Pulse.ng logo
Go

Finance We drove the all-new $630,000 Rolls-Royce Phantom to see the future of automotive opulence — here's what it was like

  • Published:

The Rolls-Royce Phantom is all-new for 2018.

The new Rolls-Royce Phantom. play

The new Rolls-Royce Phantom.

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)

  • The Rolls-Royce Phantom is all-new for 2018.
  • The eighth-generation Phantom is powered by a new 563-horsepower, 6.75-liter, twin-turbocharged V12 engine.
  • The new Rolls-Royce Phantom starts at $450,000 while our decked-out test car left the factory with a price tag of $630,000.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom represents the peak of automotive luxury. It's a car whose plushness is the gold standard to which all others are measured.

For the first time in 15 years, we get a brand-new, from-the-ground-up Phantom.

"The Phantom is the pinnacle of the Rolls-Royce brand in its truest sense," Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös told Business Insider in an interview ahead of the car's unveiling last July. "It embodies all of the qualities Rolls-Royce is well known for. It starts with the magic carpet ride, the quality, the precision design, and engineering."

"It embodies what Sir Henry Royce said, 'Take the best that exists and make it even better,' and that is exactly what the Phantom is in every single detail," Müller-Ötvös added.

Now, we finally get a chance to experience it in living color.

On Wednesday, Business Insider got to take a short drive in a long-wheelbase Phantom through the streets of New York City. Even though we only got to spend about an hour with the car, it was enough for us to get a feel for its luxury and performance.

We will have a full review of the Phantom at a later date, after a comprehensive road test of the new Rolls flagship.

The standard wheelbase Phantom starts at about $450,000. But our test car is an extended wheelbase model that is eight inches longer than the standard Phantom and starts at $530,000. With bespoke optional extras, our black-and-emerald-green Roller costs more than $630,000.

Here's a closer look at the new eighth-generation Rolls-Royce Phantom.

The all-new eighth-gen Rolls-Royce Phantom in all its glory on the streets of New York City. In case you're wondering, it's 19.5 feet long.

The all-new eighth-gen Rolls-Royce Phantom in all its glory on the streets of New York City. In case you're wondering, it's 19.5 feet long. play

The all-new eighth-gen Rolls-Royce Phantom in all its glory on the streets of New York City. In case you're wondering, it's 19.5 feet long.

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)


Our stunning emerald-green test car made a scene everywhere we went.

Our stunning emerald-green test car made a scene everywhere we went. play

Our stunning emerald-green test car made a scene everywhere we went.

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)


Tourists and jaded New Yorkers alike gawked at the sight of this magnificent beast.

Tourists and jaded New Yorkers alike gawked at the sight of this magnificent beast. play

Tourists and jaded New Yorkers alike gawked at the sight of this magnificent beast.

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)


The new Phantom's styling is a pleasant blend of traditional Rolls design with modern cues. It looks timelessly elegant.

The new Phantom's styling is a pleasant blend of traditional Rolls design with modern cues. It looks timelessly elegant. play

The new Phantom's styling is a pleasant blend of traditional Rolls design with modern cues. It looks timelessly elegant.

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)


Underneath its skin, the Phantom is built on Rolls-Royce's new all-aluminum platform aptly named the "Architecture of Luxury."

Underneath its skin, the Phantom is built on Rolls-Royce's new all-aluminum platform aptly named the "Architecture of Luxury." play

Underneath its skin, the Phantom is built on Rolls-Royce's new all-aluminum platform aptly named the "Architecture of Luxury."

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)


First things first. What's it like to drive?

First things first. What's it like to drive? play

First things first. What's it like to drive?

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)

We met up with the Phantom at New York's Peninsula Hotel. A fitting location for the event since the Peninsula is world-famous shuttling its guests around in fleets of green Rolls-Royces.

But Rolls made it very clear that our emerald green test car, however similar it may look, is not Peninsula Green, which is color trademarked by the hotel.

As our green Phantom pulled up to the hotel, past a couple of tourists looking for their Toyota RAV4 Uber, I darted for the driver's seat.

Since the Phantom is aimed at the chauffeur-driven crowd, many don't see the point of test-driving it. I disagree. I think the driving experience is still important, even if the person behind the wheel is paid to be there.

In 2016, we reviewed the outgoing seventh-generation Phantom. We loved it, but it didn't drive all that well. It felt heavy and ungainly.

I'm happy to report the new Phantom drives much better. I wouldn't go as far as to call it nimble, but it certainly doesn't feel encumbered by its sheer size.

During our brief jaunt along the Hudson, the Phantom exhibited a pleasant pep in its step. The 563-horsepower V12 and satellite-aided eight-speed automatic transmission make for a potent tandem. According to Rolls, our 5,948-pound long-wheelbase Phantom can hit 62 mph in just 5.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 mph, so this big boy can boogie.



But let's be honest, the back seat is where we really want to be. As expected, the Phantom is covered in soft leathers and perfectly applied wood veneer.

The individual seats in our test car are both heated and massaging. play

The individual seats in our test car are both heated and massaging.

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)


Open up Rolls-Royce's signature coach doors, and you'll see a pair of thoughtfully located umbrellas.

Open up Rolls-Royce's signature coach doors, and you'll see a pair of thoughtfully located umbrellas. play

Open up Rolls-Royce's signature coach doors, and you'll see a pair of thoughtfully located umbrellas.

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)


To close the doors, simply push the button located in a little nook by one of its window pillars.

To close the doors, simply push the button located in a little nook by one of its window pillars. play

To close the doors, simply push the button located in a little nook by one of its window pillars.

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)


As I settle into my reclining private-jet-style seat ...

As I settle into my reclining private-jet-style seat ... play

As I settle into my reclining private-jet-style seat ...

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)


The first thing I notice is the legroom. The endless amounts of legroom. There's so much room you almost begin to feel lonely.

Under the carpet is a powered footrest that raises up at your command. play

Under the carpet is a powered footrest that raises up at your command.

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)


Neatly tucked away in front of you is a wood picnic table.

In front of you is a wood veneer covered, electrically operated picnic table. play

In front of you is a wood veneer covered, electrically operated picnic table.

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)


At the push of a button, table folds down and an infotainment screen appears.

With the push of a button, the table folds down and reveals rear seat infotainment screen. The Phantom is available with a wifi hotspot if you want to do some video streaming. play

With the push of a button, the table folds down and reveals rear seat infotainment screen. The Phantom is available with a wifi hotspot if you want to do some video streaming.

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)


The entire rear cabin is controlled using this rotary-style controller. It's essentially a carbon copy of the controller found between the front seats.

The screen is operated using a rotary controller located between the seats. play

The screen is operated using a rotary controller located between the seats.

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)


Hidden between the seats ...

Behind the rear seats... play

Behind the rear seats...

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)


Is a Champagne chiller.

... Is a hidden Champagne chiller. play

... Is a hidden Champagne chiller.

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)


There's also a drinks cupboard in the console between the rear seats.

There's also a drinks cupboard in the console between the rear seats. play

There's also a drinks cupboard in the console between the rear seats.

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)


In the ceiling is Rolls-Royce's custom Starlight Headliner that's now standard on the Phantom. The individually placed fiber optic lights take two craftsmen 17 hours to install. It looks great during the day.

In the ceiling is Rolls-Royce's custom Starlight Headliner that's now standard on the Phantom. The individually placed fiber optic lights take two craftsmen 17 hours to install. It looks great during the day. play

In the ceiling is Rolls-Royce's custom Starlight Headliner that's now standard on the Phantom. The individually placed fiber optic lights take two craftsmen 17 hours to install. It looks great during the day.

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)


But they really shine in the dark.

But they really shine in the dark. play

But they really shine in the dark.

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)


However brief our encounter may have been, we were duly impressed by the new Phantom. We look forward to an extended drive in Rolls-Royce's new flagship limo.

However brief our encounter may have been, we were duly impressed by the new Phantom. We look forward to an extended drive in Rolls-Royce's new flagship limo. play

However brief our encounter may have been, we were duly impressed by the new Phantom. We look forward to an extended drive in Rolls-Royce's new flagship limo.

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)