Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is showing off the new Phantom Series II at the Geneva Motor Show 2012 this week, and the executive dream-machine is truly a sight to behold.
Today, I am delighted to present Phantom Series II, a family of models that feature significant improvements in design, drive-train and technology, said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of London's Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
As with any car from Rolls-Royce, the Phantom Series II is massive, and it looks like it will dominate any tarmac it rolls down. And by massive, we mean 5644 lbs. That bulk is carried gracefully, though, by a 453 horsepower, V12 engine capable of generating 531 pound feet of torque. All that is to say, the Phantom Series II is limited to a respectable, but not ostentatious, 149 mph according to Rolls-Royce (or 155 mph for the Phantom Coupe).
Rolls-Royce seems to be planning on the Phantom Series II doing well on the market. My very clear expectation is also to report another record sales year for 2012 when our figures are published next January, said Müller-Ötvös.
Last year, Rolls-Royce sold the most cars ever in its history, up 31 percent on 2010. The new Phantom Series II is expected to cost approximately $400,000.
If you're actually on the market to buy a Rolls-Royce though, chances are top speed probably isn't really at the top of your list in vehicular requirements. It's the styling and the interior that makes these cars special, and the Phantom II has been done to the max.
Each Rolls-Royce takes roughly 450 hours to construct, and the Phantom II has every appearance of being a product of that care. Buyers can choose their favorite paint color using a special Phantom iPad App, which allows them to capture the color of an everyday object. The interior of the car can have as many as 43 different wooden components, all hand-finished.
According to a press release, the leather used in the Phantom II comes from only the finest hand-selected hides from Alpine bulls. The company claims that the healthy environment and open meadows without thorn or barbed wire result in far fewer natural marks. That sounds a bit idyllic, but it's a nice thought anyway.
All of this leads up to Rolls-Royce's signature service, their bespoke construction. According to the company, roughly eight out of ten Rolls-Royce's come with some kind of bespoke construction. The company speaks highly of such triumphs as a car for a Middle Eastern customer that incorporated an intricate and beautiful falcon motif within the headrests, and the starlight headliner, which integrates more than 1,600 tiny fibre optic lights ... into the leather roof lining to create a beautiful starry sky.
On a more utilitarian level, Rolls-Royce says the Phantom II will be the first car ever to include LED head lights as a standard feature. The headlights will also feature reflectors to redirect the light when the car corners. Headlights are nice, but they almost seem like an afterthought on a car like the Phantom Series II.
Of course, Rolls can't get away from its unique lexicon, and so the company also talks about waftablility. Basically, it means the car is supposed to have an exceptionally comfortable ride.
The likelihood of ever actually seeing a Phantom Series II, though, is low, according to Müller-Ötvös.
Ladies and gentlemen, Rolls-Royce conducts its business in the rarified upper end of the luxury goods marketplace. No other luxury brand sells more cars in the plus €200,000 segment than Rolls-Royce ... We have no desire to become a mass luxury brand with five figure annual sales volumes. Our customers, likewise, have no interest in seeing Rolls-Royces on every corner and in every super-market parking lot, Muller-Otvos said.
Essentially, the Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II is exactly what you would expect: exquisitely styled, impressively large, extremely expensive, and even more exclusive. The Phantom Series II is one more Rolls-Royce for people who know what they want. It puts us in mind of a memorable character from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.