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Geneva show: Rolls-Royce unveils Series II Phantom

See and be seen: The Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II - shown on the stand in Geneva - is the world’s first production car to be fitted with LED headlights as standard.

Conservative restyle hides comprehensive technology updates to Rolls-Royce Phantom

7 Mar 2012

ROLLS-ROYCE unveiled a revised Series II version of its super-luxury Phantom limousine, coupe and convertible range at the Geneva motor show this week.

To the casual observer, there is little to differentiate the new Phantom from the 2003 original, but the evolutionary external styling of the Series II hides the most comprehensive update to the model since it was first launched.

Greg Duncan, executive chairman of Australian Rolls-Royce importer Trivett, told GoAuto the first two examples – a sedan and a Drophead – are on order for dealer display and will arrive in Australia within two or three months, after which customer cars will be built to order.

He also said that, although there will be a world-wide price increase on the facelifted Phantom range, Trivett will be passing on the benefit of the strong Australian dollar to customers by not raising Phantom prices.

The Phantom currently starts at $1,068,000 (plus on-road costs) for the standard-wheelbase sedan and Mr Duncan said the Aussie dollar will also benefit customers of the new Ghost Extended Wheelbase (EWB) limousine that will be launched in Australia this month.

50 center imageAs GoAuto reported when it was unveiled at Shanghai last April, overseas pricing suggests the Ghost EWB will cost around $50,000 more than the $645,000 standard car.

Most of the Phantom Series II changes are under the skin or inside the cabin, but most noticeable are the new LED headlights and Ghost-like rectangular light strips the replace the old circular fog-lights above the remodelled bumpers.

The new Phantom is the world’s first car to offer LED headlight technology as standard and the units project a purer white light onto the road, which is claimed to reduce driver fatigue.

Electronically controlled reflectors adjust the LED beam’s focus when cornering and according to road speed.

Between the carryover V12 engine and the rear wheels are a new eight-speed automatic transmission and revised differential that help reduce combined fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by around 10 per cent, to 14.5 litres per 100 kilometres and 347 grams per kilometre respectively.

Inside, Rolls-Royce has updated the interface for the multi-function display, which is enlarged to 8.8 inches, has eight programmable function shortcuts and shows three-dimensional satellite-navigation maps with landscape topography.

A full complement of external cameras provide front, rear and bird’s-eye views to ease parking of this automotive giant.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos described the original Phantom as having established the benchmark in automotive luxury.

“These cars are timeless in their appeal, but technology moves rapidly and we cannot afford to stand still,” he said.

“We will continue to present with pride the best motor cars in the world, which re-confirm Rolls-Royce’s position at the very pinnacle of the ultra-luxury goods marketplace.”

The new Phantom and Ghost EWB should help lift Rolls-Royce sales in Australia, which were down 20 per cent last year to 20 units.

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