The Phantom VIII is powered by an all-new 6.75-litre V12 engine that – for the first time in a Phantom – is turbocharged, for a majestic 900Nm of torque from just 1700rpm. This, along with a maximum power output of 563bhp, gives abundant reserves of performance at all speeds from walking pace to motorway cruising, with the uncanny sensation of a virtually silent motive force.
With the new Phantom, Rolls-Royce unveils its new concept ‘The Architecture of Luxury’ that will underpin the entire range in time. It’s the antithesis of adapting a volume monocoque platform to create a flagship product; in contrast, it’s a way of making cars that has individuality at its core. The Phantom VIII’s all-aluminium spaceframe is scalable to standard and extended wheelbase models. As well as being lighter than the preceding model, it’ is 30 per cent more rigid, which greatly improves noise suppression and ride comfort. The latest-generation air suspension features the ‘Flagbearer’, a stereo video camera that scans the road ahead and adjusts the suspension in anticipation of dips and bumps to deliver the famed Rolls-Royce ‘riding on air’ sensation. Four-wheel steering, a new double-wishbone front axle and five-link rear suspension ensure both agility and serene progress. Rolls-Royce has even collaborated on a silent seal tyre that reduces tyre noise by 9dB, and uses foam-filled double-skin alloy on the bulkhead for extra noise suppression. Taken together, these and many other detailed measures deliver a new benchmark in silent travel. The old Rolls-Royce advertising line ‘At 60mph the loudest sound was the ticking of the clock’ has never been truer – although the dash-mounted analogue clock itself is notably quiet.