A NEW generation of Rolls Royce motor cars was announced this week, underpinning massive investment in its West Sussex manufacturing plant.
The company is investing £10m in the expansion of its Goodwood facility this year - the home of Rolls Royce - and expects to see further sustainable growth following the decision to take its hugely successful Phantom model to a new level.
Today (Tuesday March 6), the company echoed the words of Sir Henry Royce who famously urged his employees to strive for perfection in all that they did - and “to take the best that exists and make it better” - when they unveiled details of the new Phantom Series II which will be presented at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
A spokesman said: “Reflecting the new world in which we live, this pinnacle family of cars – including Phantom Saloon, Phantom Drophead Coupé and Phantom Coupé – have been thoughtfully updated with contemporary yet timeless design enhancements that frame the introduction of cutting-edge technologies which significantly improve the car’s drive-train, ease-of-use and connectivity.”
“From launch in 2003, the Rolls-Royce Phantom established itself as the benchmark in automotive luxury, a reputation it has held ever since,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “These cars are timeless in their appeal, but technology moves rapidly and we cannot afford to stand still.
“Today I am delighted to present Phantom Series II, a family of models that feature significant improvements in design, drive-train and technology. As a consequence of these changes, we will continue to present with pride the best motor cars in the world, which re-confirm Rolls-Royce’s position at the very pinnacle of the ultra-luxury goods marketplace.”
Rolls-Royce Director of Design, Ian Cameron, likens the evolution of Phantom Series II design to a “familiar theme, lit in a different way”. And Phantom’s striking new front-end, with re-styled bumpers and rectangular light apertures, perhaps best encapsulates the essence of the significant changes that lie beneath.
Rolls-Royce is the first to include full LED headlamps as standard on a production car. As well as delivering a characteristic whiter light, augmenting safety and preventing driver tiredness, these allow for the introduction of new technologies that better control lighting.
Curve light functionality, for example, uses electronically-controlled reflectors to focus headlamp beams in the direction of travel, providing greater illumination of the road ahead when cornering. Adaptive headlamps change the cone of light projected onto a road – effortlessly of course – in response to different driving speeds.
Every part of the Phantom experience should be effortless, so new driver assistance technologies and a modern user interface with re-designed multi-media controller have been introduced for Phantom Series II. The new satellite navigation system has been fully updated with functions that include 3D maps with landscape topography, guided tours and enhanced points of interest, as well as composite route planning..
Information, maps and video content are presented on Phantom’s larger 8.8 inch control centre display, a feature underlined by eight programmable bookmarks presenting access to key functions at a driver’s fingertips. Front, rear and top-view camera systems, further augment ease of manoeuvring. When reverse parking, for example, rear path prediction automatically deploys on the screen.
The word waftability has long been part of the Rolls-Royce lexicon, with models past and present being renowned for their magnificent ride experience. Phantom Series II reinforces the company’s reputation for both.
A new 8-speed automatic gearbox and rear differential enhance already exemplary driving dynamics perfectly complementing the V12 direct injection engine. Fuel consumption improves by 10 percent on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions fall from 388 to 347 g/km as a consequence.
Rolls-Royce Phantom Series I was launched on 1 January 2003, following a five-year development phase, under new ownership of the BMW Group. In addition to bringing a flagship Rolls-Royce to life, the company also built its state-of- the-art headquarters and production site on the historic Goodwood estate, in the heart of the English countryside. This unprecedented achievement was all the more impressive for a brand that shouldered a weight of expectation that came with the famous Rolls-Royce name and Spirit of Ecstasy as its mascot of excellence.
In 2005, Rolls-Royce launched Extended Wheelbase to complement Phantom Saloon. This was followed by the launch of unforgettable open-top motoring courtesy of Phantom Drophead Coupé in 2007 and the ultimate grand tourer – Phantom Coupé – which was launched in 2008.
New family members have only added to Phantom’s considerable appeal and position as a luxury good without equal.