For 2009, the Phantom and its long-wheelbase cousin gets new bumpers and a slightly revised interior

For 2009, the Phantom and its long-wheelbase cousin gets new bumpers and a slightly revised interior

With all the doom and gloom surrounding the auto industry and the economy in general, it is interesting to see that Rolls-Royce, the manufacturer of some of the most lavish cars on the planet, is enjoying record sales. Last year, the carmaker from Goodwood, UK, sold a total of 1,212 cars, its fifth straight year of growth and its highest level of sales in 18 years.

This year is set to be even bigger for Rolls-Royce as the company is not only planning a brand new model but it is also updating its Phantom range. For 2009, the Phantom picks up a new bumper that is designed to match the one on the Phantom Drophead and Phantom Coupe. The more streamlined bumper features a shallower grille than the previous version and is finished in stainless steel.

Other new exterior features include LED door handle illumination and the fitting of 21in cast aluminum wheels as standard. Two further wheel options exist, both manufactured in forged alloy and available in either painted or part polished finishes.

New for 2009 are a set of RCA component input that provide auxiliary audio and visual connectivity to the 12in picnic table monitors

New for 2009 are a set of RCA component input that provide auxiliary audio and visual connectivity to the 12in picnic table monitors

Inside, rear passengers will benefit from a new RCA component input that provides auxiliary audio and visual connectivity to 12in monitors mounted within the picnic tables. Further features include new front and rear door cappings with integrated grab handles and new bi-directional double reading lights in the C-pillar. Designers have also repositioned the rear climate control, volume control and electric window switches into a wood veneer panel in the door.

Production of the 2009 model will start in the third quarter, a year before the all-new Rolls-Royce model, codenamed RR4, will starting rolling out of the Goodwood factory.

2009 Rolls-Royce Phantom facelift