2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom First Drive: Defining Luxury

– Lucerne, Switzerland

Silence. The chauffeur closes the huge coach door and my head sinks into a pillow as I exhale and close my eyes. It’s been a long, daunting week of airports and airplanes and screaming children and deadlines and meetings and traffic and crowds and phone calls and bad news and mayhem and unrest. But now it’s gone. Peace and quiet, comfort and silence. This Rolls-Royce Phantom is more than a car, it’s an escape.

But as much as the Phantom is pure rolling serenity and isolation, it’s not a bore (or a chore) for whoever’s behind the wheel. The Phantom rides on a new, scalable platform – the Architecture Of Luxury, as it’s so aptly named – that’s made entirely of aluminum and will soon underpin all future Rolls-Royce models. That means this car is both lighter and stronger than its predecessor, though it’s not like weight savings matters too much in a car that tips the scales at 5,700 pounds. For every bit of body mass taken away, it’s replaced by more noise insulating material. In fact, sound reduction is of such high concern, Rolls-Royce worked with the folks at Continental to develop a special version of the ContiSportContact tire that can be filled with insulating foam. Road noise is so uncivilized.

2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom: First Drive
2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom: First Drive
2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom: First Drive
2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom: First Drive
2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom: First Drive

On the winding Alpine roads of western Switzerland, I’m not breaking a sweat as I quickly point the prow down a long stretch of back-and-forth esses.

This car is so quiet, I can barely hear the (say it in your best British accent) six-and-three-qua...