Imperiously wafty, there is no other car like a Rolls Phantom to drive. Once BMW and VW had finished dividing up the old Rolls-Royce/Bentley company, BMW set about creating the Phantom, the seventh iteration of a Rolls to wear that name badge, and fully befitting of it.
This is a saloon car that weighs easily as much as a large family SUV and that’s over six metres long in its extended wheelbase form, so it’s hardly a compact beast. Yet the 460hp 6.75-litre V12 could haul it to 62mph from rest in just six seconds. The eighth generation, launched in 2017, was even quicker, though by this point the V12 was developing 571hp.
Such performance figures are kind of beneath the big Rolls, though. In fact, the car doesn’t even have a rev counter, just a ‘power meter’ needle, showing how much of the engine room reserves you (or your chauffeur) are using.
Of course, beneath the skin are mechanical and electronic systems that are BMW-sourced, but it’s all so well hidden – often behind wood panelling – that it doesn’t detract from the car’s air of stately grandeur.