Rolls-Royce updates the Phantom, changes as little as possible | Top Gear
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Advertisement feature
Shell V-Power: Fuelling your passions
Friday 9th June
First Look

Rolls-Royce updates the Phantom, changes as little as possible

The filthy rich have had a tough time of it lately, but an upgraded Phantom should perk them up

Published: 12 May 2022

Rolls-Royce has announced a facelift for its flagship Phantom limo in its own inimitable style – the car, which was launched in 2017, is now known as the Phantom Series II as the firm reveals what it calls a “new expression”.

It does indeed have a new expression – the updated Phantom has a slightly sterner look to its headlights, with LED DRLs running across the top of the light units and a soft glow from the newly internally lit front grille. The Phantom does have a marginally more imposing stance – this is a car that wants to speak to the manager.

Advertisement - Page continues below

In more styling excitement, there’s a “heavily undercut waft line” that visually signifies the car’s plush ride, but we’re darned if we know where it is. Cue a ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’-style competition to find that waft line.

As before, the standard Phantom is aimed at folks who prefer to drive themselves (commoners) while people with chauffeurs will gravitate towards the Phantom Extended. Whoever is driving, they’ll be excited to hear about Rolls-Royce’s new “private members application” called Whispers, which does much the same thing as every other car company’s app, but posher.

There are two wheel options available – a jaunty milled stainless steel number with triangles cut out of it, or a “truly elegant disc wheel” that looks like a tea tray and is intended to evoke the Roaring Twenties. It does actually look quite nice. Inside, the steering wheel has been made slightly thicker.

Advertisement - Page continues below

Rolls says that it’s a deliberately low key facelift because its customers “implored” the carmaker not to make any major changes. “Indeed,” the company said as it publicised its fresh expression. “It is not about what should be changed, but in fact, what should be preserved and protected.”

The Phantom does have the tough job of being all things to all (rich) people, and itself admits the struggle, with some seeing the car as having a “subversive, almost rebellious character”, while others see it as an “ode to luxury grandeur and timelessness”. Help is at hand, though, with Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke division offering buyers the chance to take the “blank canvas” of the Phantom and make it their own. Because money can’t buy you taste, but it can do pretty much whatever you like to a Rolls-Royce.

Read's review of the Rolls-Royce Phantom

Top Gear

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

More from Top Gear

See more on Rolls-Royce

Promoted Content

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine

Get your first 5 issues for £5