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Rolls Royce Phantom 

Broadcast dates : 10th July 2005
16th July 2005


The Phantom certainly looks like a cruiser, but there’s a hint of bruiser in there too. The sheer size and massive wheels stamp their authority on a design dominated by that almost-brutal front end.

Rolls Royce is arguably the most famous car brand in the world. BMW was well aware of this when it took ownership of the marque, and the management at Munich was not about to be coy about its prized acquisition in designing the new Phantom.

The styling of the wheels echoes the massive rims fitted to the largest car ever made, the Bugatti Royale of the late 1920s.

The abundant stainless steel trim also harkens back to a by-gone era when no expense was spared on craftsmanship or quality, not to mention a celebration of opulence.

The interior is an amalgam of Gentleman’s-Club tradition and aircraft-like modernity.

The finest wood paneling was always going to be a hallmark of the Phantom, as well as top-quality stainless steel switch-gear. The difficult trick that the makers have pulled off is to combine classic instrumentation and controls with modern features like cruise-control and I-Drive, without making it look contrived.

A double floor provides further cosseting, and double-wishbone and multi-link suspension provides the driver with enough control to please even the most demanding of madams.
Rolls Royces have traditionally been driven by chauffeurs with a maximum regard for their employer’s comfort. This means a sedate pace in the suburbs that is eminently appropriate.

To ensure a graceful passage, the exhaust is valve-adjustable to be quieter at low speeds.

The sheer bulk of this 2,5 ton, 5,8 metre monster vehicle means a bit of pre-planning when it comes to maneuvering and parking. But that’s not a problem at Rolls Royce’s South African headquarters, located at the Saxon Hotel in Sandton.

Well-schooled Rolls Royce chauffeurs simply enhance the impression of discreet good manners
.

If the Rolls is called upon to giddy-up, the engine will not let the side down.

The powerplant is an enlarged version of BMW’s six-litre V12 and develops some 340 kilowatts.

Gone are the days when Rolls Royce merely quoted its horsepower figure as "adequate." If you’ve got it, why not flaunt it?

"The Spirit of Ecstasy" is the name given to the Rolls Royce mascot, and the floating R-R hubcaps don't rotate with the wheel but keep the logo upright.

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