Your Guide to the 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom
By Zlatan Stankovic on October 18, 2017
Rolls-Royce; a name that instantly suggests high-quality, luxury, safety, and a touch of classic British design in an industry full of technology and modern designs. To this day, Rolls-Royce is still in the market producing fantastic models year after year and they seem to find the right combination every time they step up to the plate. Today, we’re going to provide an in-depth review for the Phantom since this will soon be on the lips of car fanatics all around the world!
For Rolls-Royce, this isn’t a new model because they’ve been producing the Phantom, in one shape or another, for around 14 years. During this time, it’s climbed up the rankings and now stands as perhaps the definition of luxury within the automobile industry. Without revolutionizing the market every time, they make small upgrades and a slight change in design that brings excitement to the brand just long enough for them to be the center of attention once again. How does the 2018 Phantom compare?
For us to get an idea of what the model offers, we first have to review the specifications and the main features on offer. In truth, there are several places we could start. However, it would be wrong to begin anywhere other than the sound. As strange as this may seem, it barely exists and this is the first thing most people notice about the vehicle. Despite hiding a 6.75-liter V12 engine under the hood, the Phantom is almost silent as it kicks into action.
Of course, the Phantom has always been a silent vehicle which is why it has become a picture of peacefulness and serenity. Yet, Rolls-Royce seem to have taken the 2018 to new heights with an entirely new engine. Boasting over 560 horsepower, 1,700rpm can be delivered with 664 lb-ft of torque. Furthermore, the model uses an eight-speed automatic transmission with integrated GPS technology so you always know where you are. What’s more, the shift timing will adjust depending on the upcoming road and this keeps the drive as smooth as we’ve seen before.
Over the years, the Phantom has gained a reputation for being a car driven by hired help but this is less popular in the US. As a result, the model itself has seen some criticism for being hard to handle in the past. In fact, some call it intimidating and even ‘daunting’ and this has been a huge setback for the longest time. Whether it was their intention or not, Rolls-Royce might have just removed this perception because the 2018 Phantom is different. Sure, it’s still a large car and this is a fact we can’t deny but the difference from the early models to where we are now is vast.
Interior - As we head inside, this is where the magic happens and a representative from Rolls-Royce said they spent an ‘incalculable’ amount of time and effort in making the 2018 Phantom the quietest in the world. All around the car, there’s 6mm two-layer glazing and they’ve even installed sound insulation…around 130kg worth. After this, sound insulation is boosted by the addition of the largest ever cast aluminium joints (body-in-white) and most of the materials used in the inside are high-absorption which also helps with their goal.
Within the bulkhead of the space-frame and in the floor, double skin alloy has been used and this is completely unique to the 2018 Phantom. Just when you thought we were finished, we could also add felt and dense foam layers between the skins and this is something never seen before in the industry. When Rolls-Royce say they spent an incalculable number of hours on soundproofing the interior, we believe them!
Exterior - Before we launch into more of what it’s like to drive, we should first go through the ‘imposing’ exterior. First and foremost, it has a monolithic appearance and this is new for the 2018 model and one of the main reasons it looks so different. After a few seconds of assessing the model, it’s not hard to be overcome by a feeling of seeing an old friend yet not recognizing all of the features. The moment you set eyes on it, you know it’s a Phantom but it’s actually very different.
For example, the new aluminum space-frame platform holds the vehicle in shape and this is something set to remain for all future models for the company and this includes the Project Cullinan SUV. Already labeled as the ‘Architecture of Luxury’, Rolls-Royce has spent time developing this new frame and it’s going to be an important feature for them as we progress through time.
Interestingly, the wheelbase is smaller than its predecessor coming in at 140 inches. Overall, the length falls at just over 227 inches which is around three inches longer than the standard wheelbase option.
How can we move on without discussing the Pantheon grille? Larger than ever, the grille is certainly present but it has a more natural appearance on the surrounding bodywork. As you may notice, it also sits a little higher compared to previous models which lifts the famous Spirit of Ecstasy ornament even higher still. Initially, this may take some getting used to and some have even stated they don’t like this particular feature. For others, they like the modernization and they see it as a welcome into the next period of Rolls-Royce in the wider market.
Safety - In just a moment, we’re going to go a little deeper into our own thoughts about the model and what it offers for the money (as well as what ‘money’ you’ll have to pay to own a 2018 Phantom). First, though, we should mention the safety features since this is important these days. Whenever a new car enters the market, they have to reach certain safety requirements and the manufacturers are praised when they go above and beyond.
With Rolls-Royce, they’ve always gone above and beyond with everything they’ve ever done so you might not be surprised to hear they excel in this area too. With numerous driver-aid features, the 2018 Phantom is up there with some of safest vehicles on the market. For example, this includes night vision features, long-range sensors for traffic, four-camera 360-degree parking assistant, active cruise control, and many more.
In our opinion, the Phantom is much better to enjoy from one of the soft and welcoming seats than from behind the steering wheel but it’s still a great vehicle to drive nonetheless. With a chauffeur, they can press a button on the outside door handle and the coach door, on hinges, closes electronically. As you take your seat, you’ll have access to the advanced infotainment system, you can sit back (literally, as the seat reclines), and you can also enjoy a heated seat for those cold winter evenings.
Sticking with the seats, they even massage and provide all riders with cup holders and spaces for champagne flutes; as we said, this is very much a luxurious car for those who are used to living the luxurious lifestyle!
For many years, the whole idea surrounding Rolls-Royce has been that you exit the vehicle more relaxed than you entered it. If you ever get the chance to sit in the back of the 2018 Phantom, we don’t see how you could ever leave the experience with an ounce of anger in your body. Much like a plane, you hardly feel the car moving and the lack of noise adds to this illusion. With insulated glass, all the luxuries you could ever want and need in the back of the vehicle, and truly comfortable seating, the Phantom offers an unrivalled experience and we honestly believe they sit in a niche of their own (and will do for some time to come).
Are you ready to hear the price? If you’re reading this guide like we’re writing it, dreaming of a time where we could enjoy sitting in the back of a Phantom with a glass of champagne as mountains or the city rolls past the window, you might want to skip this next section. For the standard build, you’ll have to part with $450,000 while the extended wheelbase comes at an extra $80,000.
Let’s not forget, those who show interest in this vehicle aren't too worried about the price tag attached. When the initial visit is made to the Rolls-Royce garage, nobody is thinking about rearranging their finances to try and squeeze this purchase in just as we perhaps would with a piece of clothing or gadget. No, for those who’re interested in owning a Phantom, the only concern they have is making their vehicle as unique as possible.
So far, we’ve been, as some will say, overly positive towards the Phantom but it’s just too hard to find things wrong with the vehicle. At first, you would say the price tag but the Phantom just isn't designed for the average person on the street. Instead, it’s created for the most wealthy members of the community and even these might not be able to afford the latest model.
With most cars, you can find small inefficiencies or problems with the design but this just doesn’t happen with Rolls-Royce. Why? Because, everywhere you look, you find features that have been placed by hand. If we were to dig deep and really try to pick holes, we could perhaps say the infotainment system could be better and the brakes could offer some more bite when you initially put the foot down. Sadly, this is all we could suggest and they aren't exactly huge problems.
Overall, you should be able to gauge our opinion on the new Phantom from everything we’ve said so far but, in case you haven’t, we think it’s sublime and there are some lucky people who’re going to enjoy the model in the coming years. Somehow, Rolls-Royce seem to be getting even more luxurious with every model and it must come down to a superb team of skilled individuals as well as having a clear goal. Over the years, their aim has never wavered and they’ve been rewarded for this!