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The grille has been treated to a subtle overhaul. Picture: SUPPLIED
The grille has been treated to a subtle overhaul. Picture: SUPPLIED

British luxury car maker Rolls-Royce has treated its eighth-generation Phantom saloon to something of a midlife refresh with various exterior and interior tweaks.

And perhaps most notable is the addition of a new Pantheon grille that makes the ‘RR’ Badge of Honour and iconic Spirit of Ecstasy mascot more prominent when viewed from the front. The grille itself is now illuminated (a feature that debuted on its slightly smaller Ghost sibling) while the headlamps now sport intricate laser-cut bezel starlights that add further visual excitement to the car's already impressive night-time presence.

In touching up the Phantom that was launched in 2017, Rolls-Royce says it has been guided by the requests of clients, who implored the company not to make any major changes to an already iconic motor car. Therefore only the lightest of design touches and embellishments have been incorporated.

Customers can now also choose to option the front grille and other assorted brightwork (bonnet finishers, windscreen surround and side frame finishers) in a dark chrome finish. 

The Phantom Series II also sees the debut of two exciting new 21-inch wheel designs. The first is a milled stainless steel wheel with striking triangular facets and a diamond-cut effect that is sure to appeal to aficionados of contemporary industrial design. The second is an elegant disc wheel similar to the ones used on Rolls-Royce cars of the 1920s. One for the “retrorists”, it’s available in either a polished stainless or black lacquer finish. 

Headlights are graced with intricate laser-cut bezel starlights. Picture: SUPPLIED
Headlights are graced with intricate laser-cut bezel starlights. Picture: SUPPLIED

Changes to the interior include the addition of a thicker steering wheel as well as the debut of seat upholstery called Phantom Platino. A sustainable alternative to leather, this textile is made by combining two differing fabrics. One is made in an Italian mill while the other is derived from bamboo fibres for an especially lustrous finish. Both share a repeating pattern based on an abstract interpretation of the Spirit of Ecstasy.

There’s also a new timepiece embedded in the centre of the dashboard that sports a unique 3D printed ceramic surround and a Starlight Headliner that — when paired with the Platino upholstery — houses a special star pattern designed to draw the eye rearward. Rolls-Royce also claims to have upped its already impressive personalisation game, meaning that there are myriad ways to customise the new Phantom to suit yourself.

Phantom Platino fabric brings a new level of aft-seat opulence. Picture: SUPPLIED
Phantom Platino fabric brings a new level of aft-seat opulence. Picture: SUPPLIED

Nothing has changed under the bonnet, meaning you get the same creamy-smooth twin-turbocharged 6.75l V12 engine making 420kW and 900Nm. When pressed, these numbers will see the Phantom sprint from 0-100km/h in 5.3 seconds. Top speed is limited to 250km/h because, well, anything quicker is rather vulgar, innit? 

Available in both standard and extended wheelbase derivatives, Rolls-Royce is yet to attach any official pricing to its new Phantom Series II, however you can expect it to be eye-wateringly expensive as the outgoing model started at £363,000 (roughly R7.1m). 


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