February 28, 2005
Rolls-Royce to debut long-wheelbase Phantom
Goodwood, England – Two years after the introduction of its Phantom, Rolls-Royce will debut an extended-wheelbase version March 1st at the Geneva Auto Show. The extended model will provide additional interior space for the rear occupants – an important consideration in a vehicle that is often chauffeur-driven.
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“Now that Rolls-Royce is once again established as the world’s leading super-luxury saloon, the company has a solid foundation from which to launch new models,” said Ian Robertson, chairman and CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “Late last year we announced the new convertible, which comes in 2007, and at Geneva this year we are delighted to reveal this new longer version of the Phantom, which begins production this autumn.”
The new model adds an extra 250 mm behind the B-pillar to the standard Phantom. The car is entirely hand-crafted in-house by Rolls-Royce. An extended wheelbase had been planned from the start for Phantom, which was designed with an aluminum space frame chassis for ease of structural adaptation. This avoids the common solution of building an extended vehicle by cutting the model in half and welding in extra metal. The body will be the largest aluminum space frame ever constructed, and the vehicle will be built alongside the regular-wheelbase models.
The extended-wheelbase Phantom will be hand-built to specific customer order for the Middle East and Asian Pacific, where demand is highest. Orders are currently being taken although production will not commence until late 2005. Base price will be US$385,000, which is US$56,250 over the standard-length model.