The Phantom remains a huge proposition, at 5.2m long, 1.5m high and weighing more than 2.5 tonnes. It is an unapologetic statement of wealth, status and success, with a large grille, rising Spirit of Ecstasy at the end of a ludicrously long bonnet and long sweeping overhang at the rear. The 22in wheels still have weighted “RR” badges on the centre boss, to ensure they stay upright when the wheels turn, and the silhouette exudes a threatening glamour.
There are flashes of 21st-century design: the frosted LED squared-off headlights, the more delineated lines, the curved short front overhangs that barely cover the wheels.
Inside, it’s the perfect place for both drivers and passengers. The steering wheel remains beautifully thin, with the automatic gear-lever positioned by the wheel. There is still an analogue clock, and a power reserve dial, soft lighting and deep lambswool carpets. There are still umbrellas in the doors and a huge boot for luggage.
One can of course specify all the trinkets in the world, which is why our box of delights added roughly another £100,000 onto the initial list price for this vehicle. We had elevating footrests in the rear, ventilation in the front seats and a massage function in the rear ones, privacy glass and curtains, veneered picnic tables with rising tablets for TV and audio, embossed headrests, a starlight headliner, with a thousand pinpricks of light inserted into the ceiling to mirror the night sky, a champagne fridge with flutes and a separate compartment housing a whisky decanter and two tumblers (note to self: don’t let a six-year-old play with the heavy frosted decanter stopper, or they will inevitably drop it on the tumbler and smash it).