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Love at First Sight

The new Phantom has been five years in the making. It’s only the eighth generation in 92 years to carry the Rolls-Royce’s flagship nameplate.

True luxury isn’t rushed — it takes Patek Philippe two years to make one of its timepieces; it takes Pedrazzini 6,000 hours to handcraft a boat. Rolls-Royce designers and engineers took almost three years to figure out how to make the unique glass-covered dash which is the one-of-a-kind centerpiece of the spectacular interior of the new Phantom sedan.

It is a chilly Saturday morning when I arrive for my test drive of the Phantom at Manhattan Motorcars’ showroom at 711 Eleventh Avenue. They boast a roster of exotic and super luxury brands under one rooftop, often selling vehicles with price tags topping $1 million to the rich and famous.

The new 6.75-liter twin-turbo direct-injected V12 making 563 hp at 5,000 rpm is waiting for me, the rear coach door open, in the driveway. The spacious backseat beckons. This is one of the few cars where the passenger experience is superior to being in the driver’s seat. The Phantom has transported monarchs, rock stars and captains of industry, and me. It is a global luxury icon.

The ease of controlling all facets of comfort and privacy are at your fingertips: one to close the privacy shades, one to open them; one to raise the footrest, one to lower it; one to fold down the picnic tray, another to fold out the TV screen. There is a “Starlight Headliner.” Rolls-Royce is taking bespoke to a new level.

We leave Manhattan Motorcars and glide effortlessly along the streets of New York City. The silence is incredible. The sound-deadening six millimeters of two-layer glazing on the glass, and the silent seal tires with sound-swallowing foam liners make the new Phantom one of the quietest rides in history.

We head down the Westside Highway — passing under the High Line where pedestrians admire the Phantom as we pass by — and down to the Meatpacking District to stop for a coffee. 

I spent four hours with the Manhattan Motorcars team driving through the city for our cover story photoshoot and was fortunate to experience first-hand the Phantom’s amazing luxury and comfort. I have a long history with Manhattan Motorcars. I’ve been buying my cars there since 2006. From the sales people to the service team, Manhattan Motorcars’ owner Brian Miller has built an amazing company with New York’s most outstanding selection of high-end vehicles.

Brian boasts a roster of exotic and super luxury brands under one rooftop, often selling vehicles with price tags topping $1 million to the rich and famous. Manhattan Motorcars has been described as the city’s premier luxury motorcars dealership—and the only one authorized for Porsche, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Spyker, Lotus Koenigsegg and Bugatti in Manhattan.

Today, they sell about 850 new cars and 350 used cars a year across all their luxury brands combined, making it one of the top super luxury car dealerships in the country. With six floors to explore, auto enthusiasts return often to the Manhattan Motorcars showroom to see what’s new and what’s next. The secret to success, Brian says, is providing hands-on impeccable service to people who expect nothing less.

I’m excited about our collaboration with Manhattan Motorcars for our May 16 event at Studio 10 in The West Village. We share the same pool of customers and we’re looking to continue branding our businesses together by focusing on experienced-based events that our clients love.

Daniel Hilpert is Managing Director and Founder of Equicap and the publisher of EQ Magazine.

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