HR Owen Rolls-Royce has a new home in Mayfair, which opened its doors a few weeks ago. If you’ve ever visited Berkeley Square, Mayfair, you surely wouldn’t have missed the HR Owen Rolls-Royce showroom. As a part of Mayfair, it’s been there for decades.
However, Rolls-Royce is not the old Rolls-Royce. The automobile maker now offers five different models: Phantom, Ghost, Cullinan, Dawn, and Wraith. When you add the extended wheelbases and the Black Badge version, there are seven other models.
Unfortunately, the Berkeley Square showroom isn’t suitable for showing all these cars at the same time. So, they had to find a new home, and they did it! The new showroom in Mayfair is only a 2-minute walk from the previous showroom on foot (wearing trainers), an 8-minute walk in high heels, a 30-second drive, and a 1-nanosecond trip by Star Trek Enterprise. That’s to say, the Mayfair showroom is very close!
Rolls-Royce’s new showroom in Mayfair is impressive; there are also lots of hidden gems. The best part is that you can see the whole Rolls-Royce range under the same roof. You name it, they have it!
The new showroom’s address is 50 Berkeley Street, W1J 8HD, London, United Kingdom.
A few weeks ago, Rolls-Royce revealed the second generation Ghost. The original unveiling was expected for February 2020; however, the COVID-19 pandemic meant it was postponed. This new generation Ghost is a state-of-art Rolls-Royce that will be heating up the competition with the latest Bentley Flying Spur.
After Bentley stopped manufacturing the Mulsanne, the Flying Spur became the flagship sedan that was expected to compete with the Rolls-Royce Ghost and the Mercedes-Benz Maybach S-Class. But how does the Flying Spur compare to the Ghost? They both have British DNA and bespoke tailoring inside the cabins, but which comes out on top?
Bentley’s Flying Spur is based on the Porsche Panamera modular platform – it is a reskinned Panamera. That is not particularly negative, because future technologies from Porsche can be implemented rapidly to the Flying Spur; however, it does reduce the exclusivity of the car. Not ideal if you are keen to own something bespoke.
Despite the shared modular platform, the Flying Spur is designed with both comfort and dynamic driving in mind. When you take to the driver’s seat of the Flying Spur, you won’t look odd. The Panamera’s suspension and drive train geometry offer a sportive driving character wrapped in luxury and comfort. It offers two engine options – W12 and V8 – mated with a twin-clutch 8-speed automatic. It is impossible to ignore the rear-biased all-wheel-drive system; Flying Spur is a proper driver’s car. The W12 engine is slowly being phased out, and this feels like the right choice. It was inherited from the VW Phaeton and was probably designed in the late 1990s. The V8 is lighter and more responsive, coming from the Porsche Panamera.
In terms of luxury, Bentley are renowned for offering some of the best interiors and attention to detail! Every part of the interior is a piece of artwork; you will be surrounded by more luxury than you can imagine. Sadly, the driving assistance systems are not as sophisticated as those boasted by the Ghost. I was expecting to see the same level of driving assistances as those in the Audi A8; however, the Flying Spur is a few years behind that. Overall, the Flying Spur is a great luxury sedan, and you will feel the Bentley DNA and experience exquisite luxury.
Moving to the new Ghost, let me start from the bottom end. The modular platform of the Rolls-Royce is unique solely to Rolls-Royce models. Whilst the Ghost does not share a platform with the BMW 7-Series; however, there is still some technology sharing with the BMW Group. With the volume of the Rolls-Royce, they can’t survive without benefitting from BMW’s know-how. Sadly, the Ghost did not receive a brand new engine, which is not too surprising given that it is not easy to redesign a V12, especially when it will be only used by three low-volume Rolls-Royce. The V12 engine is therefore based on the BMW V12.
The good news is that the Ghost is an ultimate luxury car that does not blind. The sound insulation is state-of-art engineering. It was reportedly too good and resulted in passengers experiencing motion sickness. To avoid this, Rolls-Royce has increased the amount of interior sound.
Unlike the Flying Spur, driving the Ghost by yourself still looks a bit awkward; you look like a professional driver in need of a client. In future, a possible Black series could make it more of a driver’s car. The best part of the new Ghost is the driving assistance system. BMW equipped the new Ghost with state-of-art technologies. Now, the Ghost can scan the road surface and adjust its suspension via 48-volt electric actuators, and offers perfectly refined comfort. Long journeys will certainly not be an issue with the new Ghost.
The interior quality is more sophisticated than the previous generation and is on par with the Phantom; however, I still think the Bentley is better by a slight margin (albeit a hard to notice margin!).
Finally, the new Ghost has an all-wheel-drive system adapted from BMW, which is amazing! The BMW xDrive is one of the best all-wheel-drive systems available. Rolls-Royce didn’t stop here and implemented rear-wheel drive steering to improve the driving experience. Overall, the new Ghost is more driver-focused than before, and I am sure it offers a competitive driving experience to Bentley Flying Spur.
The final verdict is yours—the differences between the Bentley and the Rolls-Royce are such a close margin that, ultimately, it comes down to personal taste.
A few days ago, Rolls-Royce unveiled their latest product; a garden seat, valued at £6581. Never expect anything cheap from Rolls-Royce. If you think Apple is too expensive, or Christian Louboutin charges too much for a pair of shoes, you will reconsider your thoughts after seeing the Rolls-Royce price list. Whilst the Rolls-Royce brand is well-known for its skyrocketing prices, for this price, you could easily purchase a second-hand BMW!
Despite its shocking price, the Pursuit Seat is a state of the art chair. It is made from leather, carbon fibre and aluminium (it is probably aluminium alloy). Honestly, it has a minimalist design and is both portable and versatile; you can carry it and use it almost anywhere. The engineering and finishing details that have gone into this chair really are insane; it is, arguably, worth the price tag.
Before I finish, when the Apple Pro Display XDR stand came out, costing £949, people complained; they said it was just a stand. However, it is a state of art stand and offers state of the art comfort. After the launch of the Rolls-Royce garden chair, I think the Pro Stand will no longer be perceived as too expensive!
Recently, Rolls-Royce revealed the second generation Ghost. And I had the chance to see it at the HR Owen Mayfair London dealer. The first generation Ghost was unveiled in 2010. It was based on the F01 BMW 7 Series platform and uses a 6.6lt V12 N74 family engine with a ZF 8-speed automatic gearbox. It was a great success for the Rolls-Royce; the Ghost enabled them to reach a new audience and begin to capture Bentley’s market share. Also, a coupé and cabriolet version of the Ghost was revealed, named Dawn and Wraith respectively, both of which were very successful.
A decade has passed since Rolls-Royce first released the Ghost. This time, it is based on the Rolls-Royce’s in-house modular platform shared with the latest Phantom and Cullinan models. Instead of using the BMW 7-Series platform, Rolls-Royce wanted to create their own. However, the new Ghost features a 6.75lt V12 N74 family BMW engine. Sadly, Rolls-Royce does not have an engine factory yet (as far as I am aware).
The new Ghost is an all-wheel-drive based on BMW x-Drive technology (a perfect choice) including all-wheel steering. Now you can have the magic carpet experience driving the new Ghost. The front camera and laser scanner analyses the road surface and adjusts the suspension for added comfort. The Ghost is quieter than before; actually, too quiet, causing passengers to experience motion sickness. Therefore, they had to increase the noise level inside the cabin. Rolls-Royce also developed a new upper wishbone damper unit that has never been seen on any other car’s drivetrain.
BMW have included their latest driving assistance system in the new Ghost. I know Rolls-Royce does not wish to mention any mutual technology with the BMW, but without the BMW’s know-how, the Ghost would simply be an analogue car. To stay current in the luxury car market, you need a big company behind you. Just look at Aston Martin, no one is supporting them, and they struggle to keep up with the competition.
People usually say the features I mention are not particularly luxurious. However, the definition of luxury has changed dramatically. If your car does not have smartphone connectivity, it is obsolete. Overall, new Ghost is an amazing car will definitely regain the market share lost to the Bentley Flying Spur.
Rolls-Royce recently released a new colour scheme at Pebble Beach. You might be thinking that Rolls-Royce already offers an infinite number of colours, so how can they offer a new scheme? The issue with the indefinite number of colours is our brain. Our brains have limited cognitive power; so, when you overload them, they cannot make a decision and stick to the status quo. I have covered this in my other blog.
Let us return to the new colour scheme: it is pastel colours. At the moment, they are available for Ghost Black, Dawn Black, Wraith Black and Cullinan models. Does it sound a bit too ‘softy’ for Rolls-Royce? Actually, this new colour scheme totally changed my perception of Rolls-Royce cars. Quite honestly, they constitute state-of-the-art technology on wheels, coupled with an interesting and eclectic clientele. The bespoke combinations I saw with the Rolls-Royce cars gave me a really big shock!
Also, the Ghost series (Wraith and Dawn) are based on the previous generation BMW 7-Series, so I struggle to like them anymore. They are quite old in terms of technology. However, it seems like the pastel colour scheme has changed everything. The Rolls-Royce car range looks much softer and down to earth. The pastel colour scheme has transformed the vehicles, making them more appealing to a new customer range. Basically, Rolls-Royce head office has applied the ‘framing effect’ principle from Behavioural Economics.
In the event that you are planning to buy a brand-new Rolls-Royce; I would highly recommend the new pastel colour scheme.
I have been waiting for an SUV from Rolls Royce for a long time. The SUV market is a dream land for any car manufacturer. People from any segment love to buy SUVs with any style. For Rolls-Royce, it was a really bold decision to offer an SUV under the Rolls-Royce name. However, I don’t find it that awkward.
Nowadays, you can buy an enterprise level cloud service from a book store, Amazon Web Services. Your mobile phone operator basically acts as an internet service provider. You pay to watch TV-Series on Netflix, while they are free on BBC. So, the Rolls-Royce and SUV concepts are not that far away from one another.
Do I like the Cullinan? Yes, kind of. The only missing features are a long-range gearbox and proper differential locks. Without these toys, you can’t really do off-road. However, people don’t really care about this. They wish to own a Rolls-Royce SUV that can drive them to the Swiss Alps or in the untouched deserts of Dubai.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to view the interior of the finished vehicle. As I have vanished from the eye of the car industry, it is not that easy to see a vehicle before anyone else. Alternatively, I have to be an influencer (aka you have lots of followers, whether real or fake).
Anyway, from what I have seen with my limited window, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan does look better than the Benteyga. The Phantom’s modular platform has been used for the Cullinan. The engine is still a BMW V12 with heavy modifications and a ZF automatic gearbox. I can’t ignore the know-how of BMW’s xDrive technology from the X-Series vehicles.
Never underestimate BMW’s xDrive technology. It is one of the most rapidly responding traction control systems on the market. The luxury of Rolls-Royce is the pinnacle, and Range Rover only has the SV Coupe to keep up the race. The personalisation is something I really don’t like, but many people love it, and that’s where Rolls-Royce takes over the game.
Overall, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is a good-looking SUV and much smaller than the Phantom (hopefully). Will it change the SUV market? Yes, for the luxury segment, but the Toyota Land Cruiser will not be affected by the Cullinan. I am definitely sure that Rolls-Royce will increase their sales figures with the SUV. They have been losing customers to Land Rover and Bentley for a long time. Now it is time to take them back.
Would I buy it? Interestingly, I liked it. I am not a Rolls-Royce customer, not really into the personalisation drama, but the Cullinan is nice.
The eight generation Rolls-Royce Phantom was released last summer. I spotted it at the HR Owen dealership in Mayfair, London. It is not very common to see a new Phantom. The previous generation was revealed in 2002 and it has taken 15 years to create the new generation. Unlike the last time, Rolls-Royce has designed its own modular platform that will be used in future Rolls-Royce models, starting with the Cullinan SUV.
Despite the in-house modular platform, the engine, the gearbox and the driving assistance systems are from BMW!
Although we don’t really associate Rolls-Royce with the word ‘light’, the new Phantom is lighter and stronger than past models. However, don’t expect a full carbon-fibre body. There are some cool features as well. The Magic Carpet Ride is something unique to the Phantom. Stereo cameras scan the road surface and adjust the suspension to correct for road imperfections up to 100 km/h. Bear in mind though, the Audi A8 and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class offer similar systems, and they keep working at higher speeds.
In case you are looking for an ultra-silent car, the new Phantom houses more than 130-kg of sound insulation. Even the tyres are designed with a ‘Silent Seal’ thanks to Continental, and they reduce tyre noise by 9db!
The Gallery on the dashboard is a great piece of design. However, only the front passenger can enjoy the view of The Gallery!
The interior is massive, I can’t even describe it in words. It is really really large. And this massive interior is combined with a massive exterior. This Phantom is really really tall. When you compare with other ‘large’ cars, they look like a MINI next to the new Phantom. If you wish to tell people that you have made it, the new Phantom is the answer.
Lastly, I really like the electrically-closing doors. Now you can just touch a button and the door closes.
The new Rolls-Royce Phantom is available now! It is larger than ever and is a statement vehicle rather than a motor vehicle. It is the pinnacle of the luxury motoring experience and also it is heavy. The eighth Rolls-Royce Phantom is not something you usually spot on the road. It is not like any other Phantom ever built. Therefore, it is important to hold an exhibition for new Rolls-Royce Phantom and narrate its heritage, so you will understand why the eighth Phantom is like this.
The Great Eight Phantoms
New Bond Street, Mayfair in London, houses the world’s most expensive luxury brands. It is not a very long street, but the products that are sold there can freeze your brain. Why have I told you about New Bond Street? Bonhams is on New Bond Street and there is a Rolls-Royce exhibition in Bonhams featuring the Great Eight Phantoms. Rolls-Royce and Bonhams jointly celebrate the birth of the eight Phantom with a very special exhibition. Don’t worry, it is not bling, or you will not end up with Kim Kardashian’s Rolls-Royce Ghost.
There are seven Rolls-Royce Phantoms at the exhibition with unique touches from their era or from their owners. When you enter the Bonhams, you will be welcomed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Phantom VI. It is one of a kind, designed to offer an exceptional viewing experience due to its a raised roof. This car is still in use and you have probably seen it in London.
The second Phantom is the Field Marshal Montgomery Phantom III and also inherits the Black Badge (Rolls-Royce’s branding for the sportier version used up to the present day). It was used after the WWII and offers an exceptional design with an aerodynamic approach. As I heard from the Bonham team, this car was the centre of most of the attention. When you look at the photos, you will understand what I mean.
The next Phantom is John Lennon’s Phantom V. It is colourful and big. Really really big! Literally, John Lennons’s Phantom is larger than a flat in central London. The colour harmony of this Phantom is a great visual experience.
The next one is the Aga Khan III Phantom IV. It is green, very green, but I don’t think it will get an A rating for fuel consumption. The harmonic lines of the exterior design transports you into a different time.
The next car is from the 1920s, the era when the car designer never considered the need for a space in the form of a boot space, the Fred Astaire Phantom I. When you look at the rear of this exciting Phantom, you will see bespoke Louis Vuitton luggage sitting there without any protection. Just exposed to real-life conditions. Off-the-topic, if you wish to buy the same luggage now, just go back to New Bond Street and turn right and walk for 10 minutes. You will end up at the Louis Vuitton store on the left-hand side. There you will find the most unergonomic traditional luggage that will not fit into any car’s boot space. Back to the Phantom. The beauty of the 1920’s Phantom is the beauty of the transition period moving from horse carriages to motor vehicles. The steering-wheel is not designed to protect you in a crash and there are more adjustments than a Honda Jet, just to keep the petrol engine running. The Honda Jet offers a very simplified cockpit design and yes, Honda makes private jets.
The Sir Malcolm Campbell Phantom II belongs to the era of speed and yes, Rolls-Royce can travel at high speeds and stay in one piece, unlike Ferraris. That’s what I like about the Rolls-Royce, they don’t fall apart if you push them to the limits. Try this with a Ferrari and you will end up in the nearest Fiat service garage. Also, it is the foundation for the Waterspeed model.
The last Phantom is the previous generation Phantom VII that is available for you to see on the road. However, this one is the first Phantom from 2003. It is the first one that came out of the factory. It is slightly smaller than the rest of the other Phantoms and it has been in production for 14 years! Usually, European cars have a product lifecycle of seven years, just do the maths! Also, the last Phantom made the Mercedes-Benz Maybach go out of production. The Maybach was a disaster since it was first revealed, while the Phantom made things go faster. The existing Maybach range is produced under the Mercedes-Benz brand like the AMG.
Finally, the eighth Phantom is on the lower ground floor (-2). It is big, it is really really big, and you will not notice the size thanks to the Bonhams’ setting and the crown above it. Also, the black colour of the interior of the venue makes the Phantom look tiny. However, this car is massive, and when you see it on the road, you will have to adjust your brain to take in its size. This Phantom is a statement car. If you have it, the whole world will know that you have the money and definitely you are not a shareholder of Facebook, Apple or Google.
The eighth Phantom is a great car, in that the engineering and the attention to detail are far beyond that found in previous generations. I did my best to find mistakes but couldn’t find any, except the rear seats. They can’t turn into a bed like in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class Maybach. However, you can sit in a very relaxing position where you will fall asleep, while the super thick carpet swallows your shoes and all your feet. Also, this Phantom is one of the most silent cars on the market, even the tyres are uniquely designed for the Phantom by Continental. If you have a close look, you will see they look a bit awkward. This is because they are designed to reduce noise rather than improve the handling. As a result of the super silence and softness of the seats and the carpets, your passengers will easily fall asleep.
As far as the interior is concerned, I can’t ignore the dashboard gallery! There is an art gallery on the dashboard. It was my idea actually. However, I never managed to say it out loud. Once I mentioned it on my blog and Rolls-Royce now offers various types of art work for your dashboard, designed by inspirational artists. However, if you wish to ruin the dashboard with your personal art taste, Rolls-Royce lets you do it. Usually, my taste is the best statement that such an approach ends up terribly wrong. If you can afford to buy a Rolls-Royce Phantom this does not mean that you are a distant relative of Leonardo Da Vinci. Therefore, your taste in art would not offer something unique or something extraordinary.
Anyway, the Bonhams exhibition is available until this coming Wednesday (It is finished now). Go and visit. If you have missed it, I have the photos. The eighth Rolls-Royce Phantom is a great car with a huge heart. Yes, it is big.
Rolls-Royce 103EX, the future of the Rolls-Royce. For many people, Rolls-Royce is associated with traditional car manufacture. They think that the company may not be involved with the self-driving car technology, because their customers already have a chauffeur.
However things have changed with Rolls-Royce. The company has a very rich heritage and also a very dynamic team. And this lead to the creation of a futuristic car that will predict how future Rolls-Royce cars might be!
The 103EX concept vehicle is full size, a massive Rolls-Royce with no steering-wheel. Instead of a steering-wheel it has the largest tablet screen available on the market.
The logic behind the 103EX is to show the world that Rolls-Royce is going to make a self-driving car in the future. And definitely they will make it. However, while it may have a steering wheel and a smaller sized screen, the self-driving Rolls-Royce is not that far away.
Where did I see the 103EX? I saw it at the Rolls-Royce factory in Goodwood. Was the 102EX large? Very, very large and it can only accommodate two people at the moment. Does the 102EX run on electric power? Of course, it won’t be powered by a steam engine!
I don’t want to write a very long article for the gold covered Rolls-Royce mascot (Spirit of the Ecstasy). The photos are telling the story. This is a brand new Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead at HR Owen Mayfair, London dealer.
This is the first time I have seen a gold covered Rolls-Royce mascot. I guess, it is better to keep the lady inside its secure place when you are parking this car.