What’s New for 2018?
The 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom is all-new this year, but only the sedan returns, with no plans to carry over the Drophead coupe or convertible.
What We Like
Amazing interior takes bespoke luxury to new heights; powerful engine; extended wheelbase; best back seat in the business
What We Don’t
Styling isn’t all that different from the last generation; expensive to own; difficult to obtain
The 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom celebrates its eighth generation as the company’s flagship luxury sedan. Although the styling looks familiar, the Phantom is actually completely new from the ground up. Changes to the Phantom’s exterior are subtle, displaying a slightly more curved grille and downward sloping rear lines creating a sleeker look. Don’t get us wrong — the Phantom is still a big brick of a car, just one exhibiting more familial design cues from great Rolls-Royce cars of the past.
The Phantom’s all-new aluminum structure serves as the basis for all future Rolls-Royce vehicles. In this instance, it creates a big sedan that’s lighter and more rigid than the old seventh-gen car, yet delivers a smoother ride, a quieter cabin and fewer parts to assemble. Power comes from a unique 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V12 engine that makes 563 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque. The 2018 Phantom rides atop an all-new air-spring suspension, active stabilizer bars and, for the first time, active 4-wheel steering that allows the rear wheels to assist the fronts at speeds under 40 mph. This steering setup is particularly helpful when maneuvering the extended-wheelbase version through confining spaces. The Phantom’s air-spring suspension is the most modern ever put on a car, with windshield-mounted stereo cameras that monitor road conditions ahead and adjust the suspension to compensate.
Inside, the Phantom has achieved a level of opulence and individuality that no other rival can match. On the dash, for example, is a plate of real glass behind which original pieces of artwork can be displayed. If the owner is fortunate enough to know a famous artist, he or she can commission a piece that will make the Phantom a one-of-a-kind rolling work of art. The Phantom’s interior is awash in the finest wood, leather and metal, with such over-the-top options as airline-style reclining rear seats, refrigerated rear center-console drink storage and built-in rear seat monitors ideal for surfing the web, watching movies or monitoring your route via the satellite navigation system. To keep the outside world out, Rolls-Royce has packed the new Phantom with copious amounts of sound-deadening material, including in the pillars, floorboards, glass and even the tires.
As for pricing, well, let’s just say the entry-level price point is set higher than most houses. Rolls is offering the new Phantom at around $450,000 for the standard wheelbase and closer to $550,000 for the extended version. However, it wouldn’t be inconceivable to push the bottom line well past the half-million mark, a figure for which the ultra-rich probably won’t even bat an eyelash.