Whisper it, but there's an updated Phantom from Rolls-Royce

Published: 12 May 2022

► New connectivity, built around Whispers phone app
► Tweaks to grille, lights and wheels; even subtler cabin mods
► One-off Platino version highlights new interior materials

For a 2.5-tonne limo with an ancient monument on the front, this is actually pretty subtle. The latest Rolls-Royce has hardly changed at all to the untrained eye – but under the skin it has taken some big digital strides forward, debuting a new level of connectivity tied in with the owners-only Whispers smartphone app. 

It’s the facelifted version of the Rolls-Royce Phantom, the limo launched in 2017 as the replacement for the first Roller introduced under BMW ownership. Or, if you favour Rolls-Royce’s big-picture approach to its own sedately evolving line-up, this is Series II of the eighth-generation Phantom.

We expect it to be the last new Phantom with an engine, given that by 2030 the whole range will have gone electric, starting with next year’s production version of the Specte prototype that’s currently undergoing intensive on-road testing.

The Whispers app, linked to the new in-car Rolls-Royce Connected system, is intended to make life easier for the car’s wealthy owners, for instance by enabling a lunch appointment on the phone to be seamlessly turned into a nav destination in the car.

External changes include a marginally redesigned grille, making the badge and statue more prominent, and there’s a new horizontal line linking the daytime running lights. The headlights get tiny laser-etched star patterns, echoing the cabin’s twinkling ‘Starlight Headliner’ roof.

There are new wheel options, including a 1920s-style disc finished in polished stainless steel or black lacquer, and a milled stainless steel design featuring triangles, either fully or part polished.

There’s now the option of darkened chrome window and grille surrounds, taking a cue from the Black Badge series, and the grille is now illuminated, like the Ghost’s.

Inside, the steering wheel is now slightly chunkier.

These changes apply to both the regular Phantom and the long-wheelbase version, both powered by a 6.75-litre V12.

Rolls-Royce has also built a one-off Bespoke model, named Platino, after its silver-white finish. It showcases some new interior options, with a combination of leather front and two-fabric rear seats, and a dash clock with a 3D-printed ceramic surround.

There’s no word yet on pricing, but the Series II definitely won’t be cheaper than the outgoing version’s £363,600 starting price.

By Colin Overland

CAR's managing editor: wordsmith, critic, purveyor of fine captions