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2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom

Overview
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2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom Review

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At once a statement of automotive excess and a manifestation of ultimate indulgence, the 2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom is the pinnacle of passenger cars. Available as a sedan, coupe or convertible, this hand-built British car is reserved for the world's wealthiest families and individuals who don't need to ask the price – of anything. For the record (and the rest of us) Rolls-Royce's flagship starts beyond $400,000 and zooms higher with personalized options that alone cost more than many economy cars. All Phantom models are powered by a massive V12, but driving one of these behemoths is almost a secondary sensation. Whether seated up front or being chauffeured, passengers are treated to the finest materials and one of the plushest rides money can buy.

You'll Like This Car If...

Arriving in a Phantom is about presenting a majestic aura. One that says, "I can have – and get – anything I want." Yes, it's a fine automobile crafted to the highest standards. But so is a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. A Rolls-Royce, however, is the closest it gets to buying royalty.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Cost considerations aside (two median-priced homes or one car?), the Phantom is not the most powerful, quickest or technologically sophisticated car money can buy. It's just one of the most expensive. If a mere, $100,000 luxury car will do, consider an S-Class, Audi A8, BMW 7 Series or Lexus LS.

What's New for 2015

For 2015, Phantoms, minor changes include black brake calipers, LED lighting for the lamps in vanity mirrors and new wheel finishes. In the 2-door Phantom Coupe and Drophead Coupe (convertible), the front seat automatically returns to its position after moving forward to let rear-seat passengers inside.

Driving the Phantom
Driving Impressions

All variants of the 2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom are about pampering and prestige, but their driving characteristics differ by model. In sedans, whether standard or the even-larger long-wheelbase model, the standout...

... trait is its quiet and serenity. There is good power on tap – 453 horsepower that can shuffle this behemoth to 60 mph in under six seconds, if you must ask – but the Phantom sedan is neither engaging nor much fun. It's the VIP in back who benefits most from this massive 4-door Rolls-Royce. Should you decide to drive yourself, be careful which hat you wear lest some think you're the chauffeur. While no backwoods burner, the smaller and sportier-tuned Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe is the model to have for drivers who favor prestige over passenger roominess. For top-down motoring, think of the Phantom Drophead Coupe as the finest land yacht.

REAR-HINGED DOORS
Much like the classic suicide-door Lincoln of the 1960s, the Phantom’s rear-hinged coach doors add an air of class and timelessness to this massive luxury car. They also aid in the ease of entry. 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.

2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom Details
Interior

The interior of the Rolls-Royce Phantom luxury car is elegant yet surprisingly simple, with an emphasis on leather and wood. Instead of myriad buttons, knobs and switches, Rolls takes a minimalist approach, even with the iDrive-derived system sourced from its BMW parent that allows the driver to control navigation, radio and other functions with a rotary dial and planetary buttons. Sedans can be had with a 3-across bench in back or individual seating for two. The Phantom coupe and convertible models have two rear seats. A captivating Starlight Headliner looks like a galaxy implanted in the ceiling.

Exterior

The 2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom is, in a word, enormous. Even the “smallest” versions, the coupe and convertible, are more than 18 feet long. The Phantom sedan is even larger at over 19 feet, while the Extended Wheelbase version takes the cake at just under 20 feet in length. Phantom models boast plenty of wooden parts mixed with metal, and the Drophead Coupe convertible is inspired by J-class yachts of the 1930s and stands out with a massive rear teak deck. All feature rear-hinged doors, which look especially extravagant on coupe and convertible models as the driver and front-seat passenger enter and exit.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

As with other Rolls-Royces, the 2015 Phantom is typically bespoke, meaning it's customized to suit a buyer’s taste. What all owners can expect are an 8.8-inch color display, a LOGIC7 Surround Sound system and a central control module for infotainment features. LED headlights are standard, while a multi-camera system gives drivers a bird’s-eye view of the car when in reverse. Lambs-wool carpet and fine leather coddle passengers. But technology such as blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control – all of which can be found in the less expensive Rolls-Royce Ghost or a nice Kia – are absent in this $400,000 ultra-luxury car.

Optional Equipment

With a bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantom, what you want is limited to your imagination. From the charming trunk-mounted umbrellas to the elegant mother-of-pearl inlays, Rolls has a long list of ways to make each Phantom unique to its owner. Popular options include a rear-seat entertainment system with twin screens, picnic tables mounted to the backs of the front seats, and a Dynamic Package for the sedan that grants sportier performance. However, you won't find sophisticated technology such as a satellite-aided transmission and night-vision system offered on its Ghost and Wraith siblings, never mind the semi-autonomous driving features that dazzle in a Mercedes S-Class.

Under the Hood

All 2015 Rolls-Royce Phantoms 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.” Nowadays the British automaker doesn’t mind backing up that assertion with data: The Phantom sedan can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, while the coupe and convertible can do it in 5.6 seconds. These aren't the fastest figures, but are certainly swift for such a prodigious vehicle. 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 150 mph, and coupes go up to 155 mph. All models use a newer, 8-speed ZF automatic transmission.

6.75-liter V12
453 horsepower @ 5,350 rpm
531 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/19 mpg

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