Rolls-Royce New 2018 Phantom Extended Wheelbase launched at 11.35 crores! - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Rolls-Royce New 2018 Phantom Extended Wheelbase launched at 11.35 crores!

Rolls Royce has launched its flagship New Phantom EW (Extended Wheelbase) in Chennai in front of a select media invitees. I happened to be one of them and got to witness the launch up close from the first row. This is the closest I have ever got to a Rolls Royce and this post brings you all the insights from the launch.

Rolls Royce is the ultimate name in luxury cars- there are faster cars like Bugati but none as spacious and luxurious as a Rolls Royce.

Let me tell you about some of its unique features
1. Suicide Door: The rear door, which hinges on c pillar and opens in opposite direction compared to other cars, is popularly known as Suicide door. I asked RR staff why it is called so. He beautifully explained the purpose- both doors opening simultaneously creates ample space for the VVIP owner to enter and exit. The door protects the rear passenger from the mob and he/she can directly step on to the red carpet. But he couldn’t explain the reason for the term ‘suicide door’- I am guessing it is not an official name given by RR, just that it got popular among fans and doesn’t really have an explanation. After some additional googling, I found the answer on Guardian- during their early days, these doors would automatically spring open when car is in motion, due to factors like wind etc. Anyone who tries to hold them faced a risk of being thrown out of the car, thus the name Suicide door was given.

2. Tire selection: Rolls Royce says they have tested 180 different tires before deciding the best tire for the Phantom. 

3: Absolute silence! Rolls Royce says about 130 kgs of insulation material is used to ensure that engine noise doesn’t enter cabin and claim the new Phantom is 10% less noisier than its predecessor. There is a popular saying- inside a Rolls Royce, at 160 miles per hour, the only sound you will hear will be the tik tik sound of your electronic watch!

4. The headlight of Rolls Royce Phantom is laser beam and can illuminate road up to 600 meters ahead. It wasn't clear if the headlamp assembly gets matrix feature (to selectively switch off in order to avoid blinding driver coming in opposite direction) I am guessing it is- if not certainly it can be had for few thousand extra dollars.
5. New lighter and rigid frame: The 2018 Rolls Royce Phantom is built on a new spaceframe, which is lighter and still 30% more rigid. All new RR cars will use this spaceframe. Couldn't spot any mention of carbon fibre in the press release

6. The Engine: Rolls Royce Phantom comes equipped with a 6.75 litre twin turbo V12 engine that can pull the 2.6 ton beast from 0 to 100 kmph in 5.4 seconds flat. Top speed of Rolls Royce Phantom is electronically limited to 250 kmph. New Phantom produces 563 horsepower and 900 Nm of torque at just 1700 rpm. Just for comparison, Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse produces 1200 PS power and 1500 Nm torque at 3000-5000 rpm. But Bugatti is a 2 seater, low ground clearance sports car, not a luxury suit that Phantom is.

7. Auto adjusting suspension- Phantom is equipped with a Flagbearer camera system that can see the road ahead and adjust the suspension accordingly.

8 Gallery- Phantom has special provisions to display a range of artwork, of its owner's choice.

9 The Rolls Royce Insignia- The Spirit of Ecstasy
Most manufacturers, like Jaguar, Mercedes Benz who had their logo/emblem on the bonnet are slowly moving away from the same, because having a protruding metal structure on the bonnet compromises aerodynamics of the car and often can't survive long. But Rolls Royce maintains its insignia of the spirit of Ecstasy to this date. It is now integrated well into the front grill and sturdier enough to sustain the high speeds in which the Phantom may be driven. The statue is of a women stretching her arms, with her cloths positioned as wings.

The tail lamp is kept simple, unlike some manufacturers who keep the lights from one end to another. The rear is largely unassuming, plain and simple.

10. The previous Phantoms were numbered V, VI, VII, VII. I asked if this one has a number associated with it. Rolls Royce management told officially the number is VIII (8) but they would prefer to call it the new Phantom, without the number.

11. The Extended Wheelbase version is 22 cm longer than the standard Phantom and costs 11.35 crores or 1.85 crore more than the regular Phantom. That is 8.4 lakh rupees per extra centimeter!

12. Pricing: All Rolls Royce are produced at only 1 place in England- Goodwood. They don’t have any manufacturing/assembly plant anywhere else in the world. Thus all Rolls Royce are shipped CBU, costing almost 100% tax in India. One of the reasons why the price is very high in India. Ex showroom price for New Rolls Royce Phantom standard wheelbase is 9.5 crores and extended wheelbase is 11.35 crores. On Road price will be some 20-25% extra, at around 12 to 15 crores I am guessing, more if you want additional optional features or extensive customization.

13. Colours: Rolls Royce customers can chose from 44000 possible colour options and request customized designs. If I had the money, may be I would ask them to install a tender coconut water dispenser.

The inside:
Inside of Rolls Royce Phantom contains every conceivable luxury. The second row, where the owner would sit most of the time, gets television, electrically adjustable footrest, ample space, a multi functional central arm rest and door handle and so on

Below: controls on the second row door handle

Below- Second row AC vent and second row multi functional arm rest.

One the first row, instrument cluster feels a bit old school, but the super rich who would mostly sit behind won't care I guess.
 Headlamp adjustment and other controls near the driver
Below- Rolls-Royce Management at the Chennai launch. From the left- Vasanti Bhupathi, MD, Rolls Royce cars Chennai (Kun Exclusive) and Paul Harris, Asia Pacific Regional director for Rolls Royce.
Other Rolls-Royce cars: 
Rolls-Royce portfolio in India includes Dawn, Wraith and Ghost, besides the Phantom standard and extended wheelbases.They even have introduced an SUV named Cullinan.

Rolls-Royce is part of BMW group of companies(earlier it was part of VW-here's an interesting story on the ownership of RR). In Chennai, the cars are imported, sold and supported by Kun Exclusive. Though not officially acknowledged, Rolls Royce is believed to have an evaluation criteria to decide if a customer is worthy of buying a Rolls Royce. If a prospect, though financially well off, is believed not to have enough status/credibility, then RR might even refuse to sell a Rolls Royce. Again, this is just a rumor, not known officially.  There is an unverified legend that in 1920 Maharaja of Alwar who was visitinged London was refused entry into Rolls Royce showroom, as he was wearing ordinary cloths. Enraged, Maharaja went back to his hotel and got a visit to showroom arrange in full royal style. He bought all available cars- 6 of them, arranged their transportation to India and once back that the Rolls Royce be converted into a garbage truck.[Source]
Above: see the body line on the bonnet
Below: This reflector lighting on the side of Phantom sort of intrigues me.
Media kit included some photos of the new Phantom shot at Intercontinental Chennai resort. Few of them below for quick reference
Each Rolls-Royce car is custom built to owner's preferences. You can even ask for a factory visit, which will be arranged- you can visit the Rolls-Royce factory in Goodwood UK and see your car being built. World's finest materials and best possible technology comes together as a unique masterpiece that owners cherish and flaunt, something that a vast majority can only dream about. Each service of these 10 crore plus cars can cost its owners in the range of 10 to 15 lakhs INR.

Watch a 2 min video of Phantom's unveiling in Chennai [Watch on Youtube]

Similar: 10 super cool features in ultra luxury cars * 10 most luxurious cars you can rent and drive in Bengaluru *

Note- if you wish to rent a rolls Royce phantom, Ramesh Tours and Travels in Bengaluru can rent you one. Check
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