New Rolls-Royce Phantom Arrives With Subtle Updates

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Subtle exterior enhancements and a thicker steering wheel.

Rolls-Royce today unveiled the latest expression of its halo car, the Phantom.

According to Rolls-Royce, the facelift is driven by its customers, who implored the British marque not to make any significant changes to the vehicle. Rolls-Royce agreed since it believes that its cars enjoy a long lifespan, eventually becoming timeless expressions of good taste.

It's hard to argue with this sentiment, as BMW's first Phantom now looks better than it ever did. That oversized grille was a bit much in 2003, but it looks tiny by comparison, given the current state of car design.

Rolls says that its facelifts are not about what should be changed but rather about what should be preserved and protected.

Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce preserved the Phantom's stance and enhanced it by including a new polished horizontal line between the daytime running lights above the famous Pantheon Grille. Rolls also made a hardly noticeable geometric change to the famous grille to make the Spirit of Ecstasy more prominent when viewed from the front.

The grille is now illuminated, which was a feature first introduced on the Ghost. Headlight-wise, it now comes standard with laser-cut bezel starlights to create a visual connection between the exterior and the famous Starlight Headliner inside.

From the side, there's nothing new to report on apart from a suite of new wheels. There's a new 3D milled stainless steel wheel with triangular facets, available either fully or partially polished. Or you can go for the new disc wheel, available in both polished stainless steel and black lacquer.

Rolls is also responding directly to customer demands. You may now order a Phantom with darkened chrome grille surround, black bonnet reins, windscreen surround, and side frame finishers.

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Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce
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The inside is almost exactly the same. The luxury carmaker says it made the steering wheel slightly thicker to provide a more connected feel for owner-drivers.

It's still available in standard and extended wheelbase formats, with the latter being aimed at owners being driven. According to Rolls-Royce, the Phantom is now predominantly favored by the kind of people who like being driven.

We're not going to list the standard features here simply because there is no such thing as a standard Phantom. Each new unit is tailored to the owner's exact needs and expectations.

Even Rolls-Royce calls the Phantom a blank canvas, but it does mention the debut of Rolls-Royce Connected. This enables the owner to send an address directly to the motor car from Whispers, the Rolls-Royce private members club. You can now also use the Whispers app to check on the car's location and status.

Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce

To illustrate what's possible with the Phantom, Rolls-Royce created the Phantom Platino. It's named after the silver-white finish of platinum.

The Platino's front seats are finished in fine Rolls-Royce leather, while those in the rear are upholstered in fabric. It's not just any fabric, however. Instead, Rolls-Royce combined a fabric created in an Italian mill, while the second part of the mix is bamboo fibers.

The timepiece on the dashboard is surrounded by 3D printed ceramic, set into an iced-finish woodset.

"We are acutely conscious of our clients' esteem for and love of their Phantoms. They felt it could not be improved; but while naturally respecting that view, we believe it is always possible, indeed necessary, to gently go further in our pursuit of absolute perfection," said Torsten Muller-Otvos, chief executive officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

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Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce

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