A NEW Rolls Royce is still something to get excited about. It doesn’t happen very often and, when it does, you can be sure the result will be impressive.

From the moment Sir Henry Royce introduced the Rolls-Royce Phantom in 1925 it was judged ‘The Best Car in the World’ by the cognoscenti. A Phantom has conveyed some of the world’s most influential and powerful men and women to the most defining historical moments over the past 92 years.

Every new Phantom that has subsequently appeared has claimed the title of ‘Best Car in the World’ – and they often deserved the epithet.

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Last week Rolls bosses took the wraps off the new Phantom – the eighth generation of this great nameplate – arrives. As the next chapter in the Rolls-Royce story opens, the new Phantom points the way forward for the global luxury automobile industry.

Contrary to how other luxury manufacturers try to realise economies of scale by sharing platforms with mass market models, Rolls-Royce concluded that the future of true luxury lies in true small-volume manufacture of a dedicated ‘Architecture of Luxury’.

Philip Koehn, Rolls’ director of engineering, explains: “Key to Rolls-Royce realising its vision of being the world’s leading luxury brand, today and in the future, is an architecture that spans the entire Rolls-Royce family. The Architecture of Luxury will carry every future Rolls-Royce, not just the new Phantom. Project Cullinan and eventually the next Ghost, Wraith, Dawn will ride on this architecture, as well as future coach-built projects.”

The so-called Architecture of Luxury is an all-aluminium spaceframe that is 30 per cent stiffer than the out-going Phantom’s chassis. No future Rolls-Royce will utilise monocoque construction as used by mass-manufacturers and some mass-luxury brands.

It has been designed and engineered from the ground up in such a way as to be scalable to the size and weight requirements of different future Rolls-Royce models, including those with different propulsion, traction and control systems, thus underpinning the long-term future product roadmap.

Rolls-Royce’s celebrated Magic Carpet Ride improves as a result of the lighter architecture combined with the latest generation of self-levelling air suspension. The suspension makes millions of calculations every second as it continuously varies the electronically controlled shock absorber adjustment system – reacting to body and wheel acceleration, steering inputs and camera information. A stereo camera integrated in the windscreen scans the road ahead and adjusts suspension proactively rather than reactively up to 62mph. Rolls calls this system the Flagbearer after those men who were required by law to carry a red flag ahead of early motor cars.

Of course, this comfort is worthless if it doesn’t go hand-in-hand with peerless refinement so Rolls has spared no expense, including double-glazing, more than 130kg of sound insulation and a double skin in key areas including the bulkhead (which otherwise transmits the engine’s noise, vibration and harshness into the cabin).

Rolls-Royce also worked closely with its tyre supplier to invent ‘Silent-Seal' tires – which feature a specific foam layer placed inside the tyre to wipe out tyre cavity noise and reduce overall tyre noise by 9db, meaning that conversation within the car is completely effortless.

The Phantom is approximately ten per cent quieter than its predecessor at 62mph. Indeed, when Rolls-Royce’s acoustic test engineer first reviewed results of road and vibration tests, the sound levels were so low they had to check their instruments were calibrated correctly.

The new Phantom also benefits from a completely new engine.

With the focus on creating the most silent motor car in the world, a completely silent engine was also required, and that meant more low-end output at lower revs to ensure that silence. Hence a completely new, 6.75-litre V12 powertrain has been engineered for in place of the previous naturally aspirated V12 engine.

The new V12 employs two turbo chargers that contribute to a low-end torque output of 900Nm at an incredibly low 1,700rpm while also delivering 563bhp, resulting in calm low speed progress associated with state occasions and a surge of power when one needs to press on.

Naturally, the Phantom is a high-tech tour de force. Among the systems on board are: Alertness Assistant, a 4-camera system with Panoramic View, all-round visibility including helicopter view, Night Vision and Vision Assist, Active Cruise Control, collision warning, pedestrian warning, cross-traffic warning, lane departure and lane change warning, an industry leading 7x3 high-resolution head-up display, WiFi hotspot, and of course the latest navigation and entertainment systems.

When BMW bought Rolls-Royce almost 20 years ago some critics asked if the marque’s unique qualities would be lost. Since then the company has launched the Phantom VII, the Ghost and the Wraith, each one a true Rolls-Royce.

The new Phantom marks an exciting new chapter in the story of the world’s most exclusive motor car company.