Rolls-Royce is in a peculiar position when it comes to imagining the future of luxury transportation. The 112-year-old motor company is the very definition of a luxury car, but much of its auspicious reputation is based on its embodiment of classical luxury, in the tradition of Beethoven, foie gras, and delectable suicide doors.
For 13 years, the Phantom VII served Rolls-Royce with distinction as its flagship model while also becoming a catalyst for the brand’s recent renaissance. With annual sales topping 4,000 cars, the past few years have been happy times for the rarefied luxury automaker.
This is Rolls-Royce’s largest and grandest car ever, born from the same line as those used by Elvis and Queen Elisabeth II and 50 Cent, plus myriad tycoons and oligarchs the world over. The revamped saloon will cost 375,000-euro ($440,000).
The brand focuses on wooing a younger customer base, tasteful, top-of-the-line technology is becoming paramount to those expectations. The look, tactile feel, and the user experience of that technology fall on its design department to imagine. Giles Taylor is charged with striking that careful balance as design director of Rolls-Royce. His most contemporary response is the brand’s flagship model, the Rolls-Royce Phantom, officially unveiled today in the UK. It is the eighth Phantom model to be produced in the history of the company.
The new super-clean stainless steel grille is recessed and pushed up higher than previous generations so that the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament virtually catapults forward. The front end of the car is shorter and the back is longer than previously, as well. All the styling lines in the rear circle forward and lead the eye back through to the front wheel. The rear glass is raked more aggressively than on Phantom VII, which adds to the general idea of forwarding thrust.