In the opulent setting of the five-star Maybourne Riviera Hotel in Monaco, Rolls-Royce’s Director of Global Communications, Richard Carter, shared his perspective on the ethereal realm of Rolls-Royce Phantoms. The occasion was the introduction of the new Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII, and it quickly became apparent that driving this masterpiece missed the point entirely.
Carter described the Rolls-Royce experience as “completely eccentric,” emphasizing the boundless possibilities for personalization that allow each Phantom to be a reflection of its owner’s desires. This eccentricity extends to the interior, where the dashboard is reimagined as the “gallery,” aptly named after the floating glass covering that can accommodate any material, finish, color, design, pattern, or effect imaginable.
A Rolls-Royce, often regarded as the yardstick for luxury, particularly the Phantom, defies categorization as a mere car. It is, in Carter’s words, the “world’s greatest luxury product” rather than just a luxury car. If you liken the BMW 7 Series to business class and the Mercedes-Maybach to first class, then the Rolls-Royce Phantom is the equivalent of a private jet in the automotive world.
The sheer presence of the Phantom is awe-inspiring. Its grandeur and imposing stature command immediate attention. The “Iconoclastic” spec, featuring a carbon fiber “Spirit of Ecstasy” emblem on the darkened chrome grille, exudes an air of superiority and stateliness. Vintage-inspired 22-inch disc rims with floating “RR” hub caps make the Phantom appear as though it’s gracefully hovering above the ground. The 6.7-liter V12 engine, meticulously crafted to maintain unparalleled smoothness, adds the final touch to this meticulously designed package.
Beyond its visual appeal, the Phantom offers an array of lavish features. Suicide doors close at the push of a button, while reclining massage seats, infotainment-equipped picnic tables, fold-down illuminated vanity mirrors, built-in umbrellas, blinds, a world-class sound system seamlessly integrated into the chassis, and the presence of a chauffeur further exemplify the epitome of Rolls-Royce luxury. It exudes sophistication with an attitude reminiscent of a 1940s mob boss.
Owning a Rolls-Royce Phantom transcends the realm of material possession; it’s a lifestyle. While there are certain practical considerations, such as the cost of fuel and initial purchase, the true essence of the Phantom lies in the emotions it evokes in its passengers.
Whether you’re seated in the front passenger seat or the spacious rear cabin, you’re enveloped in opulence. The finest leather can be customized to any color, as can the plush high-pile lambswool carpets. A drinks cabinet elegantly presents a bottle of champagne and two flutes, while the central armrest houses a whisky cabinet or a cigar humidor, tailored to your preferences. Nearly every aspect of the Phantom caters to the owner’s discerning tastes, creating an extension of their personality and lifestyle.
While the Phantom is certainly enjoyable to drive, it surpasses the traditional role of an exhilarating machine. There’s ample power under the hood, responsive steering despite its nearly six-meter length and over two-meter width, and a captain’s seat experience that defines true luxury. However, when a car reaches this level of opulence, reveling in the act of driving might seem uncouth.
Instead, whether you find yourself behind the wheel or as a passenger, the Phantom beckons you to savor its abundance. An aristocratic aura surrounds this car, embodying old-world elegance and impeccable taste. Rolls-Royce’s communications team emphasizes that their customers “don’t want the Phantom to change.” It’s not stubbornness but a recognition that perfection cannot be improved upon.
So, what does one get for a car approaching half a million dollars? With the Phantom, it’s a momentary respite from life’s worries. Every detail and condition has been meticulously mastered to offer a customer experience that epitomizes excellence and caters to your every whim. It’s about comfort, class, style, and substance, but above all, it’s about you. Lean back, relax, and make the Phantom your own, because as Rolls-Royce puts it, “you don’t just purchase a Rolls-Royce, you commission it.”