|Price as Tested||$349,000|
Gorgeous lines from the side and rear three-quarters; brilliant interior, with regal privacy for rear passengers; terrific driving position, easy to maneuver, doesn’t feel as large as it is; 6.75-liter BMW-derived V12 provides effortless power, with 75 percent of 527 lbs-ft of torque available at 1,000 rpm; dash thankfully devoid of confounding electronic gadgetry; custom umbrellas mounted in the doors a nice touch.
Front-end styling that will appeal to the H2 and Escalade set; run-flat Michelin PAX tires make an unseemly amount of road noise; soft suspension begins to float above 90 mph; shift selector counter-intuitive, same with odd turn-signal indicator.
When BMW snagged Rolls out from under an unsuspecting VW, its challenge was clear: Create a world-class luxury car, from the ground up. Most of the Rollers of the past three decades have had overly subdued styling, almost as if they were “embarrassed to be a Rolls.” The new Phantom makes a powerful visual statement, like the fabled Silver Dawns and Wraiths of the past. Whether the new in-your-face front treatment works is something you’ll have to answer for yourself.
|Fun to Drive|
|Fun to Look at|
Apr 23, 2003