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2018 Rolls Royce Phantom: First Look


The ultimate automaker hand picks Harry Rosen to reveal its newest ride.



New versions of the Rolls-Royce Phantom don’t appear often, so forgive us for making what the Brits would describe as ‘a bit of a fuss’ when they selected the Harry Rosen Bloor Street Flagship as the site of their exclusive Canadian launch.


The original Phantom was introduced in 1925, and Rolls claims that makes it the longest-lived model name in automotive history.


Despite looking familiar, this Phantom is nearly entirely new. It sits on Rolls-Royce’s new aluminum spaceframe platform, officially dubbed the Architecture of Luxury, which will go on to underpin all of the company’s forthcoming models.


Suspension elements are mostly aluminum, with electrically controlled air springs, active anti-roll bars, and adaptive dampers delivering what Rolls-Royce modestly describes as its Magic Carpet Ride. It uses a road-scanning camera system to prepare for bumps before they reach the wheels. Now that’s service!


Under the bonnet lies a new engine, too. It’s still a 6.75-litre V12 but it now features two turbochargers, and develops 563bhp and and impressive 900Nm of torque. Not to mention it’’s paired up to a new satellite aided eight-speed automatic gearbox.


The cabin retains many traditional touches, including rotary controls for the heating and ventilation system and the denial of a traditional tachometer in favor of a Power Reserve dial in one of the three circular instrument bezels. (Although these look analog, the instruments inside actually are digital screens.) The most out-there feature is a toughened glass panel spanning the top of the dashboard and instrument panel; dubbed the Gallery, it has been designed so that individually commissioned pieces of artwork can be displayed within it.


The rear portion of the cabin is more, dare we say, conventional. There are still folding wooden picnic tables, although these are now power operated, and 12.0-inch display screens for rear passengers are integrated into the rears of the front seats. Pretty much every nonglazed surface is covered in either leather, wood, or ankle-deep carpeting, and, as before, the range of customization options is effectively unlimited. If a buyer can imagine a color or trim material, however garish or unlikely it may be, then Rolls-Royce will happily attempt to make the dream come true. That’s bespoke service that we can relate to.


With prices starting well-above the $500,000 mark, seeing the car for the first time in Canada strategically positioned in front of our store was a thrilling opportunity to explore the ins and outs of this incredible piece of machinery.


Following the big reveal, guests of Rolls-Royce made their way up to our newly redesigned Level 2 for cocktails to celebrate the launch.


See more highlights from the launch: