Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II: 2023 update for ‘apex’ of luxury cars

Rolls-Royce has revealed a series of updates to its flagship Phantom model, creating what it calls a new “expression” of the eight-generation model

Rolls-Royce has revealed a series of updates to its flagship Phantom model, creating what it calls a new “expression” of the eight-generation model.

The current generation of the famous name was launched in 2017 and Rolls-Royce says the Phantom Series II will maintain its place as the “apex” of luxury cars while bringing subtle upgrades to meet customer demand.

Even by the scale of most mid-life facelifts, the changes to the Phantom are relatively small but Rolls-Royce says this is in response to owners who “implored” the marque not to make any major alterations.

At the front, the iconic Pantheon grille has been redesigned to further emphasise the Spirit of Ecstasy and RR badge. It is also now backlit to subtly illuminate the grille’s upright vanes - a process first seen on the smaller Ghost. A new trim line across the top of the grille also links it more closely to the LED running lights. Beneath those, the headlights feature new laser-cut bezel starlights, reflecting the fibre optic starlights in the car’s headliner.

For the first time the grille and other exterior trim elements can also be specified in a dark chrome finish rather than the traditional bright chrome.

A new selection of wheels round off the exterior changes with a 3D, milled, stainless steel wheel with triangular facets among the options. A disc wheel, reminiscent of the closed design on Phantoms from the 1920s is also available, finished in polished stainless steel and black lacquer.

Behind the gently revised grille, the Phantom’s powerplant and drivetrain remain the same. The traditional 6.75-litre V12 engine remains, producing 563bhp that is transferred to the road via an eight-speed gearbox.

The Phantom’s interior is also carried over almost untouched from the previous version, although a thicker steering wheel has been fitted. New for the Series II is an upgraded suite of connected services that link the car to the Whispers private members app only available to Rolls-Royce owners. The service allows owners to send navigation destinations from their phone to the vehicle as well as tracking the car’s location and status and allowing them to book it into a dealership for maintenance.

The new Phantom also marks a departure for Rolls-Royce, which is exploring more sustainable and eco-friendly material options with the Platino bespoke car. This model features traditional leather upholstery on the front seats but uses two fabric finishes in the rear - a durable silk and a material derived from bamboo fibres - both of which feature abstract interpretations of the Spirit of Ecstasy woven into them.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars said: “Phantom occupies an unrivalled position at the very apex of the luxury world. As our pinnacle product, it represents the very best of Rolls-Royce design, engineering and craftsmanship – a perfect blend of vision, creativity, the finest materials, skill, patience and precision.

“With Phantom Series II, we have retained and carefully protected everything our clients’ love about this superlative and luxurious item; subtle, yet meaningful enhancements reflect their evolving tastes and requirements.”

The hantom Platino showcases Rolls-Royce’s experimentation with non-leather upholstery