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Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has returned to Auto China in 2012 with a  world debut. The new Phantom Extended Wheelbase takes centre stage in  the company’s largest market, where the majority of Phantom  buyers commission this ultimate expression of a Rolls-Royce. The  launch in Beijing follows last year’s global debut for Ghost  Extended Wheelbase in Shanghai.

Beijing Auto Show Rolls Royce

Phantom Extended Wheelbase completes the Phantom Series II family,  following the debuts of Phantom Saloon, Phantom Coupé and  Phantom Drophead Coupé at the Geneva motor show in March. The  launch also comes as Rolls-Royce Motor Cars continues to grow in  China, having opened three new showrooms this year, with five more to  come in the near future.

Rolls Royce Phantom Interior 2012

“I am proud to present our new benchmark of automotive luxury  in China,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of  Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “No other luxury product comes close to  Phantom Extended Wheelbase in staging an object of exquisite beauty,  effortless opulence and grand theatre. I am delighted that our  discerning Chinese clients continue to value Phantom Extended  Wheelbase so highly. And with the changes for Series II I am confident  that it will continue to retain its position at the very pinnacle of  the ultra-luxury goods marketplace for many years to come.”

Rolls Royce Phantom

Phantom Series II evolves the iconic Rolls-Royce Phantom which was  launched on 1 January 2003 at the company’s new home and  headquarters in Goodwood, England. And like other Phantom Series II  models, Phantom Extended Wheelbase features significant improvements  in design, drive-train and technology.

Encapsulating the changes that lie beneath is a striking new  front-end design, complete with re-styled bumpers and rectangular  light apertures. Fully-LED headlamps as standard deliver a  characteristic whiter light, and encompass technologies that  automatically change the shape and direction of light beams according  to road orientation and in response to different driving conditions.

New driver assistance technologies ensure that Phantom Extended  Wheelbase retains its reputation for effortlessness. A modern user  interface with re-designed multi-media controller, for example,  controls a new satellite navigation system with functions that include  3D maps with landscape topography, guided tours and composite route planning.

Rolls Royce Phantom Interior

Information, maps and video content are presented on a larger 8.8  inch control centre display, a feature underlined by eight  programmable bookmarks presenting access to key functions at a  driver’s fingertips. Front, rear and top-view camera systems  further augment ease of manoeuvring. When reverse parking, for  example, rear path prediction automatically deploys on the screen.

The word waftability has always been part of the Rolls-Royce lexicon,  with models past and present being renowned for their magnificent ride  experience. Phantom Extended Wheelbase reinforces the company’s  reputation for both.

A new 8-speed automatic gearbox and rear differential enhance already  exemplary driving dynamics, perfectly complementing the V12 direct  injection engine. Fuel consumption improves by 10 per cent on the  combined cycle and CO2 emissions for the Extended Wheelbase fall from  388 to 349 g/km as a consequence.

It takes 60 pairs of hands and more than 450 hours to design,  construct and craft every Rolls-Royce Phantom. At the Home of  Rolls-Royce in Goodwood there are around 1,000 employees, including  craftspeople working in wood and leather shops, making the  world’s finest cars. And just two robots in the paint shop to  provide a seamless quality of finish. Only the finest materials are  used and these are painstakingly prepared so their inherent beauty is  displayed to best effect.

Rolls-Royce proudly continues the grand tradition started centuries  ago by the coach-building industry: at least five layers of paint and  clear lacquer coating are applied to each Phantom, seven if the car is  two-tone. Between each layer technicians sand the body by hand.  Following application of a final coat, the body is meticulously hand  polished for five hours to achieve the glassy lustre normally  associated with a grand piano.

Any chosen paint colour can be specified. Initially, this could be  chosen by the client through the Phantom iPad App, capturing the  colour of a favourite tie or lipstick for example and applying it to  their virtual car.

In keeping with Rolls-Royce traditions single or double coach-lines  can also be applied, by hand of course. Each five metre line takes  three hours to apply using only the finest squirrel and ox hair brushes.

Wooden features blend the skills of cabinet makers and boat builders  with modern technology. Depending on the specification, up to 43  wooden parts are used in every Phantom, each constructed from up to 28  layers of wood. These are interspersed with thin sheets of aluminium  for strength and to prevent splintering in an impact. Multiple layers  are pressed, bent and hand-finished before craftsmen cut and apply  matched veneers, which are subsequently detailed, lacquered and hand polished.

All veneers come from one log and these are carefully selected and  laid out so that the grain detailing is mirrored across the interior  of each car.

Only the finest hand-selected hides from Alpine bulls are chosen for  Rolls-Royce. The healthy environment and open meadows without thorn or  barbed wire result in far fewer natural marks. The leather is drum  pigmented to allow the durable Rolls-Royce leather to retain its  famous soft and supple feel, giving a rich, uniform colour while  maintaining the natural feel, softness and grain. Each of the 450  leather parts that comprise an interior is cut by laser before being  hand sewn by the artisans in the company’s own workshop.

Rolls-Royce customers expect their cars to be as unique as their own  fingerprint and the Bespoke service delivers on these high  expectations. More than eight in ten Rolls-Royce Phantom models  delivered globally to clients in 2011 included some element of bespoke  design from individual paint colours, veneer inlays, tread plates and  coach lines, to the most flamboyant and individual of whole vehicle designs.

One of the most popular Rolls-Royce bespoke features specified by  Phantom Extended Wheelbase clients is the starlight headliner. This  integrates more than 1,600 tiny fibre optic lights, which are  hand-woven into the leather roof lining to create a beautiful starry sky.

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