Every once in a while an opportunity arises for me to get behind the wheel of something rather special. In this instance, that ‘something’ is the new Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII – a car that redefines luxury and is, perhaps surprisingly, as enjoyable to drive as it is to be driven in.
Our first video focuses on the experience as a driver. Keep an eye open for our next in the series, which explores life in the back seat.
My preconception was that the ride would be smooth and quiet but nothing quite prepared me for just how cossetted the ride is; road bumps and noise are almost entirely eliminated. Gliding up the M1 was an absolute pleasure and even a queue behind a convoy of caravans failed to dampen my spirit. Acceleration is linear and the automatic ‘box delivers seamless changes – so much so, I had little idea what gear I was in much of the time. That said, with my right foot planted to the floor, the Phantom is astonishingly rapid. It’s a hefty vehicle but the 6.75 litre V12 delivers a 0-60 time of just over 5 seconds.
Another welcome surprise was just how easy the Phantom is to drive. The high driving position, heads-up display and driver assist systems combine for an effortless driving experience. Add to that the ‘Rolls-Royce effect’ – that feeling you get when you start up the engine and the Spirit of Ecstasy appears ahead of you; the feeling of being in a universally-admired car as onlookers wave and smile; and the feeling of having experienced something very special indeed that no other luxury car can compete with.