Rolls-Royce Phantom with extended wheelbase

Two years after the launch of the Rolls-Royce Phantom and its rapid establishment as the worldwide, market-leading, super-luxury saloon, a second model will be launched at the Geneva motor show on March 1 2005. The new Phantom with an extended wheelbase offers additional interior space for the rear occupants while maintaining the elegant exterior looks of the standard length Phantom and its first class driving performance.

The new chairman and chief executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Ian Robertson, said, "Now that Rolls-Royce is once again established as the world's leading super-luxury saloon the company has a solid foundation from which to launch new models. Late last year we announced the new convertible, which comes in 2007, and at Geneva this year we are delighted to reveal this new longer version of the Phantom, which begins production this Autumn."

An extra 250mm has been added to the standard Phantom, behind the B-pillar, to create a motor car with an even more generously proportioned rear passenger compartment. The extra space lends itself perfectly to the addition of Bespoke features, limited only by the imagination of the customer.

The new extended Phantom is entirely hand crafted in-house - designed, engineered and hand built by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in the same way as the standard length motor car.

An extended wheelbase motor car had been planned from the early days of the Rolls-Royce Phantom project. An aluminium space frame chassis was chosen for the Phantom precisely because it lends itself to structural adaptation with relative ease. This ability to create "coach-worked" models to meet the individual needs and desires of Rolls-Royce customers is something that has been central to the marque throughout its 100 year history. The body is the largest aluminium space frame ever constructed.

The extra length is achieved simply by using longer extrusions in the construction of the body without any loss in torsional rigidity. Conventional extended wheelbase cars are often built by cutting them in half and welding-in extra metal - not so with Rolls-Royce. The outstanding dynamic performance and driving refinement of the Phantom is maintained. Aluminium roof and rear door panels are the only new major exterior parts required.

All the chassis and body components are painstakingly hand-welded by a highly skilled team of specialists. Such a high level of craftsmanship is involved that every technician is required to complete a series of tests each day before starting work. Thanks to the fully flexible production processes at Goodwood, the longer Phantom can be built alongside the standard model without difficulty.

The new motor car will be hand-built to specific customer order for the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions where demand is highest. Production will begin at Goodwood in late 2005 and customer orders are being taken immediately. The extended wheelbase Phantom is priced at US$385,000 in the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions and ¥48,000,000 in Japan.

Text/Photos: Rolls-Royce

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