In the fall of 2022, Rolls-Royce, the storied marque from Goodwood, United Kingdom, launched the pinnacle of bespoke luxury motorcars, the eighth-generation Phantom, known as the Phantom Series II.
The Series II will be the last internal combustion engine Phantom model, as Rolls-Royce, like many other luxury brands, sets its sights on full-electrification (by the year 2030). Spectre will be the first full-electric Rolls-Royce when it “Rolls” out in the 2024 model year.
Key highlights for the new Series II, include:
- “Light-touch” visual and aesthetic enhancements in line with client requests and feedback
- A new “Rolls-Royce Connected” feature that links Phantom with the marque’s private member’s app, Whispers
- A new Bespoke model, the Phantom Platino
Why Phantom Series II?
“Phantom occupies an unrivaled position at the very apex of the luxury world. As our pinnacle product, it represents the very best of Rolls-Royce design, engineering, and craftsmanship – a perfect blend of vision, creativity, the finest materials, skill, patience, and precision. With Phantom Series II, we have retained and carefully protected everything our clients love about this superlative and luxurious item; subtle, yet meaningful enhancements reflect their evolving tastes and requirements.
Phantom has always been viewed as the ‘best car in the world’: our Bespoke capabilities mean that, for our clients, it can be the best car for their world, too,” – Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
Creating a Bespoke Legend
Work began on the Phantom Series II in 2017. In creating the new model, Rolls-Royce designers and engineers took into serious consideration requests of clients, who implored Rolls-Royce not to make any major changes to an already iconic motorcar. In answer to these client demands, only the lightest of design touches, embellishments, and adaptations have been incorporated. From the engineering and design perspective, the new model was not about what should be changed, but what should be preserved and protected.
A New Expression
The new model retains Phantom’s commanding presence, and is further enhanced by a new polished horizontal line between the daytime running lights, and a subtle, geometric change to the Pantheon Grille that makes the “RR” Badge of Honor and Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament more prominent when viewed from the front. The grille is now illuminated, and headlights are embued with laser-cut bezel starlights, creating a visual connection with the interior Starlight Headliner, and adding presence to Phantom’s night-time silhouette.
Phantom’s side profile retains Rolls-Royce’s signature short front and long rear overhang, long wheelbase and broad “C”-pillar, while preserving key lines running from the Spirit of Ecstasy to the tapered rear end.
The side profile is enhanced with a suite of new wheels. A 3D, milled, stainless steel wheel with triangular facets is available in a fully or part-polished finish. Our test Phantom was outfitted with disc wheels, a design feature of 1920’s Rolls-Royce motor cars. This disc wheel is produced in both polished stainless steel and black lacquer, adding a dramatic design touch to the overall stunning presence.
Responding to Phantom clients who previously requested a darkened chrome grille surround, black bonnet reins, windscreen surround and side frame finishers, these may now be commissioned.
Phantom’s interior remains almost unaltered: the steering wheel has been made slightly thicker, providing a more immediate point of contact for the driver.
The launch of the new Phantom includes the debut of “Rolls-Royce Connected,” featuring the private-member’s app Whispers. Whispers enables the owner to send an address directly to their Phantom, providing seamless navigation.
Rolls-Royce Connected also displays the vehicle’s location, security status and current “health” conditions on Whispers. Through the app, owners can contact a preferred dealership for any servicing requirements or information about their Rolls.
The Poles of Luxury
As Rolls-Royce’s pinnacle product, Phantom attracts an elite stratum of Rolls-Royce clients. It is no coincidence that Phantom attracts the most ambitious and challenging Bespoke commissions ever undertaken by Rolls-Royce.
The resulting creations − each an artistic masterpiece in its own right − illustrate the fact that since its inception, Phantom has always been whatever the client wants it to be; earning the “Best Car in the World” from leading auto-critics, including this auto writer.
Roll’s well-noted bespoke customization program (Bespoke Collective) sets the tone for every Phantom that leaves the Goodwood factory. There is no such thing as a “typical” Phantom, as the desires of each client span what Rolls-Royce calls “The Poles of Luxury,” reflecting owner commissions’ full spectrum of interests and influences.
According to Rolls-Royce, the challenge for the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective is to accommodate client desires through a blank canvas, capable of becoming whatever the client wishes it to be, and a true reflection of their individual style and character.
The “King” of Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke Collective is the new Phantom Platino, which offers, among many other ultra-luxe features, a hand-painted, hand-embroidered silk interior; a dashboard timepiece surround made from a 3D printed ceramic; and a custom Starlight Headliner with a unique design created to draw the eye rearwards, with shooting stars following the sweeping arc of the pattern.
Phantom in Las Vegas
The super opulent, Five-Star Wynn and Encore Resort Hotels served as home base for assembled media tasked with evaluating this superb vehicle. Pursuitist has visited many properties on the Las Vegas strip, and the Wynn and Encore rate at the top of our favorite Vegas properties list.
Wynn, don’t lose!
The Wynn’s spacious, standard accommodations offer 640-square-foot resort rooms bathed in warm, neutral hues, enhanced by floor-to-ceiling windows and a lighting design that highlights an ambient experience both day and night.
This new concept by Todd-Avery Lenahan, president and chief creative officer of Wynn Design & Development, starts with a reimagined layout, a fresh and inventive take that maximizes the space for sleeping, lounging, dining, and working. The redesign also highlights the escapist theme of Wynn’s updated rooms and suites, with serene, yet stylish environments that according to Lenahan, inspire “an exhale at the end of your day.” Soft peach hues are blended with splashes of gold, textured drapes, and wall coverings, and a hint of black enamel, resulting in a room that feels warm, intimate, and sophisticated.
Thoughtful details include larger vanities and dedicated shelves for guest belongings in the bathroom, a welcoming foyer with full-length mirrors and convenient hooks for garment bags and outerwear, and integrated outlets with USB ports at each bedside table for charging your devices. Dressers, TV credenzas, and minibars also have been transformed to ensure guests can unpack with ease and maximize their enjoyment of this retreat-like environment.
Completing the “Lux Double” is the Encore, the newest of the pair of Bronze Towers, which features all of the opulence of the Wynn, and takes it to the next level with larger, 740 square-foot rooms.
As a guest of either Wynn Las Vegas property, you’ll receive in-room Wi-Fi for up to four devices; access to fitness centers; access to resort pool and sundecks; a dedicated concierge offering special dining access, spa reservations and golf tee times; a digital newsstand of magazines and newspapers; Alexa in-room entertainment services and room controls; and parking.
During our stay, the Wynn team worked very closely with Rolls-Royce’s Gerry Spahn, Head of Communications for the Americas, to create dining experiences worthy of a Rolls-Royce Phantom owner. To say we were feted like high rollers at several in-house restaurants would be spot-on.
There are ten Fine Dining options in the complex: Casa Playa, Cipriani, Delilah, Lakeside, Mizumi, Mizumi Teppanyaki, Sinatra, SW Steakhouse, Tableau, and Wing Lei.
After a great multi-course dinner at Lakeside, we enjoyed after-dinner drinks at Delilah. The setting in Delilah was like a Vegas Nightclub back in the day, with live entertainment. The soloist with big band accompaniment was highlighted by dancing ladies on pedestals in Sinatra-Martin-Davis Jr.-style nightclub dress. It was very impressive, and the band was excellent.
There are also 11 casual dining options and eight bars and lounges, including my favorite-the Tower Suite Bar right at the entrance to a bank of private elevators to take me to my suite. The Tower Suite features comfortable sofas and low-slung lounge chairs and some of the nicest, always-there-for-you waitresses and bartenders I’ve ever experienced. Choose from the bar’s signature Old Fashioned, a glass of Champagne, or a selection from their Private Collection of more than 70 rare and small batch whiskeys. Cigar smoking is allowed in many Vegas properties, and the Tower Suite Bar is a fine location to light up your favorite, Cuban-seeded smoke.
Driving the Phantom Series II
Imagine walking out of the Wynn Las Vegas to a cadre of Rolls-Royce Phantoms. Even seasoned guests of the Wynn, who depending on guest profile and availability, were chauffeured from the Vegas airport to the Wynn in their private fleet of Phantoms, were gaga over the collection staged for our media drive.
For our drive, Phantoms in multiple color options were available, and I quickly selected a $651,450 Dark Emerald over Cashmere Grey example, fitted with $13,000 22-inch, Black-Painted Disc Wheels. The color combination was in a word, stunning.
The Valley of Fire
As one with Pursuitist goals would expect, our Phantom test drive took us on a route as spectacular as the vehicle itself. Our drive through the renowned Valley of Fire State Park was breathtaking.
The ancient history of the Valley of Fires began beneath the seas. But over a hundred million years ago, water levels receded, leaving behind massive sand dunes and sediment that morphed into Aztec sandstone.
Over time, the forces of nature and the winds of time combined to form the magnificent landforms we see today. And the results are breathtaking, with towering arches, colossal overlooks, and hidden passages. Around each corner is another sight to behold, a testament to the creative and destructive power of erosion.
Native Americans were the first to make their mark here, arriving in the area more than 10,000 years ago. Visitors to the park have the opportunity to view their petroglyphs, a type of ancient rock carving, that date back to prehistoric times. This artwork provides a fascinating glimpse into what life was like for these native people.
The area began to take its current form in the early 20th century, when the Arrowhead Trail was built between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. That made travel possible, and soon surveyors and onlookers found themselves captivated by the valley’s charm.
For those early visitors, the first impression was remarkable. Geological layers and intricate landforms highlighted the warmth of the Aztec sandstone and other minerals. One visitor who saw the land at sunset said the valley looked like it was on fire, and the name was born.
A growing reputation gave way to development, and Valley of Fire State Park opened in 1934. Today, the park consists of more than 40,000 acres of beautiful landscape, campgrounds, cabins, hiking trails, picnic areas, and a visitor center.
Phantom Road Manners
If you haven’t figured it out yet, power, style, and high luxury are the hallmarks of Phantom Series II ownership. To quell any road disturbances, Phantom coachwork is supported by a super rigid aluminum spaceframe structure. Vigorously press the accelerator, and effortless power emanates from the iconic 6.75-liter, twin-turbocharged V12 engine. Routed through a seamless eight-speed automatic transmission, 563 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque moves the near three-ton Phantom with aplomb. Phantom II’s Satellite Aided transmission can alert your Phantom when the road ahead will be steep or super curvy, and automatically adjust shift and performance parameters. Windshield-mounted cameras can sense road imperfections like potholes and adapt the suspension accordingly, lest you or your passengers would feel any ruffled behavior. Active Rear-Axle Steering and Cornering Brake control also assist with what may feel like an autonomous driving experience. It’s really that effortless.
Phantom Series II Interior
Inside the serenely-quiet Phantom Series II cabin, if it’s not standard or optional, then the Bespoke Collective can make it happen. Want commissioned artwork in your dashboard? There is a feature called The Gallery on the passenger front dash (fascia) that allows for the exhibition of art, photographs, or any special effect or feature that fits within The Gallery’s space. Above your head, you can commission the Starlight Headliner in any pattern or galaxy you desire. Rest assured, only the finest woods, leathers, and fine metals adorn the interior.
My test Phantom Series II carried a base price of $475,000, with a whopping $142,100 in bespoke options like the $22,500 Ruthenium Bloom Gallery fascia, inspired by the delicate contours of flowers. Roll’s talented artisans laser cut and engrave the geometric design into dual-finish ruthenium (a rare metal) coated layers.
“The Gallery” Bespoke Option
Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance
The final event of an amazing time spent with the good folks of Rolls-Royce and the Wynn Las Vegas was our attendance at the Third Annual Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance, hosted by Grand Marshall Jay Leno.
This year saw the first time the event was held at the Wynn Las Vegas, on the manicured fairways of the Wynn Golf Club, where over 230 show vehicles were displayed in 15 classes with everything from pre-war cars to supercars, and of course, luxury British Saloons from Rolls-Royce.
To welcome the crowd to the inaugural event, Grand Marshall Leno mused: “You’re very fortunate because the crowd will never be this small again. This is a world-class event at a world-class resort, I mean, this is doing it right. Hey, it’s Vegas—you’re not going to get this at Walmart Cars & Coffee!”
The climactic event of the 2022 Concours d’Elegance was the Tour d’Elegance, in which owners showcased Concours vehicles during a Sunday morning parade on the Las Vegas Strip.
What an experience! Thanks to Rolls-Royce and the team at the Wynn for the specially curated experience to help media and social influencers understand the lifestyle of the typical Rolls-Royce owner in Pursuit of the best!
Pursuitist automotive and lifestyle contributor Brian Armstead has been involved in print, radio, web and television for over 47 years. Brian has traveled to 79 countries. He is a North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year (NACTOY) Juror.