RPM magazine, a Kuwaiti publication for auto enthusiasts, has named the Rolls Royce Phantom as its inaugural luxury car of the year. The Phantom features a unique platform and a body that is constructed primarily of aluminum. Power comes from a 6.75 liter V12 motor that produces 453 horsepower and 530 ft.-lbs. of torque. Since Rolls Royce buyers don’t do pedestrian things like shift gears, a six speed auto is the only transmission choice.
If you want one, you’d best plan on getting to know your Rolls Royce dealer well. There are over 44,000 paint color choices, and the leather interior can be specified in any color the customer chooses. All Phantoms come with a 26 speaker sound system, 18-way adjustable front seats, 16-way adjustable rear seats, heated and cooled cup holders, rear seat tables, a refrigerator and five zone climate control. The ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ hood ornament is automatically retracted in the event of an accident (to prevent pedestrian injury) or when the alarm is set (to prevent theft). If you forget to set the alarm, don’t worry; the hood ornament has a built in motion sensor and will retract if someone attempts to grab it. Phantoms don’t have tachometers, since only the little people care about how fast their engine is turning. Instead, Phantoms come equipped with a “Power Reserve” dial that shows how much scoot a driver has remaining under his right foot.
Phantoms start at $380,000, with the top price being limited only by the owner’s creativity. Have an option in mind that isn’t on the Rolls Royce order sheet? No worries, your Rolls Royce dealer will happily discuss their “Bespoke” program with you, which allows the Rolls Royce factory to create any option a customer desires. For a price, of course.