The Phantom, the only model in the current Rolls-Royce lineup, gets its mechanical components built by BMW in Germany. It's then sent over to the Rolls-Royce shop at Goodwood to get finished up.
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The Phantom has the traditional massive mirror-polished chrome grille, bracketed by modern xenon headlights with auto-leveling.
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The rear of the Phantom appears to drop down, but this is an illusion created by the belt and window line. The roofline maintains its height. The massive C-pillar serves to hide celebrity occupants from the public eye.
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The RR badge in the center of the 21-inch wheels is on ball-bearings, so the Rs always stay upright.
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Unlike cars that emphasize their horsepower, the Phantom hides its exhaust pipes. Its trunk space is adequate, but not as big as you might think, as cabin room is more important.
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The Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament looks a little crude because its made in the traditional manner, from a wax casting.
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The hood ornament hides away when the doors are locked.
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The BMW-sourced 6.75-liter V-12 engine is similar to that found in the BMW 760.
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The rear doors open from the front, creating a look of accessibility to the cabin when both sets of doors are open. Because this style of door makes the rear ones a little difficult to close from inside, there are buttons on the insides of the C-pillars that automatically pull the doors shut.
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The wood on the dashboard is mirror-cut, meaning that one piece of wood is split lengthwise, with one side going on the left and one on the right of the car. That makes the grain match on either side.
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The seat controls are hidden away in the center console. They don't offer as many combinations of adjustment as the seats on some other cars.
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The three-spoke steering wheel has a large diameter, but is fairly thin, in keeping with traditional Rolls-Royce style. Nice metal buttons control the audio system and telephone.
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Unique to Rolls-Royce is the Power Reserve gauge, which tells you how much power you have available. In our driving, we never saw it drop below 50 percent.
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The Phantom uses a smart key which slides into a slot to the left of the steering wheel. There is an engine start button right above it.
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The ceiling light in the Phantom has a soft quality to it, and, instead of snapping on, gently fades up to full power.
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The control knob pops out of the center armrest, and works just like the iDrive controllers in BMWs.
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The main menu screen also shows BMW DNA, with four main menu areas for entertainment, navigation, communication, and car settings.
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This velvet-lined tray slides out of the dashboard, and includes a keypad so you can dial out through your Bluetooth-connected cell phone.
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Along with the audio system, the Phantom has a built-in TV tuner, which gets displayed on the rear-seat LCD screens even when the car is in motion.
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Trays, or picnic tables, fold out of the backs of the front seats for the rear-seat passengers. With the DVD entertainment option present, these trays include 12-inch LCDs.
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The rear seat also gets an iDrive controller and a keypad for the phone system.
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The CD and DVD changers use a cartridge system, which is a little crude considering the pedigree of this car.
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The Logic7 stereo system has an in-dash single CD slot, plus a cartridge-style CD changer in the glove compartment.
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Audio quality can be fine-tuned with this equalizer.
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The 17 speakers in the Phantom use a special ceramic cone, producing fantastic audio quality.
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An auxiliary input for the audio system is hidden in the glove box, suitable for plugging in an MP3 player.
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The maps in the navigation system are beautifully rendered.
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To keep dings out of the body of the massive Phantom, the car incorporates an advanced park-distance warning system.
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Because the nose of the car is so long, there are two cameras out front that show a split screen of views to either side of the car, useful for pulling out of parking garages.
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