At Rolls-Royce, change comes slowly. When you only sell a few hundred (now over the 1,000 mark with the Ghost) cars a year, product cycles are much longer by nature of the business. Planned obsolescence never was a modus operandi at Rolls-Royce. A new Phantom Series II has been released, following this traditional path. It is the first significant (if you can call it that) update to the car since its debut in 2003. 10 model years and counting – and we imagine the car has a good many more years left in it.
The 2013 Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II isn’t a full mid-cycle enhancement (ten years in…), but rather a mild freshening. Up front there is a new LED headlight arrangement that ditches the previous round projector unit that helped define the Phantom’s front end. A new bumper rounds off the tweaks and the rear appears to be left unaltered. Inside the Phantom’s technology package is updated, with a new 8.8-inch screen and infotainment system.
The Phantom has never been on the leading edge of technology – Rolls-Royce would do well to keep the car more updated in that area. Under the skin is a new eight-speed automatic transmission from parent BMW. It boosts efficiency, because everyone buys Phantoms for their fuel mileage, right? All in all, the Phantom remains the gold standard for high-end luxury travel.
Also new for the 2013 Rolls-Royce lineup is a two-tone paint option for the Ghost. You know what this means….hideous color combinations that don’t go together. Shouldn’t there be some kind of law against them? Apparently, this is an option that wasn’t available before; something that seems unusual given Rolls-Royce’s historically-extensive customization options. The first two-tone Ghost was shown off at Geneva in a Infinity Black with a Cassiopeia Silver. This marks a recent comeback in two-tone designs in the automotive industry. Look for it to spread to more luxury brands in the future – for better or for worse.