By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
It's difficult to conceive of anything more extravagant (and possibly ostentatious) than the 2014 Rolls-Royce Phantom luxury car. The legendary British manufacturer has created a machine utterly dedicated to pleasing its owner, allowing for any number of personalized features, albeit at a hefty premium. Ranked as one of the world's most desirable cars, the Phantom's $400,000-plus starting price really does limit its owner circle to an elite few, but really isn't that the whole idea behind exclusivity? The handbuilt Phantom outshines the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and even the Bentley Continental GT, especially the stunning Drophead model with its long, rear-hinged doors and teakwood tonneau cover. For those who need more rear-seat legroom, the sedan offers an extended-wheelbase version.
The 2014 Rolls-Royce Phantom isn't just for those who have amassed incredible wealth, it appeals to those with an eye for the finer things in life, a love of design and an appreciation for the heritage that has come to symbolize Rolls-Royce.
With the exception of a limited-production Waterspeed Collection Drophead Coupe (a production run of 35 in all), there are no major changes for the 2014 Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Driving Impressions The 2014 Rolls-Royce Phantom luxury car is all about pampering and prestige, which makes it one of the few cars where owners prefer the backseat to the front. Regardless of...... seating position, occupants inside the Phantom will experience the ultimate in driving pleasure, cocooned in soft leathers and a silent cabin that effortlessly dispatches road imperfections. The powerful V12 engine has its work cut out, but still manages to move the massive Rolls to 60-mph in less than six seconds. From behind the wheel, the Phantom responds well to driver input, yet the sheer weight and size of this car begs it be driven with a mellow attitude. However, should one feel the need for a more aggressive drive, a driver-selectable sport setting will stiffen the suspension and adjust the throttle response for a more expeditious driving experience.
Much like the classic suicide-door Lincoln of the 1960s, the Phantom's rear-hinged doors add an air of class and timelessness to this big luxury sedan. They also aid in the ease of entry. Of course, once inside, a touch of a button is all that is required to automatically close the doors.
RETRACTING HOOD ORNAMENT
There are a number of elegant features both inside and outside the Rolls-Royce Phantom, but one of the most impressive is the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament. Updated for the realities of today's modern world, the Spirit safely retracts into the grille when the car is not in use.
The interior of the Rolls-Royce Phantom luxury car is elegant but surprisingly simple, with a big emphasis on copious use of leather and wood throughout. Instead of being festooned with myriad buttons, knobs and switches, Rolls takes a minimalist approach, even with the iDrive-like system that allows the driver to control navigation, radio and other functions with a rotary dial and planetary buttons. When not in use, the whole setup hides out of sight. Other aspects of the Phantom include an 8.8-inch color screen and a multi-camera system that presents a virtual bird's-eye view of the car when reversing.Exterior
The Rolls-Royce Phantom is, in a word, enormous. Even the "smallest" versions, the coupe and convertible, are more than 18 feet long, or about 4 feet longer than a Honda Civic. The 2014 Phantom sedan is even larger at over 19 feet, while the Extended Wheelbase version takes the cake at just under 20 feet in length making it a proverbial "land yacht." Phantom models boast plenty of wooden parts mixed with metal, and the convertible (dubbed "Drophead Coupe") is inspired by J-class yachts of the 1930s and stands out with a massive rear teak deck that impresses with the top down.
Like other Rolls-Royce cars, the 2014 Phantom luxury sedan and coupe are typically bespoke, meaning they are ordered with custom features to suit a buyer's taste. What all owners can expect are an 8.8-inch color display that can hide behind the dash, a LOGIC7 Surround Sound system by Harman, and a central control module to command infotainment features. Other standard features of note include full LED headlights as standard, while a multi-camera system gives drivers a virtual bird's-eye view of the car when in reverse. Lambswool carpet and the finest of leather further coddle passengers.
With a bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantom, what you order is pretty much limited to your imagination. Some popular configurations include a two-tone paint scheme, a variety of 21-inch wheels, a gold-plated Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament, the Dynamic Package for a sportier ride, and a glovebox that contains a humidor or pen set. Headliner options include leather or cashmere so you can literally have only the best above your head. A theater configuration allows rear-seat passengers to watch TV or DVDs on twin 12-inch screens that fold into the backs of the front seats.
The 2014 Rolls-Royce Phantom sedan, coupe and convertible are rear-wheel drive and powered by a big, naturally-aspirated V12 engine. Not long ago, Rolls-Royce would merely say that power was "adequate" to move its massive cars. Nowadays the British automaker doesn't mind backing up that assertion with data: The Phantom sedan can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds, while the coupe and convertible models can do it in 5.6 seconds. A "power reserve" gauge shows the car using just 10 percent of available power while cruising at 70 mph. Sedan and convertible Phantoms are electronically-limited to a top speed of 149 mph, and coupes go up to 155 mph. All models use a new, 8-speed ZF automatic transmission.
453 horsepower @ 5,350 rpm
531 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/18 mpg
The Rolls-Royce Phantom luxury car for 2014 is in rarified territory as an ultra-luxury, handbuilt car. Its price is correspondingly stratospheric. A Phantom Series II Sedan starts right around $405,000 before options, and the Extended Wheelbase version starts closer to $470,000. A coupe model starts at over $435,000, while the convertible, like the extended-wheelbase sedan, starts at over $476,000. At these prices, the 2014 Phantom is pretty much king of the luxury hill. Even a Bentley Continental is roughly half the price, or you could pick up four nicely equipped Audi A8 or BMW 7 Series sedans and still have some pocket change for that spare jar of Grey Poupon. We expect the Phantom's resale value to be marginal, with the value easily dropping by $150,000 or more within a few years.
By Bob on Monday, August 29, 2011
I want this caroverall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "See my review above"
Cons: "The absolute fascination with a black exterior and interior!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Most people that have rated this car here have never even sat in a Rolls-Royce. I own a Rolls-Royce. A Rolls-Royce is expensive to purchase and expensive to properly maintain, BUT when the vault-like door shuts after you have settled into your seat you have entered another dimension in motoring - a world apart from all those other folks driving around you. Quiet, soft sounds, a world of everything working correctly. Just shifting into drive is a pleasure as you are merely moving an electric switch while soundlessly a little electric motor actually shifts the gears. Yup, the Phantom is worth the money if you truly enjoy driving or being driven in true style and absolute comfort"
33 people out of 39 found this review helpful
By Big Ben on Monday, August 15, 2011
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,400overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have a maseratti and a range rover and I do not drive them anymore since buying this amazing piece of luxury machery."
16 people out of 23 found this review helpful