A white Rolls-Royce that’s not obnoxious although it has rocket parts on the dashboard

The Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII is the archetype of the full-size ultra-luxurious car to the extent that the car’s platform is known as ’Architecture of Luxury’. The ’Tranquility’ special edition model, of which just 25 will be made, is an ode to outer space and to man’s numerous attempts to reach it.

Since the launch of the Cullinan SUV last year, Rolls-Royce’s other models have somehow been overshadowed by the buff figure of the first high-riding Roller. Now, though, they’re back in the limelight at the Geneva Auto Show as the British manufacturer brings to Switzerland no less than three special edition models, the Black Badge Ghost, the Blue Badge Wraith and, finally, The Phantom Tranquility which is, undoubtedly the most astounding of the lot. It’s also a way for Rolls-Royce to announce the introduction of a new Bespoke program that can further personalize the Black Badge Ghost.

First there was Serenity and now we’re reaching Tranquility

2019 Rolls-Royce Phantom Tranquility
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Remember Rolls-Royce’s legendary ads from the ’50s claiming that, at 60 mph, the loudest thing inside one of its cars was the ticking of the clock?

Well, some six decades later not much has changed but the Phantom Tranquility delivers the message of a different kind of silence: that of outer space.

What’s a limo’s business with space? Well, if you ask me, Rolls-Royce has earned every right to talk about flying or outer space after decades of building jet engines so let’s see what the Tranquility has to say for itself or, rather, murmur for itself.

"Created for those who conceive and achieve the impossible, Tranquillity is an expression of Phantom’s standing as the rarest and most desired object in the luxury world," says Rolls-Royce in a statement. You decide how much of an overstatement that is but, for the record, Bugatti showed off under the same roof as Rolls-Royce a one-of-one model that found an owner for the ear-buzzing sum of $18.9 million. Meanwhile, Rolls-Royce will make 25 units of the Phantom Tranquility in either SWB or LWB specification.

2019 Rolls-Royce Phantom Tranquility
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Going back to the automaker’s appropriately posh press release, it says there that the Tranquility was named this way "to celebrate the feeling of euphoric tranquillity one achieves within the car," as opposed to the frightening silence that’s abounding in an anechoic chamber, I add.

Now, if you ask me, I think Rolls-Royce could’ve leveraged this name better than they did.

When I think of 'Tranquility' in the context of space, the first thing that springs into mind is Tranquility Base, the place where humans first landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969, during the Apollo 11 mission.

It would also fit within the whole NASA theme because the Phantom Tranquility is white with only the hood being black. I guess painting it black would’ve better symbolized the darkness of space but, then again, Rolls-Royce already had a black car slated for its stand in the shape of the Black Badge Ghost.

2019 Rolls-Royce Phantom Tranquility
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So, what’s different on the outside? Well, not much actually. As you might’ve guessed from the press release quotes, Rolls-Royce focused on making the interior unique rather than the exterior. It’s just a white Rolls-Royce with no discernible exterior tweaks compared to any other eighth-generation Phantom as designed by Pavle Trpinac. The latest Phantom is, of course, noticeable for its integrated Parthenon grille, a first on the Phantom but something that we’ve seen before on the Ghost, the Wraith and even the Phantom Drophead.

But that’s about as much modernity as you’ll get with the Phantom.

The body is still angular: the short front overhangs end with a vertical fascia adorned by a series of horizontal vents below the grille and two more below the rectangular headlights that are thinner than before.

The Phantom’s beltline is as tall as ever and it elegantly traverses the suicide doors (coach doors is how Rolls-Royce wants you to call them) and blends with the lower line of the trunk. The back end is very similar to previous Phantoms with the taillights disposed on the fenders that are clearly separated from the elevated central part of the car.

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The magic, then, resides inside the cabin. The steering wheel with its three short spokes and the lower center console look pretty familiar and, may I say, old-fashioned, but the center panel on the dash is what’s new. According to Rolls-Royce, the design is "inspired by the X-Ray coded aperture masks used on the British Skylark space rocket. High energy radiation passes over and through the distinctive perforated pattern, creating a coded shadow on the layers beneath." The Skylark rocket was a type of sounding rocket (a rocket that carries devices that can perform measurements and tests during its sub-orbital flight).

What is more, "the properties of the original radiation sources were mathematically reconstructed from this shadow and rendered in highly reflective stainless steel, 24-karat gold plating and space grade aluminum."

The end result is a multi-layer surface with rectangular openings littered across the passenger's side and the center console.

Also, the volume controller for the sound system features particles from a meteorite, namely the Muonionalusta meteorite, which fell to Earth in Kiruna, Sweden in 1906. The controller is complemented by a detailed engraving of the location and date of the meteorite’s discovery. The interior upholstery is a combination of Arctic White or Selby Grey leather and some gold accents like on the speaker covers. Rolls-Royce says that the gold elements harken back to the gold records carried by the Voyager satellites which were meant for intelligence extraterrestrials to find and examine to understand more about life on Earth at the time.

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All of this sounds nice but I’m left wondering if the people that buy the Phantom Tranquility won’t just get it because, well, it’s a rarer variety of an already exclusive vehicle and it’s white with gold inserts inside. Many people that can spend obscene amounts of money (a standard Phantom costs $452,750) on one of these would probably like to find real gold inside.

Another thing that doesn’t change in the case of this special edition Phantom is the engine. Under the elongated and crested hood, you’ll find the same monstrous 6.75-liter, twin-turbocharged, N74B68 V-12 engine built by BMW. The engine used to be unique to the Phantom but now you can also find it in the Cullinan, although in that application it only offers 627 pound-feet of torque instead of 664 pound-feet from 1,700 rpm like in the Phantom. However, power is the same: 563 horsepower at 5,000 rpm.

This is enough for a 5,643.8-pound Phantom SWB to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 5.3 seconds while the 8.6-inch-longer LWB version needs just 0.1 seconds more to reach 62 mph - because it weighs 110 extra pounds.

By comparison, the Ghost, equipped with the N74B66 version of the same V-12, gets from 0 to 62 mph in about 4.7 seconds in its original specification with 563 ponies and 575 pound-feet of torque. The Ghost V-Series with 593 horsepower is even quicker than that.

2019 Rolls-Royce Phantom Tranquility
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Now, I mentioned that before the Phantom Tranquility came the Phantom Serenity, another special edition model unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show in 2015 that was based on the previous-generation Phantom. The Serenity celebrates "the historical role played by silk as a symbol of ultimate elegance," and, as such, the interior is covered in Chinese hand-stitched silk. According to Autocar, the silk "was hand-dyed, before being sent back to Essex to one of Britain’s oldest mills. There, it was hand-woven into 10-meters of fabric, a process that took two days." On the roof lining and the door panels, you’ll find typical Chinese motifs that should teleport you to the lush gardens of Chinese emperors from by-gone eras. It has nothing to do with exploring outer space but it does aim to make the occupants feel calm and serene, only through a completely different way of personalizing the inner premises.

Rolls Royce Phantom Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 6.75-liter V-12
Horsepower 563 HP
Torque 663 LB-FT @ 1,700 RPM
Transmission ZF 8-Speed gearbox
0 to 60 mph 5 seconds (est.)
Top Speed 155 mph

Further reading

2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2018 Rolls Royce Phantom.

Rolls Royce Ghost Black Badge High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge

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