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by Tim Beissmann

The Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II range has been unveiled in Geneva, revealing the latest interpretation of the world’s ultimate luxury car.

The Phantom Series II upgrade comes more than nine years after the launch of the first-generation Phantom in 2003, bringing a number of design, technology and drivetrain enhancements to the Saloon, Coupe and Drophead Coupe variants.

Chief among the upgrades is the addition of an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, which replaces the old six-speed unit. Although the output of the Phantom’s 338kW/720Nm 6.75-litre V12 engine is unchanged, fuel economy has improved around 10 per cent across the range, down to 14.8-14.9 litres per 100km.

Despite weighing more than 2.5 tonnes, the Coupe models are the quickest in the line-up, launching from 0-100km/h in 5.8 seconds.

Rolls-Royce says upgrades to the Phantom’s lightweight aluminium spaceframe, including the addition of brace bars, stiffer suspension and revised brake characteristics, have improved the car’s driving dynamics.

The Phantom Series II benefits from a new face, incorporating full adaptive LED headlights as standard (a first for a production car), restyled front bumper and single-piece grille surround, along with new alloy wheels and a redesigned rear bumper.

The cabin benefits from a completely overhauled 8.8-inch satellite navigation system with 3D maps and guided tours, new chrome rotary controller, enhanced camera system including top view and rear-path prediction, and smartphone connectivity with an “abundant” hard drive for storing music.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös says the upgrades are designed to ensure the Phantom does not get left behind in a fast-paced market and maintains its reputation as the “benchmark in automotive luxury”.

“These cars are timeless in their appeal, but technology moves rapidly and we cannot afford to stand still.

“As a consequence of these changes, we will continue to present with pride the best motor cars in the world, which reconfirm Rolls-Royce’s position at the very pinnacle of the ultra-luxury goods marketplace.”

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