Two years after the launch of the Phantom, Rolls-Royce is pleased to announce an extended wheelbase version. An extra 250 mm has been added to the standard length Phantom, behind the B-pillar, to create a motor car with an even more generously proportioned rear passenger compartment. Coach doors open to 80 degrees, offering exceptionally graceful egress and ingress.
The new longer wheelbase Phantom is entirely hand-crafted in-house – designed, engineered and hand-built by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars at Goodwood.
An extended-wheelbase motor car was planned in the early days of the Rolls-Royce Phantom project. Indeed, an aluminium space frame chassis was chosen precisely because it lends itself to structural adaptation with relative ease. This ability to create coach-worked models, to meet the individual needs and desires of Rolls-Royce customers, is something that has been central to the marque throughout its 100-year history. The standard Phantom body is already the largest automotive aluminium space frame ever constructed while the new extended wheelbase model adds nearly 10 inches.
The extra length with this new motor car is achieved simply by using longer extrusions in the construction of the body. Conventional extended-wheelbase cars are often built by cutting them and welding in extra metal – not so with Rolls-Royce. As a result of this approach, none of the Phantom’s torsional rigidity is lost, so the outstanding dynamic performance and driving refinement of the standard length motor car are maintained.
Aluminium roof and rear door panels are the only new exterior body parts: the longer Phantom shares all of its other major chassis and drive-train components with the standard motor car. The added weight of this extended model is minimal – just 75 kg more – so there is no need to make any changes to chassis or suspension systems.
Rolls-Royce chief designer Ian Cameron was responsible for the interior and exterior look of the extended Phantom. ”The challenge was to create a longer, more spacious motor car without compromising the elegant lines of the original. We found that adding 250 mm to the overall length of the Phantom gave an extremely well proportioned exterior form, while adding significantly to the amount of space in the rear passenger compartment.” The measure of the design team’s success is that, unless the two Phantoms are viewed alongside each other, it is not easy to tell which is the extended version.
All manner of features can be specified for the Phantom, including fridges, drinks cabinets, cigar humidors, special audio-visual systems and additional seating. The extra space in the extended version also allows for a division wall, for those rear passengers that require increased privacy. Hand-built from the finest materials, the division wall exudes all of the quality expected of a Rolls-Royce interior. The standard panel is finished using matching wood veneers and leather trim in two finishes. As well as turning the rear passenger space into a completely private environment, the division wall can be made to house a variety of additional Bespoke features.