By on August 31, 2018

Are you tired of commoners gawking at you through the windows of your Rolls? Is your chauffeur too much of a peon with which to share time? Do you want to combine your desire for solitude with your love of spending house-sized money on a car? Well, fret no more.

Rolls-Royce has announced the introduction of a “Privacy Suite” for its Extended Wheelbase Phantom, a car exquisitely capable of delivering a crushing commentary on the inferiority of your neighbor’s bank statement.

Opting for the Privacy Suite cleaves the Phantom’s cabin in half with an vast slab of Electrochromatic Glass, a unit which allows the front and rear occupants to be visually separated at the touch of a button. The oligarch occupying the rear throne is offered the option to see through the glass and on to the road ahead or to instantly transform the glass to opaque.

Rolls says it has developed a frequency-specific compound made out of moonbeams and unicorn feathers to inhibit the transmission of conversations in the rear cabin to the front cabin. There is a fully integrated intercom system that allows backseat ballers to yell commands at their driver. It is a two-way voice system, but only those in the rear compartment can reject a call; those up front are forced endure the verbal barrage.

In addition, the fortification wall features what is described as a large aperture whose opening is controlled solely by the rear passenger. Rolls allows documents or – wait for it – “other objects” to be easily passed between the front and rear cabins. When open, the aperture is illuminated to ensure passengers are satisfied with the nature of the documents or “other objects” before taking delivery.

Rolls thoughtfully fits this Phantom with a Bespoke Rear Theatre Entertainment system. Integrated into the Privacy Suite, it includes two high-def 12-inch monitors linked a suite of software. The company takes pains to point out an HDMI port (just like ones included on family minivans!) that allows passengers to synchronise their “highly secure personal devices.” Presumably, Rolls is talking about something other than a smartphone, as we all know that Apple and Samsung will eventually take pictures of your bosoms and send them to the internet.

Rear-seat rockstars will also enjoy a Starlight Headliner and what is described as a “Bespoke Clock”, which one can only assume tells time with equal élan as your highly secure personal device.

Naturally, one can also experience this type of driver/passenger separation for no cost at all. Simply act like a ne’er-do-well and you may quickly find yourself enjoying the backseat environs of a police cruiser, a vehicle which also has a partition between the front and rear seats. Good luck finding a bespoke rear theatre entertainment system back there, though; you’ll have to use your imagination.

The company chose to unveil this altar to excess at the 2018 Chengdu Motor Show. This should not be a surprise, as consumers in that market value rear seat space and gadgets above just about everything else. Back in this country, Rolls-Royce North America installs a new President tomorrow, September 1st, handing the corner office to Martin Fritsches, who started his career at BMW 20 years ago in Argentina.

[Images: Rolls-Royce]

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18 Comments on “Block Out Peasants With Your Rolls-Royce Phantom...”


  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    “Made out of moonbeams and unicorn feathers.” Some of the oligarchs/’masters of the universe’ who will end up owning one of these, would probably prefer if it was made of the crushed genitals/sex organs of endangered species.

    I am however bewildered by how it will work. 23 years ago, when we installed ‘one way’ glass in one of our offices, we had to also install a very expensive lighting system, as we were told that the lumens had to vary considerably on both sides for it to work effectively. I suppose that either a) technology has changed this requirement, or b) we were ripped off by the contractor.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      LOL, reminds me of that scene from “The Freshman” with the Komodo Dragon.

      youtube.com/watch?v=cESolAdBT7A

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      The electrochromatic glass I’ve seen looks like LCD dots when you flip on the switch. It didn’t require any special lighting set up.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      While I can’t speak to the specific technological requirements, with traditional one-way glass, the light has to be brighter on the opaque side. I used to work in a grocery store that used it for the front office, and any time the power went out (as the office was on back-up power), it was no longer one-way.

    • 0 avatar
      forward_look

      It’s not one-way, it turns completely opaque when the voltage is applied. Kind of like self-darkening glasses, but uses electricity.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    It’s worth noting that modern luxury and super-luxury buyers seem to expect a helluva lot of technology. No one would want a $500,000 car with the same technology as a Toyota Corolla, but that’s where Rolls-Royce would be if they hadn’t been bought by tech juggernaut BMW and were instead still in the Vickers ownership (with Bentley). They wouldn’t have had the money or resources to develop (admittedly ridiculous) stuff like this…not to mention the gajillion networked computers, sensors and motors that power even the basest Rolls-Royce.

    Ditto for Bentley and Volkswagen Group.

    I don’t think even extremely prestigious automakers that don’t have parentage or close ties with a big automaker will make it in this day and age. The exception is Ferrari, who have the development dollars and revenue to do whatever they like.

    • 0 avatar
      Vipul Singh

      Could this access to technology be one of Jaguar’s ailments?

      As a counterpoint, can’t suppliers provide (or even develop) all this stuff? I mean, LCD separation screens: ‘how hard can it be?’

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I’d say the Jaguar/Land Rover conglomerate represents enough of an automaker in its own right that it doesn’t suffer from this problem. And it’s owned by Tata, a large Indian automaker. While providing no technology to scale up, Tata has definitely infused the British brands with the cash they need. The same is true for Geely and Volvo.

        Neither Jaguar nor Land Rover was ever as high-tech as the Germans (not even when BMW owned Land Rover and developed the L322 Range Rover), but they seem to have longer gestation times between major tech overhauls. That said, their current stuff is pretty cutting-edge, especially InControl Touch and InControl Touch Pro.

        And suppliers can and do develop a lot of the stuff. But that requires plenty of cash, too. Not to mention a huge investment into a vehicle architecture that can support it.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I don’t care how nice it is, it’s still butt-ugly

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Dang, I originally overlooked the April Wine clip. You Yanks (and others) probably don’t know April Wine but they are one of the seminal Canadian bands of the early to mid 1970’s, opened for the Stones legendary performance at the El Mocambo and are still touring small town Canada.

    Saw them myself scores of times. Owned some of their albums (vinyl).

    So Matthew, how did you find this clip?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    MR. BURNS: Deploy the cow catcher.

  • avatar

    I dislike considerably the new Phantom’s design.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    It’s just a limo. The only difference is the gimmicky implementation of the front curtains. Big effin deal.

  • avatar
    Ermel

    I would have expected the glass partition to double as a multimedia widescreen for that kind of investment. Who wants to stare at a huge slab of beige glass, or look down at puny 12″ monitors? Give me a break.

  • avatar
    Lockstops

    Rolls Royce has also released a video of how communications will work between the driver and the passenger:
    https://i.makeagif.com/media/12-16-2015/hDu9YZ.gif

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    You’re leaving out critical buyer information. How many cupholders? Does the rear seat have a pass-thru for skis or 2x4s? Does the trunk have one of those mesh nets for grocery bags? And what’s the MSRP on this thing? Any cash on the hood?

  • avatar
    NeilM

    RR seems to have missed the obvious by omitting an electrochroamatic privacy glass option for all the rear windows. Blocking the sight of the grubby peasantry outside the vehicle is what the socially sensitive oligarch really wants.

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