven Rolls Royce ever. It’s a pleasure for all your senses, it’s impossible to beat, and there are no others around like it.”
The lights went down, a video played, and the chandelier came to life, performing a sort of indoor fireworks show, culminating to the moment when the machine was unveiled. In that first instant, you think you’re looking at any other Phantom, but as your eyes adjust and you take a closer look, the nuances are revealed. Great effort has been made to streamline the body, including the grille, which has been integrated to the surrounding bodywork, while the front wing line fades to just after the passenger door handle. The interior shows signs of inspiration from the 103EX concept, and with the availability of the Bespoke department, everything can be customised, from rear seating choices and centre console design to the materials and colours for the seating, panelling, and carpets. In an aim to make the Phantom VIII the most silent car in the world, Rolls-Royce has implemented copious amounts of glazing, sound insulation, and high-absorption materials, created silent seal tires, and integrated an all-new 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 engine (replacing the previous naturally aspirated V12). To improve ride quality, the monocoque spaceframe has been replaced with an all-aluminium one, which is said to be implemented on all future models.
Lucky number 8
The most-talked-about and interesting element has to be the “Gallery” dashboard. Bespoke Designer Alex Innes went on to explain: “What we’re incredibly proud of as part of the Phantom VIII’s design is that it creates a canvas for custom interpretation and custom personalisation that goes way beyond not only where Rolls-Royce has been in the past but where the automobile industry is today. The centrepiece of that is the gallery itself. This highly innovative concept is front and centre in the suite and it’s the perfect stage for the placement and showcase of artwork — artwork in the truest sense of the word.” With options of a gold-plated 3D-printed map of your DNA by Thorsten Franck or porcelain roses by Nymphenberg, you can take your precious pieces of art wherever you go — let’s just hope they’ve incorporated the most advanced locking and security features as well.
Photos: Rolls Royce