Rolls-Royce Phantom: The sound of silence
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Whisper it softly, but the quietest, most technically advanced Rolls-Royce Phantom has been launched in London.
The flagship Rolls-Royce is designed to whisk the world's wealthiest around in near silence.
And it comes with its own dashboard art gallery for those who can afford the NZ$620,000 price tag.
Rolls-Royce says its new Phantom is "the most silent motor car in the world" -- at least for the chauffeur-driven occupant in the back.
Beneath the Phantom's smart suit lies some serious engineering.
The limousine's revolutionary flexible chassis design can also be used for a variety of future models, including those with different propulsion systems such as an electric drive-train, said Rolls-Royce.
It will also underpin the forthcoming Rolls-Royce 4X4 and the next generation Ghost, Wraith, and Dawn models as well as future bespoke coach-build projects.
But it's what's on show that matters to most Rolls-Royce owners, especially those buying the new Phantom, who are likely to be spending considerably more time in the back than on the driver's seat.
The Phantom allows connoisseurs and collectors of fine art to contemplate in silence their specially commissioned artworks, behind a stretch of protective glass on the dashboard.
If the owner does sit behind the wheel, they shouldn't be disappointed. Thanks to the powerful 6.75 litre twin-turbo V12 engine, which bosses call "the silently beating heart of the new Phantom", the car has a top speed electronically restricted to 249km/h and sports car acceleration, getting from 0-99km/h in just 5.3 seconds.
The chauffeured passenger can look up to see the largest Starlight headliner seen in a Rolls-Royce, comprising pinpricks of light in the roof.
Phantom customers have a choice of seats: including the more intimate lounge seat, individual seats with an occasional armrest, or fixed centre console, plus the new sleeping seat.
Rear seats are angled so passengers can talk to each other without straining their necks. The fixed rear centre console has a drinks cabinet with whisky glasses and decanter, champagne flutes and cool-box.