The production of a seventh-generation Rolls-Royce Phantom has almost come to an end. BMW will replace it with the lighter, more aluminum-intensive vehicle by 2018, discontinuing the coupé and the cabriolet in the process.
Yet the current limousine feels and just as special today as it did back in 2003. Well, when Rolls-Royce was put up for sale, Volkswagen wanted it all.
But BMW had the engine deal running, and managed to play its cards so well that in the end, well, the Bavarians acquired the brand, building the shiny new factory in Goodwood solely for production of the all-new Phantom.
VW kept a Bentley side of the company and every bolt they could find in Crewe. And the two have been fighting for the attention of billionaires ever since, and with Bentley taking the sportier approach and Rolls-Royce offering the last word in bespoke coach-building. And 13 years on, a Phantom is still the one to arrive in.
The Phantom is not just a future classic. Its one of the cars that you will be showing to your grandchildren when you take them to a motor museum, and explaining them what a combustion engine is and why we used to love it so much.
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