When Rolls-Royce invited us down to the Cote d’Azur for the launch of their new Phantom Series II we were flattered and impressed in equal measure. And we’re not talking about the car…for now.
Turns out The Prodigal Guide was one of only a handful of UK bloggers invited to the launch, as Rolls-Royce marked the first time in its illustrious history that it had reached out to the blogging community. We think it reason to feel more than a bit smug.
Less enjoyable was the specific mention on our invitation that we would only enjoy a chauffeured ride in the Phantom Series II. We don’t mean to look a gift-horse in the mouth, but surely the only way to really review and convey the soul of a car is to drive it, no? Well, given the blogging community is incredibly diverse and eclectic, there was no way for the folks at Rolls-Royce to ascertain their driving skills. And when you’re talking about a £350,000 and up vehicle we grudgingly accepted that this was the only way forward.
Or was it? A lovely chat over espressos with Rolls-Royce’s PR Product Manager Nigel Wonnacott found ourselves reminiscing about other car launches we had attended in our distant past. We didn’t push the issue, but Nigel at one point leaned over and informed us he felt it appropriate to arrange for us to actually go out and drive the Phantom Series II. We positively beamed back at him, dark coffee staining our lips, our hands trembling ever so slightly.
This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and what we believe to be a blogger exclusive, is captured in the video to your right, with Straight-Six serving as your designated driver and blabber. And if you listen very closely, toward the end of the clip, you can hear pro driver Andre sharply inhale form the front passenger seat as we overtake the cyclist. Amusing and notable given the car was so eerily quiet inside.
This 10-minute drive was one we’ll never forget. Hopefully, neither will you.
Enough already: We slip behind the wheel of the Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II
Enough teasing: we manage to get behind the wheel of the Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II to tell you what it’s like to drive something worth a family home…
Eric (AKA Straight-Six) had a proper job as a journalist for Dow Jones before lowering himself gently into the warm, forgiving waters of The Guide. He’s our resident fanatic: he relished detailing his BMW M3 for two full days at a time before crashing it at Eau Rouge in the wet; he spends insane amounts on his home-cinema system and has thrown tens of thousands of euros at vintage Rolex sports watches. The little fool simply does not understand the concept of restraint or the meaning of excess. He also – following a legendary "heavy" lunch – once nibbled (yes, like little dogs do) a dear lady friend of ours.
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