Because being chauffeured around is boring.
When you think of a Rolls-Royce Phantom uber luxury sedan, you probably also think of a chauffeur wearing a proper suit sitting in the driver’s seat. Those who bought a Phantom had no intention of driving themselves because that would make them come across as a commoner. But Roll-Royce today is a different company, somewhat. Yes, it obviously still builds some of the most luxurious and sought after prestige cars in the world, but the UK brand’s current crop of customers are younger than ever. The average age: 39.
And no, they don’t want to be driven but would rather drive themselves. And that brings us to the new Phantom VIII. Carfection managed to score a company loaner for a little road trip to the Swiss Alps and the difference between this car and its predecessors is noticeable from the driver’s seat.
We’re not talking about just the new design, which is stunning inside and out, but how Rolls-Royce engineered the Phantom to be more of a driver’s car. Under the hood, for starters, lies a new twin-turbo V12 with 563 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired to a ZF eight-speed automatic sending all that power to the rear wheels. For the first time ever, the Phantom features four-wheel steering and a new double-wishbone front axle and 5-link rear axle. This combination allows for better driving and handling than what you previously found in a Phantom. Obviously this was done on purpose because those younger buyers want to feel the road. They’re looking for something beyond, say, a BMW 7 Series. And fortunately Rolls-Royce now has an answer for them.