MotorTrend gets behind the wheel of newly refreshed Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II. The facelifted Phantom brings out a striking new front-end, with re-styled bumpers and rectangular light apertures.
Rolls-Royce is the first high-end luxury automaker to include full LED headlamps as standard on a production car. As well as delivering a characteristic whiter light, augmenting safety and preventing driver tiredness, these allow for the introduction of new technologies that better control lighting.
In the power department, the Phantom Series II gets a new 8-speed automatic gearbox and rear differential complementing the V12 direct injection engine. Fuel consumption improves by 10 per cent on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions fall from 388 to 347 g/km as a consequence.
Let’s have a look at an excerpt from their review:
There is one big, significant interior change: the latest version of BMW’s iDrive is now standard in all Phantoms. The now very good version of iDrive replaces the totally antiquated (and rightly despised) old version found in the old Phantoms, the single biggest customer complaint according to Rolls-Royce.
It’s very clear that Rolls-Royce doesn’t think anything competes with the Phantom, and that if it does have any competition, the Mulsanne competes with their “cheaper” car, the Ghost. Being one of the lucky few on earth who has spent time in both the Mulsanne and the new Series II Phantom, I have a different opinion. The four-door Phantom is the car to be driven in, especially if you can weasel your way into the back of one of them extended wheelbasers (base price, $475,295). But driving the new Phantom? Honestly, it’s not thrilling. Though I suppose that’s not really the point. There’s plenty of play (and Novocain) in the steering, and the cabin is eerily quiet — so serene and so isolated that you can almost hear your own heart beating. Honestly, with the radio off it’s a little spooky.
The whole time I was behind the wheel, I felt like a chauffeur. Which, I suppose, is the entire point. That’s even with the new-to-the-four-door (though carryover from the two-door) sport suspension and throttle mapping turned on via an S button on the wheel. There’s also a new (to Phantom) eight-speed ZF transmission that replaces the old six-speed unit and uses slightly less fuel. The transmission is now somehow even quieter and less perceptible when it shifts gears. If a fortress of solitude is what you’re after, think Phantom Saloon, though driving-wise there’s not much difference between the new one and the old. The direct-injected 6.75-liter V-12 remains the same. Power is still “adequate.” So much so that no one from Rolls mentioned the power output even once (if you’re boorish enough to ask, 453 horsepower and 531 lb-ft of torque) We’d have to compare them back-to-back to say for certain, but I’d say the Mulsanne is the preferred driving enthusiast’s high-lux four-door. And that’s been true since the big Bentley debuted. Hell, that’s been true since the 1930s.