Geneva Motor Show: Rolls-Royce Phantom II
The Rolls-Royce Phantom is clearly no ordinary car, and is therefore not bound by ordinary car model cycles. An ordinary car model cycle sees it updated 3-4 years into its life, then replaced after about seven.
Geneva 2012 hosts the debut of the Phantom update, nine years after it was first put on sale.
On the one hand it doesn't go down the ever so vulgar, duplicitous route of most updates, which involve re-profiling the front and rear ends significantly in order to dupe gullible buyers into thinking they're buying a new car - for the Phantom, styling changes are extremely subtle.
On the other hand, Rolls-Royce has called it the Series II, suggesting it's brand new, the cads.
Most of the changes are mechanical and electronic. It gets a new, smoother eight-speed gearbox, which is more economical than the previous six-speeder. Without any changes to the 6.7-litre V12, fuel economy is ten percent improved.
Active cornering LED headlamps are standard now...and, ahem, that's about it.
Even Rolls-Royce design boss Ian Cameron suggests minimal work has been done: "Familiar theme, lit in a different way," is his appraisal of the Series II.
Nonetheless, the changes command a five percent or so price premium over the current car, meaning the range now begins at over £300,000. First deliveries are in June, if you want one.
For the full raft of Geneva Motor Show new cars, including ones for regular guys and gals, click here.