Design elements from the Silver Cloud of the 1950s and the Silver Shadow of the 1960s have been incorporated into the design, most notably the long wheelbase, short front overhang, a deep C-pillar and a long bonnet.
The traditional interior Rolls touches include cashmere trim and fitted cabinetry, and access via coach doors, which open from the centre of the car. Combined with a flat floor they allow passengers to walk in to the rear, turn and sit down. A slightly curved lounge seat helps to create a social environment.
The technical innovation include levelling air springs, electronic dampers and multi-link rear, double wishbone front suspension. And it is the first car in the world to feature the advanced PAX run-flat tyre system as standard, which allows the car to run for 100 miles at 50 mph after a puncture.
The purpose-designed 6.75-litre V12 engine provides huge reserves of power and torque. The Rolls-Royce Phantom will accelerate from 0-60mph in 5.7 seconds (0-100km/h 5.9 seconds) and on to a limited top speed of 149mph (240 km/h).
Behind the wheel, the low-down torque drives the Phantom swiftly yet effortlessly from tick-over. Peak torque is 720Nm (53lb ft) at 3500rpm, but more importantly 75 per cent of that total is developed at just 1000rpm. Maximum power is 460PS (338kW).
The latest in combustion technology – variable valve lift, variable valve timing and direct fuel injection – helps produce good fuel economy for a motor car of the Phantom's size and power. On the EU extra urban cycle it returns 25.7mpg (11.0 l/100km) and a combined figure of 17.8mpg (15.9 l/100km).
Mindful of today's vandals, the new Phantom features an electrically retractable Spirit of Ecstasy, which can be lowered out of sight whenever the Phantom is parked. And the wheel hub centres, bearing the interlinked double-R logo remain upright. And there are umbrellas stowed in each rear doors.
Tony Gott, chairman and chief executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, says: "For nearly 100 years, Rolls-Royce has been the icon of motor engineering and design. The name has entered the language as an expression of perfection. The new Rolls-Royce Phantom is, we believe, entirely in keeping with that long and illustrious heritage, yet is totally contemporary in its design and technology.”