Rolls-Royce Phantom II : First Drive
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It takes 60 pair of hands and over 450 hours to design, construct and craft a single Rolls-Royce Car. Considering the fact that Rolls-Royce still continues the fine tradition established by the coach building industry eons ago in terms of affording a meticulous finish on each machine, these numbers are hardly staggering however they speak volumes in terms of establishing just how high the pedestal for finesse is set at. Each car is a masterpiece and the flagship model, namely the Phantom, is the epitome of perfection that seamlessly marries tradition, technology and opulence into the most desirable set of four wheels that man can strive for.
Incidentally the Phantom was launched in 2003 and it has been a little over a decade that the car has been in production and gone on to do some serious numbers for Rolls-Royce across the globe, however with technology and expectations changing at a staggering pace, Rolls-Royce couldn’t just sit still and rest on the laurels of the brand. A change was in the making, but this being a Rolls-Royce meant that the change had to be at par with the very DNA of the brand, not just some nip and tuck with chrome tossed in for good measure-that would be sacrilege! Going back to the maxim established by Henry Royce, Rolls-Royce once again set out to take the best that exists and make it better. The result of which is the Phantom II.
The changes in exterior design are immediately apparent when you look at the Phantom II head on. The saloon now features a more rectangular shape and while the predecessor had rectangle headlights, the newer ones are sleeker and further accentuated by the indicator strip set right below, unlike the round units on the earlier car. The headlamp cluster itself is a work of art and is composed of LEDs which Rolls-Royce has used to their advantage as the technology offers a better way to manage the manner in which the light is projected. Not only do you get a white light for better visibility, the adaptive headlamps automatically change beam patterns according to driving conditions.
At lower speeds, light is dispersed in a wide pattern, while at speeds in excess of 50km/h the beam becomes narrower and more focused on the road. The light beam also rotates up to 15 degrees in the direction of the steering in order to better illuminate the intended line of travel. Other changes on the Phantom II include a new front and rear bumper and a choice new alloy designs for the large 21 inch wheels. Of course the majestic Pantheon grille and the Spirit of Ecstasy remain unchanged; however the Phantom II does get a new single piece grille surround, which has earlier been seen on the Phantom Drophead Coupe. The silhouette remains the same, including the long hood, set back passenger cabin and the sheer height and size of the car. The lines are timeless on this beauty, and though it has received some clever tweaks, the design is still a decade old yet looks amazingly fresh.