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

Benjamin Zhang/Business InsiderThe new Rolls-Royce Phantom.
  • The Rolls-Royce Phantom is all-new for 2018.
  • The eighth-generation Phantom is powered by a new 563-horsepower, 6.75-litre, twin-turbocharged V12 engine.
  • The new Rolls-Royce Phantom starts at $US450,000 while our decked-out test car left the factory with a price tag of $US630,000.

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 colour.

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 $US450,000. But our test car is an extended wheelbase model that is eight inches longer than the standard Phantom and starts at $US530,000. With bespoke optional extras, our black-and-emerald-green Roller costs more than $US630,000.

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.

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

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

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

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Underneath its skin, the Phantom is built on Rolls-Royce’s new all-aluminium platform aptly named the “Architecture of Luxury.”

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

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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 colour 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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Hidden between the seats …

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Is a Champagne chiller.

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

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

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But they really shine in the dark.

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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

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