Best Auto Cars: Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé


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Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé
by Eugen Beduhn

Revealed at the Salon International de l’Automobile, Geneva on 17 March 2008, the Phantom Coupé is the third new model from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars since BMW Group became custodian of the venerable marque in 1998.The Coupé is the most driver-orientated model in the Phantom line. A number of subtle but significant modifications have been made that change its character. It is noticeably more dynamic, whilst still offering incredible levels of comfort a balance not easily achieved. The Coupé’s wheelbase is 250 mm shorter than that of the Phantom, giving greater agility. With a top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h) it is also 6 mph (10 km/h) faster than its Phantom silibing. Its 49:51 weight ratio ensures that it remains beautifully balanced through corners, while the slight rear weight bias maximises straight-line acceleration and traction. 

An exquisite interior, hand-built using the finest materials, supremely comfortable and equipped with a studio-quality sound system, makes the Phantom Coupé the perfect car for all-day driving. Clean and contemporary, the cabin uses traditional materials in a modern way to create a tactile and visual feast: driver and passengers touch only leather, wood or chrome. The Lexicon LOGIC7TM sound system can be controlled by just one dial. Unique in its use in the automotive industry, the Lexicon system has 15 metal-matrix speakers to deliver an unparalleled clarity of sound, regardless of where a passenger may be seated. The rear of the Coupé houses an inviting lounge seat, a curved. Boulevard lighting creates a gentle luminescence, an effect that can be heightened by the optional, full-length starlight headlining, which incorporates hundreds of tiny fibre optics to give the impression of a star-filled night sky. 

At the heart of the Coupé is the same 6.75-litre V12 engine as used by the Phantom. Featuring advanced direct fuel injection with variable valve lift and timing, it offers the perfect combination of power and outstanding combustion efficiency. Designed to develop massive low-down torque, it delivers 75 per cent of its maximum power at just 1000 rpm, giving the smooth, unstressed performance associated with Rolls-Royce cars. The engine develops 453 bhp / 338 kW of power at 5350 rpm and 720 Nm / 531 lb ft of torque at 3500 rpm – ample for even the most enthusiastic of drivers. A sport button on the steering wheel activates a new gearbox programme. Each gear is held for longer, increasing the rate of acceleration. Kick-down is also faster and accelerator pedal response has been enhanced. The picnic boot, when lowered, provides a seating platform for two. At the same time, it also offers easy access to the luggage compartment, which has a volume of 395 litres / 14 cubic ft – enough for four sets of golf clubs.

Engine: 6.75L V12 
Horsepower: 453 bhp / PS 
Top Speed: 155 mph (250 km/h) 
Peak torque: 720 Nm (531 lb ft) 
Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 5.6 sec (0-100 km/h in 5.8) 

Retail Price: starting at 290,000 pounds (365,000 euros or 400,000 dollars MRSP)

Competing Models: "Competing Segment" on right side of "Best Autos & Cars in the World" page

More information on: www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com

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