Rising from the top of the grill, the Spirit of Ecstasy adds a classic look that can only be created with a gaudy hood ornament. When the vehicle is parked, the ornament retracts into the grill, safe from sticky fingers.
When parked, the Phantom sits long and low, but raises itself a few centimeters when started. For clearing particularly tall speed bumps, the suspension can be raised even further at the touch of a button.
Most of the Rolls' cabin tech is hidden by default. The LCD screen, the telephone keypad, and control knob all hide behind wood panels until called upon. Peek in the glove compartment and you'll also find an iPod connection.
Rolls-Royce's LCD interface is a reskin of parent company BMW's old iDrive system and is just as much of a user-interface nightmare. Roll-Royce representatives stated that there is currently no plan to update the interface to the newer, better iDrive.
Where an average car would feature a tachometer, the Phantom has a Power Reserve meter that shows what percentage of the engine's capability you're currently not using. It's a constant reminder that the V-12 engine isn't even breaking a sweat.
Nine amplifiers, 13 speakers, and a pair of subwoofers mounted in the floor form the 7.1 surround sound Lexicon audio system. With high-quality sources, such as audio CDs or DVD sources, the system sounded fantastic. However, such a high-end audio system exposes the compression flaws of lesser sources, such as satellite radio.
The best seat in the house isn't always the one with the steering wheel; the extended wheelbase version of the Phantom Sedan adds 10 inches to the rear door area, creating an impressive amount of leg room.
The Phantom Coupe loses two doors and 10 inches of wheelbase relative to the Sedan. Additionally, chassis reinforcements and suspension tuning gives the Coupe a sportier ride. The stainless-steel hood does its part to create a sporty look to match.
Under the bonnet of every Phantom is a 6.75-liter, V-12 gasoline engine. Power is rated at 453 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque, which is more than sufficient for motivating the 5,000+ pound warship with gusto.
Expect about 12mpg in the city and 25 on the highway.