Even though the Rolls-Royce Phantom launched in 2003, and received its first raft of major revisions in 2012, it is still one of the largest cars on the road.

Its aluminium spaceframe and panels aid stiffness and lightness. Air springs are obligatory on a car of this size and weight where ride comfort is paramount. The brakes are vast; 374mm diameter discs at the front and 370mm in diameter at the back. 

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Editor-at-large
The attention to detail in the Phantom is beyond reproach

The engine is a 6.75-litre development of the direct injection, all-alloy, 48-valve, 60deg V12 fitted to the BMW 760iL. Peak power is 453bhp and peak torque 531lb ft; it goes to the rear wheels through a new eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Save for its size and rear-hinged rear doors there’s little novel about the Phantom’s design and engineering but it’s a very modern luxury car.

Changes made in 2012 ensured that it stayed looking that way. The Series II sees the awkward round main headlights replaced by two rectangular LED units, two new alloy wheel options and a new rear bumper. Only the biggest Rolls enthusiasts will notice the minor changes to the brightwork.

What remains is Rolls-Royce’s astonishing attention to detail: the paint you see is the result of at least five coats of colour, each sanded by hand before the next is applied. If you specify coach stripes, they’re applied by hand using a squirrel and ox-hair brush. 

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