While the elegance of the Rolls-Royce Phantom may seem timeless to many of us, it’s been nine years since the car was launched in 2003. So following the advice from the first half of the 20th century, by company founder Sir Henry Royce, who famously urged his employees to strive for perfection in all that they did, he encouraged them “to take the best that exists and make it better”.
Today Rolls-Royce has unveiled the Phantom Series II at the 2012 Geneva auto show.
The updates will be reflected in the Phantom Sedan, Drophead Coupé and Coupé. They feature significant improvements in design, drivetrain and technology. This includes LED lighting in the Phantom’s new front-end, with re-styled bumpers and rectangular light apertures. In fact, Rolls-Royce claims to be the first to include full LED headlamps as standard on a production car. As well as delivering whiter light, they allow the introduction of new technologies that control lighting better.
Curve light functionality, for example, uses electronically-controlled reflectors to focus headlamp beams in the direction of travel, providing greater illumination when cornering. Adaptive headlamps change the cone of light projected onto a road in response to different driving speeds.
New driver assistance technologies and a modern interface with re-designed multi-media controller have been introduced. The new satellite navigation system has been updated with functions that include 3D maps with landscape topography, guided tours and enhanced points of interest, as well as composite route planning.
Information, maps and video content are presented on Phantom’s larger 8.8” control display, a feature underlined by eight programmable bookmarks presenting access to key functions at a driver’s fingertips. Front, rear and top-view camera systems augment the ease of manoeuvring. When reverse parking, for example, rear path prediction automatically deploys on the screen.
A new eight-speed BMW automatic transmission and rear differential enhance the driving dynamics, complementing the V12 direct-injection engine. Fuel consumption is improved by 10 per cent on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions fall as a consequence.