The world's leading ultra-luxury carmaker is planning to reveal its latest limousine as the centerpiece of a special exhibition in London's Mayfair celebrating the history of the Phantom nameplate.
Rolls-Royce is curating a unique event, scheduled for July 27, that will showcase the all-new Phantom VIII and, for the first time in history, bring together what it considers the seven greatest historical examples of the Phantom ever built.
When the Phantom Mark I made its debut in 1925, its creators had just one goal in mind -- to build the best car in the world. The resulting car did indeed set a new benchmark for comfort, elegance and reliability. For example, thanks to a 7.6 liter straight-six engine under its stretched hood it could cruise at 80mph when other cars would throw a rod trying to keep up and soon became the vehicle of choice for royalty and Hollywood stars.
Over the years, everyone from heads of state to military commanders and the Beatles have fallen for the Phantom's charms. And it is this connection with the highest echelons of society and of culture, and the symbol of ultimate success that the Rolls-Royce brand came to represent, that essentially helped the company survive through the fallow 1970s and 1980s when German premium automotive marques like Mercedes and BMW started coming into their own in terms of comfort, performance and reliability.
Over the past 92 years, there have only been seven iterations of the Phantom, and the Mark VI stayed in hand-built production for 22 years (1968-1990) before the nameplate was suspended.
When BMW bought the company at the turn of the millennium it announced it was bringing back the Phantom. And while the jetset and brand purists were skeptical, the resulting car, the Phantom VII, which made its debut in 2003 and only went out of production at the end of 2016, was the first Rolls-Royce to roll out of Goodwood for over three decades that really could comfortably claim to be "the best car in the world" and in line with the company's founding mantra -- take the best, and make it better.
However, by setting its own standards so high, the new Phantom is going to have to be something incredibly special if it really is going to pick up where the last car left off.
Still, by organizing such a huge, celebratory event to mark its launch, Rolls-Royce is clearly confident that the new car will have no problems in resetting the bespoke benchmark, yet again.
The Great Eight Phantoms will take place in Mayfair, London from July 27 and over the coming weeks, Rolls-Royce will reveal the story behind each individual Phantom selected to play a starring role at the event.