DRIVEN | Rolls-Royce Phantom 8 VIIISPECIAL FEATURE
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D R I V E N :
P H A N T O M 8
Words & Photography by
Video filmed by
READING TIME: 6 MINUTES
As the behemoth approaches it has an almost utopian feel to it, with its monolithic proportions elegantly broken up by the two-tone colouring of Dark Indigo and Premiere Silver. Its near silent engine gives it a futuristic feel, as it glides along the road, with the interlocked “RR” logo residing resplendent on the wheels, forever upright and proud like the very brand it represents. This is the Rolls-Royce Phantom 8, the latest in a long line of “land yachts’ designed by the standard bearer of luxury, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
To drive or not to drive? This is the first dilemma you’ll encounter as the true Phantom 8 experience is to be enjoyed in the rear, a position held by many a Statesman, President and Diplomat over the years, and in more recent times an “Eli” as I took full advantage of my opportunity to test out the symphony of features.
What strikes you is the excess, it’s like a “rich” desert where on first bite it’s difficult to dissect the fullness of flavour, but after a few moments the complexity of its composition come through to the fore, revealing itself as if on a timed release. This Phantom 8 has a lot of flavour indeed. By the time you’ve finished the visual consumption of the environment, you are so full, a break is needed before moving onto the next task – the testing.
Notice that as of yet I haven’t even mentioned one distinct feature, yet such is the Phantom 8 that it will beguile you with its mere presence without having to do much else. It’s like standing in the presence of your favourite celebrity, just being there is enough. At least it was at first and then I became more adventurous and began to get to grips with the new tech has that elevated this new Phantom to levels beyond that of its predecessor.
Phantom 8 owners will almost exclusively be ultra-high-net-worth individuals, those with more than £20 million in cash and liquid assets.
I eventually did opt to drive and when I did it made me realise that it really was a win-win situation; be it behind the wheel or in the back. The featherweight steering at low speeds made turning balletic, which I later found out was due to the addition of new, game-changing, four-wheel steering. The system turns the rear wheels complementing the front wheels through a maximum of 3° at speeds lower than 60 km/h (37 mph) which makes the Phantom 8 nimble, despite its staggering near 6m length.
The ride itself is often likened to a ‘magic carpet’ and I can see why as the air suspension was hard at work to counteract every bump in the road, regardless of frequency and scale.
This is in no small part down to a new bespoke all-aluminium chassis which Rolls-Royce dubs the “Architecture of Luxury”. This new chassis will form the blueprint for all new Rolls-Royce cars made from this point henceforth including the much-anticipated Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV.
Price: From £360,000
Engine: 6.75Litre V12
Top Speed: 155mph
One new addition that typifies what the Phantom 8 stands for is an elongated dashboard made from a single piece of glass, which allows owners to showcase bespoke 3D artwork of their choosing behind it. This in many ways, is not without a sense of irony, as after witnessing the Phantom 8 in all its glory, the car itself would be the piece of art that you’d truly want to showcase behind that glass.
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