Goodbye to the Rolls-Royce PhantomThe Rolls-Royce Phantom as we know it will soon be no more. Carfection looks back on why it was so important.
[BLANK AUDIO][MUSIC PLAYING] [MUSIC] This is a Rolls Royce phantom, one of the last when it happens because the Phantom is going the way of the dodo or at least this generation is. Thing is, since its launching in 2003, the Phantom has been the car to get when you made it. It's the car that reinvented Rolls-Royce, and it's the car that showed the world what a luxury motor really was. When you think of a Rolls-Royce, what springs to mind? Is it a long bonnet, the spirit of ecstasy, perhaps? Imposing yet elegant design? Bespoke everything, utmost luxury? Well, that's because that's what a Rolls-Royce actually is. However, without the Phantom there wouldn't be much of a Rolls Royce today. In 1971, Rolls Royce was a bit bunker. It was so immaculate, it was nationalized. Not a great thing from anyone's books. In 1980, the automotive sold the business, was sold to Vickers. And then,in 1988, to VW, of all people. BW got the factory right to the shape of the grill and right to the spirit of ecstasy and of course Bentley which was twins with Rolls at the time. The arrow side of the business Rolls Royce PLC owned the rights to the name and the logo so it gave the right to BMW for 40 million pounds. [MUSIC] Under licence, a mild impact occurred. You see, one company could build a car that looked like Rolls Royce and had the correct grille and all that stuff, whereas the other company could actually call it a Rolls Royce and badge it as one. But, BMW had the upper hand. Because of the time it was still supplying Rolls Royce with part. And it had a 12 month drop out clause in it's contract. Selling very, it can **** all the VW Bently and Rolls Royce. In one fell swoop. So the two teams reached a happy conclusion. From 98 to 2002, BMW would continue to supply parts and let VW use the Rolls name and logo. After that, Rolls became BMW's concern, and VW would stick to building Bentleys. The VW-controlled Roller was a [UNKNOWN], leaving BMW with some work to do to establish Rolls-Royce as the king of the road for literal kings. BMW and the newly formed Rolls Royce Motor Cars, LTD had to get their new car right straight out of the gate. It had to be perfect from day one. It had to put on the shiny new future rules to game on from the Rolls Royce's of old right The Phantom. It became a symbol of new Rolls. Big, brash, luxurious, a sight to behold. Seeing one in the wild was always an event, mostly because it was so vast, a giant palace on wheels, usually driven by a chauffeur with a chuffing giant grin on their face. The wheel hubs show the double R upright at all times. The Spirit of Ecstasy would disappear from view when not in use. There was no red counter either. Why would a Rolls driver need to concern themselves with such [UNKNOWN]? Instead a power reserve gauge Neat touches. It won awards and [INAUDIBLE] from all corners and rightfully so. This is a full fat Phantom, it's big, it's wide, it's soft. It's 6.75 liter V12, pushes out 453 break horsepower and 351 pound foot Note the 62 takes six seconds and it's top speed is 150 miles an hour. And there's a thing to drive. It's enormous because it's so big, I can't really see the passenger side of the bonnet. There's a little bumps that I can judge The driver side, that's fine. The passenger side just sort of vanishes. Out here it is a little bit tricky to place because it's one very narrow road and then something to fall off of and something to hit. But in town it's surprisingly easy to thread through gaps that you wouldn't quite expect which leads me to think that even though it is quite wide. It doesn't actually feel that wide depending on your environment. It's very, very odd but it is most wonderful now because it's so vast. It means there's acres of space in here. In the back, there's televisions and comfy seats and foot rest that go up and down. A fridge and a Wine glasses and whiskey glasses and all the luxury one could possibly want. And of course, amazing carpet that you just want to wrap your face in because it's so fuzzy and comfy and warm. The wood, the materials in here, they are pretty much the finest money can buy. This car itself is nearly 350,000 pounds With the motor car which is it enormously expensive. But when you look at the craftsmanship the woods, the leather, the materials was sealed. We cannot get where the money's going. Yes there are some shared BMW bits so the eye dry system and some of the nav bit it's familiar. But it's no bad thing because eye drive just works. It works, really well. The doors on the front aren't self closing, there isn't a button here like you get on some other Rollers. But in the back, they are. Which is cool. As a driving experience, it's floaty. The steering is so light. It is doable with a single finger. You just do your thing. There's not much feedback towards the front wheels but you know you trust it. If you turn the wheel, the car will just move with you. I said it before, I'll say it again. You don't drive the Rolls-Royce, you move with it. It becomes [INAUDIBLE] and wonderfully fluid. Not lazy, but relax Kind of way. The suspension is so light, you glide over lumps and bumps in the road. Is it fast? Yes, it is, alarmingly so, actually. That 6.75 liter V12, good lord, it'll shift this thing. I mean, yeah, naught to 60 in 6 seconds isn't groundbreaking, but this does weight about a million tons, the same as the Death Star. But when you lean on it it will get up to some license-losing speed rather quickly. The brakes do work very well and you do feel the weight of the car when you go in. And I wouldn't recommend high speed cornering because the entire car just sort of leans a lot. So, this is She isn't a car for high speed. The power is there, should you need it, should you wish to go quickly. It's a very imposing thing. It's not exactly something you could creep up to a bar subtly in, is it? It's about as subtle as a kick to the groin. You would be the talk of the town if you rocked out in the new [UNKNOWN] It's such a well thought out brilliantly put together car and you know what? I can't not wait to see what comes next. The [UNKNOWN] as an entity was a new day for Rolls Royce. It reinvigorated the company, made it a major player where it had been falling behind before. And now it's time is nearly up. Without it, Rolls Royce would certainly be worse off. But thankfully, like the Spirit of Ecstasy on the nose, the [UNKNOWN] pointed Rolls Royce towards somewhere different, towards the future. [MUSIC]