The new Phantom may be ethereal in name, but it’s elephantine in price: The sticker, including destination charges and gas-guzzler tax, is $325,000. To rationalize paying such a staggering sum, some buyers, no doubt, will simply calculate what they’re getting by the yard. The Phantom stretches more than 19 feet in length, a good half-foot longer than a Chevrolet Avalanche sport/utility pickup. At 5577 pounds, though, the Rolls is weighty but not quite an avalanche on the scales–thanks largely to a space-frame structure composed of what seems to be enough lightweight aluminum to build a B-52. The body panels, too, use aluminum (and composites) to keep mass to a minimum.
About six times a year, the manager of the interior wood trim meets the supplier – the only one of its kind in England – to select personally the veneers for the Phantom. This painstaking process ensures that the highest quality veneers of the correct colour and grain characteristics are chosen.
The woodshop team has been carefully selected too and comes from a variety of backgrounds. Each member brings specialist skills to the team – true craft skills, like musical instrument making, the construction of fine furniture and cabinet work, and also from the fitting of luxury yachts. Intensive training allows them to turn these skills to the production of Rolls-Royce motor cars.
Throughout the new Phantom, wood take an architectural form, not merely an ornamental one. Each of the 60 separate panels is constructed of a core wood and an aluminium substrate of up to 40 layers. This lengthy process helps deliver the best crashworthiness properties and means that the wood parts are not simply veneers glued to aluminum or plastic.
The craftsmen hand select the veneers to apply to each panel. A complete “wood set” of matching and complementary veneers is constructed to give each individual motor car its own special character. The wood grain is bookmatched on each panel – the right and left grain structures are mirror images of each other. More elaborate woodwork to a customer’s specificiation is also possible. The effect is aesthetically pleasing and demonstrates the meticulous attention to detail that is essential for Rolls-Royce.
The Rolls-Royce Phantom is an ultra-luxury saloon automobile made by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, a BMW subsidiary, in the United Kingdom. It was launched in 2003 and is the first Rolls-Royce branded car made under the ownership of BMW.
Although some 15 percent of components are shared with other BMW models such as the BMW 7 Series, the Phantom retains the traditional Rolls-Royce design cues.
The intention was to avoid being seen as just an extension to the BMW range. When Mercedes introduced its Maybach luxury saloon, it was criticized for producing “the ultimate Mercedes” instead of a totally different car. The car shared many components with and looked like the less expensive S-Class Sedan. BMW learned from this lesson, selling the Phantom through separate dealerships where BMWs are not sold, while the Maybach showroom in London also sells the most basic of Mercedes models.
The aluminium spaceframe body is built in a BMW plant in Dingolfing, Germany and the V12 engine in Munich. Final assembly, as well as all wood and leather work, for each customer’s individual specification is at a purpose built €100M plant at Goodwood, West Sussex, England. The Goodwood plant contains only two robots to paint the spaceframe body; all other work is done by hand, in keeping with the Rolls-Royce tradition.
The hides used in the new Phantom come only from carefully controlled breeders. Hides are sourced from mature bulls that have been breed for their meat, producing leather as a by-product. The animals are kept in conditions as close to their natural habitat as possible.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars uses a newly developed colouring process whereby the dye permeates through the depth of the hide. This produces a supremely soft, natural finish that will not fade or crack. Conventional methods require the final colour to be painted on to the surface before being covered with a clear lacquer. This can produce shrinkage and creaking as the leather moves and can eventually lead to a cracked appearance.
Between 15 and 18 hides are used in each motor car and each one is checkd by hand for blemishes before laser equipment is used to assist in laying out the pattern pieces. The interior of the Phantom is made up of 450 pieces of leather, which are cut by a computer-guided knife. The individual panels are sewn together by a highly experienced team before the completed parts are fitted to the interior panels on custom built jigs. Ergonomically designed to allow the optimum working angles, the jigs have continually running vacuums to extract any fumes.
* Instead of a tachometer, the car has a power reserve dial indicating how much of the engine’s power is left available to the driver.
* The rear doors are rear-hinged, a style commonly referred to as suicide doors, but called ‘coach doors’ by Rolls-Royce. Because of the rear-seating position in relation to the rear inner-door handles, buttons are mounted on both C-pillars which operate hydraulic motors in order to close the rear doors. An electronic lock prevents the doors from being accidentally opened when moving.
* The rear doors feature pop-out umbrellas. Fans are installed in the holding compartment to remove moisture when the umbrellas are stored. Škoda offers a similar feature for the compact executive car Škoda Superb (a plastic box inside the left rear seat’s armrest including an umbrella).
* The traditional Spirit of Ecstasy ornament has an electronic retraction mechanism to prevent theft and protect pedestrians in the event of an accident. It may also be retracted by the driver at the touch of a button.
* The ‘RR’ logos on each of the wheel hubs are independent bezels in order to always remain upright while the wheel is rotating.
Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé is the latest convertible made by Rolls-Royce which debuted at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan on January 7, 2007. The platform is based on the Rolls-Royce Phantom and has styling heavily derived from the 100EX concept car unveiled to celebrate the company’s centennial in 2004.
* BMW has set a lifetime limit that only 10,000 units of the Phantom will be built.
* The base price is £250,000 in the UK and $300,000 in the US.
* Rolls Royce’s target of 1,000 vehicles sold per year has not quite been met, with 2006 seeing the higest sales of the car’s four year life at 805 units. However, even in 2004 Rolls-Royce was selling twice as many cars as its closest rival Maybach.
* The 2000th car rolled out of the Goodwood factory in December 2005.
* In July 2006, Rolls Royce produced a limited edition run of 25 cars called the “Phantom Black”
* The 3000th car rolled out of the Goodwood factory in March 2007.
* Rolls Royce produced a limited edition run of 25 cars to commemorate the centenary of the Silver Ghost.
* The Peninsula Hong Kong Hotel has purchased a fleet of 14 Extended Wheelbase Phantoms to replace the Silver Spurs in the fleet, all painted in a special “Peninsula Green” and delivered in December 2006, making history for being the largest single order for the Phantom.
* Rolls Royce released a special Tungsten edition Phantom which incorporated innovations featured in the EX101 Experimental Car.
It may look nice, go fast, and haul stuff, but when push comes to shove on the road, will you walk away alive? Below you’ll find results and scores from the government’s front and side 2004 Rolls Royce Phantom crash tests. Dual air bags have been standard everywhere since the late 90s, but look for side and side-head airbags, as well as antilock brakes, among other things.
2004 Rolls Royce Phantom Performance & Efficiency Standard Features Hide
– 6,749 cc 6.7 liters V 12 front engine with 92 mm bore, 84.6 mm stroke, 11 compression ratio, double overhead cam, variable valve timing/camshaft and four valves per cylinder
– Premium unleaded fuel
– Fuel economy EPA highway (mpg): 24 and EPA city (mpg): 14
– Gasoline direct injection fuel system
– 26.4 gallon main premium unleaded fuel tank
– Power: 338 kW , 453 HP SAE @ 5,350 rpm; 531 ft lb , 720 Nm @ 3,500 rpm
2004 Rolls Royce Phantom Handling, Ride & Braking Standard Features Hide
– Four-wheel ABS
– Brake assist system
– Brake by wire
– Cornering brake control
– Four disc brakes including four ventilated discs
– Electronic brake distribution
– Electronic hand brake
– Electronic traction control via ABS & engine management
– Responsive suspension
– Stability control
– Wishbone front suspension with stabilizer bar and air springs , multi-link rear suspension with stabilizer bar and air springs
– Automatic front and rear suspension leveling
2004 Rolls Royce Phantom Exterior & Aerodynamics Standard Features Hide
– Part-painted front and rear bumpers
– Chrome/bright trim around side windows
– Coefficient of drag: 0.38
– Driver power body color door mirrors with automatic , passenger power body color door mirrors
– Electric trunk/hatch pull down
– External dimensions: overall length (inches): 229.7, overall width (inches): 78.3, overall height (inches): 64.3, wheelbase (inches): 140.6, front track (inches): 66.3, rear track (inches): 65.7 and curb to curb turning circle (feet): 45.3
– Electric foldable mirrors
– High pressure headlight cleaners
– Complex surface lens Bi-Xenon headlights
– Heat reflective glass
– Luxury trim wood & leather on doors and wood & leather on dashboard
– Gloss paint
– Fixed rear window
– Weights: curb weight (lbs) 5,577
– Windshield wipers
2004 Rolls Royce Phantom Interior Standard Features Hide
– Air conditioning with climate control, rear control for climate control and rear outlet
– Diversity antenna
– Interior monitoring anti-theft protection
– Harman/kardon RDS audio system with AM/FM, CD player, Disc Auto-changer and six-disc remote changer
– Automatic door closing
– Cargo capacity: all seats in place (cu ft): 16.2
– Cellular phone
– Front seats and rear seats cigar lighter
– Computer with average speed, average fuel consumption, instantaneous fuel consumption and range for remaining fuel
– Full dashboard console , full floor console with covered storage box , full overhead console
– Delayed/fade courtesy lights
– Cruise control
– Front seats cup holders fixed , rear seats cup holders pop out
– Display screen front and includes television
– Door entry light
– Door pockets/bins for driver seat, passenger seat and rear seats
– External temperature
– Floor covering: carpet in load area
– Floor mats
– Driver front airbag with occupant sensors intelligent , passenger front airbag with occupant sensors and occupant switch off intelligent
– Bucket heated electrically adjustable driver and passenger seat with height adjustment, lumbar adjustment, six adjustments and tilt adjustment
– 3-point reel front seat belts on driver seat and passenger seat with pre-tensioners
– Front seat center armrest
– Two height adjustable electric adjustable active head restraints on front seats , two height adjustable head restraints on rear seats
– Headlight control with time delay switch-off and dusk sensor
– Illuminated entry system
– Internal dimensions: front headroom (inches): 40.2, rear headroom (inches): 38.5, front leg room (inches): 40.5, rear leg room (inches): 37.3, front shoulder room (inches): 59.4 and rear shoulder room (inches): 56.3
– Low fuel level warning
– Low tire pressure indicator
– Memorized adjustment on door mirror position and steering wheel position with six driver’s seat positions and six passenger seat positions
– Navigational systems : information type: full map and voice and knobs/touch buttons controls DVD
– Parking distance sensors front and rear and radar
– Remote power locks
– Vehicle speed proportional power steering
– Front and rear power windows
– Front and rear reading lights
– 3-point reel rear seat belts on driver side with pre-tensioners , 3-point reel rear seat belts on passenger side with pre-tensioners , 3-point reel rear seat belts on center side
– Rear seat center armrest
– Three fixed bench front facing heated rear seats with zero adjustments
– Automatic operation rear view mirror
– Remote audio controls
– Remote control remote trunk/hatch release
– Front and rear roof airbag
– Front seat back storage
– Leather seat upholstery with additional leather
– Seating: five seats
– Service interval indicator
– Front side airbag with occupant sensors
– Fifteen speaker(s)
– Leather covered electrically adjustable multi-function steering wheel with tilt adjustment and telescopic adjustment
– Illuminated driver vanity mirror , illuminated passenger vanity mirror , vanity mirror with rear
– Ventilation system with micro filter
– Voice activating system includes radio settings, includes phone and includes navigation system