If you need further proof that the Chinese auto market is critical to luxury automakers, consider this: Rolls-Royce has chosen the Beijing Auto Show for the world premier of its Phantom Series II Extended Wheelbase model.

The 2012 Beijing Auto Show marks the second consecutive year that Rolls-Royce has opted to debut a long wheelbase variant in China. Last year’s Shanghai Auto Show saw the global introduction of its Ghost Extended Wheelbase model.

Introducing the car as “our new benchmark of automotive luxury in China,” Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said, “No other luxury product comes close to Phantom Extended Wheelbase in staging an object of exquisite beauty, effortless opulence and grand theatre.”

As with the other Series II Phantom models, the Phantom Extended Wheelbase features updates in drivetrain, design and technology. Under the hood, the new Phantom gets an updated V-12 engine, now fitted with direct injection and mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox for a 10-percent improvement in fuel economy.

Outside, there’s a new front-end design with restyled bumpers and rectangular LED headlamps. Both the headlight intensity and the shape of the beam are automatically adjusted to meet road and driving conditions.

Inside, the driver benefits from a revised infotainment system, now equipped with an 8.8-inch display. Front, rear and top-view camera systems give the driver an accurate view of his surroundings, helpful when parking in tight confines. An improved nav system now offers a 3D display with landscape topography and route planning.

Inside, Series II Phantom Extended Wheelbase models get the best of everything, in preferences dictated by the customer. Wood veneers, for example, are cut from a single log, while leather hides come exclusively from Alpine bulls before being laser cut and hand-stitched.

Over 80-percent of Phantom buyers in 2011 opted for bespoke options, such as the ‘Starlight Headliner,” which embeds over 1,600 fiber optic lights into the leather headliner to give the impression of a starry night sky.