The Rolls Royce Phantom has been an icon of luxury vehicles since it was introduced in 1925. The company is continuing this tradition of luxury with the introduction of the 2018 Phantom VII (first announced in January 2016), which features an all-new aluminum architecture.
Dubbed “The Architecture of Luxury,” the space frame has been designed and engineered so that it can be scalable to the size and weight requirements of different future Rolls-Royce models, including those with different propulsion, traction and control systems. Thus, aluminum will underpin the long-term future of Rolls Royce. “Key to Rolls-Royce realizing its vision of being the world’s leading luxury brand, today and in the future, is an architecture that spans the entire Rolls-Royce family,” noted Philip Koehn, director of Engineering. “The Architecture of Luxury will carry every future Rolls-Royce, not just the New Phantom. Project Cullinan and eventually the next Ghost, Wraith, Dawn will ride on this architecture, as well as future coachbuild projects.”
The new aluminum architecture on the new Phantom provides a number of benefits, including light weight, increased stiffness (30% more rigid than its predecessor), and the opportunity for efficient production of standard and extended wheelbase bodies. In addition, the automobile provides a quiet ride through the implementation of the largest ever cast aluminum joints in a body-in-white for better sound insulation, as well as 6 mm two-layer glazing all around the car (more than 130 kg of sound insulation), and high absorption materials.
The exterior of the new Phantom, constructed of aluminum panels, is designed to draw the eye with sleek style and a neatly tapered tail. New engineering and precision body joining processes have been used to ensure that there are few, if any, visible join lines between body panels, giving New Phantom the appearance of being hewn from a solid block of aluminum. In particular, the tail is constructed of super formed aluminum to ensure more join-free surfaces and flowing bumper lines around the rear light graphic.
“The global introduction of a new Rolls-Royce is always a very special moment within the BMW Group,”said Peter Schwarzenbauer, chairman of Rolls-Royce and member of the Board of the BMW Group. “This particular occasion is all the more special because we are introducing an all-new Phantom, the flagship of the Rolls-Royce brand and the world’s foremost luxury product. New Phantom is a powerful statement of design, engineering and bespoke expertise.”
A look at the Dingolfing facility in Germany where the aluminum spaceframe is being manufactured is presented at Autocar.