The all-new Rolls-Royce Phantom has made its first appearance in Malaysia, one of the few countries in the world where the car is being displayed right after it made its global debut in July this year. Unveiled at Roll-Royce Kuala Lumpur, the new Phantom is the 8th generation of the model which has a lineage going back to 1925. Over the past 92 years, it has been regarded as the ‘ultimate ceremonial chariot’, conveying some of the world’s most influential men and women to defining moments in history.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony this morning Dato’ Michael Ong, MD of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Kuala Lumpur and Executive Director of the Quill Group of Companies said: “The Phantom has always been a sign of success and a symbol of authority in Malaysia. The New Phantom is the latest iteration of the revered flagship of the Rolls-Royce brand, with bold yet elegant design underpinned by engineering attention to detail. It is a moving showcase of luxury, world-class technology and handcrafted quality. It will undoubtedly set the new benchmark for the best in authentic, bespoke luxury.”

Cutting-edge innovations include a new exclusive ‘Architecture of Luxury’, an all-aluminium spaceframe which will be used for every future Rolls-Royce; numerous enhancements in technology, drivetrain and driver assistance systems to produce a peerless ‘magic carpet ride’; and a new, world-first ‘Gallery’ that allows owners to personalise a moving art piece.

In its latest generation, the new Phantom offers a thoroughly contemporary design interpretation of Rolls-Royce DNA – one that symbolizes sheer power of presence. The new spaceframe, exclusive to Rolls-Royce (meaning the BMW brand will not use it) is lighter yet the body structure is 30% more rigid than its predecessor’s.

A next generation 4-corner air suspension system, state-of-the-art chassis control systems, 130 kgs of sound insulation, double-laminated glass and dual-skin alloys across the bulkhead ensure that the limousine continues to be the pinnacle of comfort and quietness.

In fact, when acoustic test engineers reviewed the results of road and vibration tests, the sound levels were so low they had to check if their instruments were calibrated correctly! This brings to mind the famous advertisement for the brand in 1960 which had the headline: ‘At 60 mph, the loudest noise in the new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock’, written by David Ogilvy.

An all-new, 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V12 petrol engine produces 563 bhp with 900 Nm of torque available from just 1700 rpm. This enormous output, flowing through an 8-speed satellite-aided transmission, makes it possible for the 2,560-kg (2,610 kgs for extended wheelbase variant) car to accelerate from standstill to 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 250 km/h.

Among the many advanced features is the ‘Flagbearer’ – a stereo camera system integrated in the windscreen that sees the road ahead and adjusts the suspension proactively. The headlights are equipped with the latest laser light technology, providing powerful illumination that reaches up to 600 metres ahead.

Customers can have virtually any material they want in the Phantom but for those who just cannot decide, the interior designers of Rolls-Royce have chosen a selection of fine leathers and veneers thoughtfully placed throughout the interior which makes it akin to entering a luxury hotel suite. Technology is discreetly hidden throughout the car until required, leaving only the visual majesty of wood, leather and billeted metal for all to admire. A curated selection of rear seating options is available, from lounge to individual formats. And once inside, the doors can be electrically closed from the outside via touch-sensitive door handles.

The ‘Gallery’ is a wholly contemporary and luxury reinterpretation of a car’s dashboard and instrument panel that faces the front occupants. An application of glass runs uninterrupted across the fascia, providing an unprecedented opportunity to present commissioned artwork. The initiative has come from an understanding that the many of the marque’s patrons are increasingly collectors of fine and contemporary art.

It is expected that every Phantom customer will have personal requirements so no two will be the same. The company offers 44,000 exterior colours but customers can also have a unique colour replicated (as some owners do). The Bespoke department will satisfy just about any request, so long as it does not affect safety.

Pricing in Malaysia for the Phantom with a standard wheelbase (3552 mm) starts from RM2.2 million, while the extended wheelbase variant (3772 mm) is priced from RM2.5 million (both prices excluding applicable taxes). Of course, the final price a customer will pay depends on the level of personalisation specified.

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[Chips Yap]

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