Combine the two though – hand-built
quality with the intelligent assistance and quality assurance of the
latest technology – and it is possible to produce a hand-built car
that is right first time, every time. This is one of the
things which makes the Rolls-Royce Phantom such a special motor car.
liter V -12
|| 453 BHP
|| 3.2 liters
(195 cu. in.)
|| 531 lb-ft @
lbs ( 2485 kg)
Acceleration 0-60 mph
|| 5.7 sec.
|| 149 mph
Aluminum Space Frame
aluminium space frame is the largest of its kind ever built for
automotive use. Made up of more than 200 extruded aluminium profiles
and 300 sheet parts, it combines low weight with extreme strength.
The whole bodyshell weighs just 550 kg yet has a torsional rigidity
of more than 40,000 Nm/degree – making it at least twice as stiff
as any previous Rolls-Royce.
Each frame has
120 metres of welds at over 2,000 separate points, every one
completed by hand. The weld at the rear C pillar alone is almost 2
feet long. The expertise of the highly specialised team, based at
Dingolfing, combined with state-of-the-art measuring equipment means
that the entire body is constructed to within a plus / minus
tolerance of just 0.1mm (0.004in). This level of accuracy allows the
coach doors, for example, to clear each other by just 2.7 mm.
The driveline of the
new Phantom is unique to Rolls-Royce, delivering all the virtues and
traditional characteristics of a Rolls-Royce engine, and making use
of the latest engineering technology. A Rolls-Royce motor car has a
specific type of performance which has been referred to as “waftability“.
This means a powerful performance without apparent effort or
disturbance to the driver and passengers. To deliver this the power
unit needs to produce tremendous levels of torque, extremely
smoothly, whatever the engine speed, but especially at low revs.
Each engine is
hand-built by a team of specialists based in Munich, in the same
facility where the BMW M Series engines are produced. Hand-building
means that every component can be selected and assembled by some of
the most skilled power train engineers in the world. The result is
an exceptional engine which has been specifically designed for
Rolls-Royce to give exactly the correct power characteristics –
quite different to those required for a BMW. It is unique to the
lightweight, normally aspirated, 6.75 litre V12 engine develops its
peak torque of 720 Nm (531 lb ft) at 3500 rpm – an impressive
figure. More impressive still, is that 78 per cent of this (or 560
Nm) is produced at just 1000rpm – fractionally above tick over.
This makes for smooth, effortless and extremely rapid acceleration
from a standstill. The sprint to 60 mph takes 5.7 seconds (0-100 kph
in 5.9 seconds).
Lying within the engine is the very latest technology, including
direct injection, variable valve timing and variable valve lift –
the latter which removes the need for throttle butterflies and their
accompanying efficiency losses. The result is an engine which is not
only powerful, but also extremely fuel efficient, returning 25.7 mpg
(11.0 l/100 km) on the extra urban cycle and a combined figure of
17.8 mpg (15.9 l/100 km) – remarkable figures for a motor car of
this size and performance.
six times a year, the manager of the interior wood trim meets the
supplier – the only one of its kind in England – to select
personally the veneers for the Phantom. This painstaking process
ensures that the highest quality veneers of the correct colour and
grain characteristics are chosen.
The woodshop team has been carefully selected too and comes from a
variety of backgrounds. Each member brings specialist skills to the
team - true craft skills, like musical instrument making, the
construction of fine furniture and cabinet work, and also from the
fitting of luxury yachts. Intensive training allows them to turn
these skills to the production of Rolls-Royce motor cars.
Throughout the new
Phantom, wood take an architectural form, not merely an ornamental
one. Each of the 60 separate panels is constructed of a core wood
and an aluminium substrate of up to 40 layers. This lengthy process
helps deliver the best crashworthiness properties and means that the
wood parts are not simply veneers glued to aluminum or plastic.
hand select the veneers to apply to each panel. A complete “wood
set” of matching and complementary veneers is constructed to give
each individual motor car its own special character. The wood grain
is bookmatched on each panel – the right and left grain structures
are mirror images of each other. More elaborate woodwork to a
customer’s specificiation is also possible. The effect is
aesthetically pleasing and demonstrates the meticulous attention to
detail that is essential for Rolls-Royce.
The hides used in the new Phantom come only from carefully
controlled breeders. Hides are sourced from mature bulls that have
been breed for their meat, producing leather as a by-product. The
animals are kept in conditions as close to their natural habitat as
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars uses a newly developed colouring process
whereby the dye permeates through the depth of the hide. This
produces a supremely soft, natural finish that will not fade or
crack. Conventional methods require the final colour to be painted
on to the surface before being covered with a clear lacquer. This
can produce shrinkage and creaking as the leather moves and can
eventually lead to a cracked appearance.
Between 15 and 18 hides are used in each motor car and each one is
checked by hand for blemishes before laser equipment is used to
assist in laying out the pattern pieces. The interior of the Phantom
is made up of 450 pieces of leather, which are cut by a
computer-guided knife. The individual panels are sewn together by a
highly experienced team before the completed parts are fitted to the
interior panels on custom built jigs. Ergonomically designed to
allow the optimum working angles, the jigs have continually running
vacuums to extract any fumes.