When it comes to ultra-luxury automakers, Rolls-Royce is perhaps the best-known and most well-respected manufacturer on the planet. Its cars have been status symbols for over a century, and no model in the automaker’s current lineup defines luxury better than the range-topping Phantom
Available as a Sedan, Coupe or Drophead Coupe (what we’d call a convertible), the Phantom has an undeniable presence, even among other luxury automobiles. Classic Rolls-Royce styling traits, like the upright grille, slab body side and “Spirit of Ecstasy” hood ornament are present and accounted for, yet the Phantom still manages to carry off a contemporary look.
While the conservative exterior styling is appealing, it’s really the interior that draws buyers into Rolls-Royce
showrooms. If it’s opulence and comfort you’re looking for, few cars in the world can match the Phantom.
Inside, craftsmanship abounds, from the hand-stitched leather upholstery to the carefully matched and finished hardwood accents. Don’t expect to see chrome plastic inside a Phantom; instead, every bit of trim is meticulously crafted from polished metal or polished wood.
Rolls-Royce buyers expect a certain level of performance as well, and the Phantom isn’t likely to disappoint. Under the long hood lies a 6.75-liter V-12, capable of producing 453 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a six speed automatic transmission, and power goes to the rear wheels only. Despite the car’s substantial bulk, the Phantom can accelerate from 0-60 mph in under six seconds.
As you’d expect, the Phantom can be a thirsty beast, getting EPA-estimated fuel economy of 11 mpg city and 18 mpg highway. Given the car’s near-three-ton weight, handling is surprisingly nimble, thanks to the use of independent suspension, electronic dampers and auto-leveling air springs.
While the list of factory options is extensive, virtually every Phantom model that leaves Rolls-Royce’s Goodwood plant has some degree of bespoke customization. In addition to an endless variety of custom paint and interior options, the level of customization available is limited only by a a buyer’s imagination and budget.
Expect to pay handsomely for the privilege of driving a Phantom, as prices begin at $380,000 and quickly rise depending upon model and options chosen.
For a full review of the 2012 Rolls-Royce Phantom, see our complete write-up on The Car Connection