Rolls Royce took everyone by surprise at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show when they unveiled the new Phantom Series II, the facelift version of their high end sedan. But this was a refresher that needed to be done, not because the car itself needed it, but because Maybach’s demise left an opening in the segment and Rolls Royce needed to remind everyone who should take that piece of the pie. If not, Bentley would move right on in.
The new Rolls Royce Phantom Series II has received a few cosmetic updates to distinguish it from the first generation launched back in 2003, but also comes with the introduction of cutting-edge technology, enhancements to an already peerless drive-train, and improvements in connectivity that reflect the changing world in which we live.
Exterior changes include redesigned bumpers and a new set of full LED headlights, while the interior added new 3D maps with landscape topography. The V12 engine has also been improved and now offers a 10% improvement in fuel economy. The engine is also now combined with a new 8-speed automatic gearbox and rear differential.
UPDATE 03/06/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images of the Rolls Royce Phantom Series II.
Hit the jump to read more about the new Rolls Royce Phantom Series II.
The Phantom Series II has received a few exterior improvements that will provide it with a more modern appearance, but retain the essence of the Phantom. At the front of the limousine is the famous Pantheon grille, while the side profile shows off the long rear over-hang and classic two-to-one wheel to body height present in all of the Phantom family members. Rolls Royce has also opted for new rectangular light apertures and re-designed front bumpers, as well as a new rear bumper incorporating a polished stainless steel highlight. The car will be offered with a choice of three new wheels, including painted, part-polished, and polished, with sizes going up to 21" - the largest fitted as standard to any production car.
Being a luxury car, the new Phantom Series II combines the finest wood, chrome, and leather. The rear seats were elevated by 18 mm and, for both front and rear seats, the flutes have been reduced from five to three mm.
There are also two new monitors within veneered picnic tables for rear seat passengers which are linked to a multi-media player, mounted in a compartment at the rear of the center console. The control center display has been increased from 6.5 to 8.8 inches. The telephone cradle has been replaced by a standard fit smart phone cradle which connects directly into the car antennae and 3D maps with landscape topography provide all the info you will need during a journey.
The Rolls Royce Phantom Series II is powered by the usual hand-assembled, naturally aspirated 6.75 liter V12 engine that develops 453 HP at 5,350 rpm and 531 lb-ft of torque - delivered between 1,000 and 3,000 rpm. This engine will sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds and up to a top speed of 149 mph. It is mated to a new 8-speed auto ZF-gearbox that is electronically controlled to manage the extraordinary power delivered by the V12 power plant. The longer ratio in the new rear differential compensates shorter ratios in some gears of the new 8-speed gearbox, maintaining the same engine speed to augment ‘waftability’, while improving fuel economy. And the result was as expected: fuel economy was improved by 10% on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions fall from 385 to 347g/km.
Prices for the new Rolls Royce Phantom Series II will be announced closer to its market launch.
Now that Maybach is officially out, the only real competitor for the Rolls Royce Phantom Series II is still the Bentley Mulsanne. The British limousine is powered by a V8 engine that delivers a total of 505 HP and 752 lb-ft of torque. It sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds and has the advantage of being offered without a top speed limiter so it can hit a top speed of 184 mph.
Reduced fuel economy
Top speed limiter
Bentley is on attack for Maybach’s piece of the pie