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Best Auto Cars: Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé

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Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé

The Phantom Drophead Coupé is the second new model from Rolls-Royce in the new millennium and, luckily, will not be the last one this decade. Every exterior panel on the Phantom Drophead Coupé is new, echoing the Phantom’s style but with carefully considered proportions more suited to the shorter body. At the front sits a new, more rakish grille, giving the car a more casual air while retaining its classic looks. Finished in steel, the centre fins are polished while the surround is brushed to match the optional brushed steel bonnet and A-pillar. The grille is hinged at the top in order to give way in the event of a low-speed impact. On top sits the Spirit of Ecstasy: these days she has a more lifelike appearance, with clear definition of her features. Finished in stainless steel, the Spirit of Ecstasy is also available in silver or gold via the Bespoke programme at Goodwood. With more than 350 man-hours invested in each car, not including the time taken to build the engine, nearly right is never acceptable. The maxim of company founder Sir Henry Royce still resonates around Goodwood today: “Strive for perfection in everything you do.”

The two-door, four-seat convertible is a less formal interpretation of classic Rolls-Royce design. Using the lightweight rigidity of an all-aluminium spaceframe, it marries modern technology to a sleek, streamlined convertible body. Its exterior lines echo the timeless styling of the great Rolls-Royce cars: a long bonnet, large-diameter wheels, short front and long rear overhangs and the quintessential dynamic line descending along its flanks. Inside, the design emphasizes the airy openness of top-down motoring, embracing the elements and creating a stunning, social environment. The Phantom Drophead Coupé offers owners an unparalleled convertible experience, combining compelling driveability with exceptional engineering, technology and design – hand-crafted from the finest materials to an exceptional level of quality. “The Phantom Drophead Coupé is about emphasizing the essentials of pleasure,” says designer Ian Cameron. 

One of the best visual clues to the Phantom Drophead Coupé’s character can be found at the rear. The picnic boot is the very essence of automotive affability. The only type of its kind on any convertible, it offers easy access to the luggage compartment as well as providing comfortable outdoor seating for two adults. The substantial hinges are able to accommodate a weight of 150 kg / 330 lb. Inside the boot, 315 litres / 11.1 cu ft of space is enough to house three sets of golf clubs. Importantly, this space remains intact whether the hood is raised or lowered. The new car is shorter than the Phantom by 250 mm / 9.8 in, so turn-in is slightly quicker, making for a wholly more agile driving experience. A lower centre of gravity, combined with the reduced wheelbase and incredibly stiff body, produces a ride that is on the refined, comfortable side of sporty. Ample power is supplied by a 6.75-litre, naturally aspirated, V12 engine. Developing 453 bhp / 338 kW and 720 Nm / 531 lb ft of torque at 3500 rpm, delivery is smooth and abundant. Furthermore, with 75 per cent of engine power available at just 1000 rpm, progress from a standstill is easy and remains so throughout the rev range. The powerful V12 will accelerate the Phantom Drophead Coupé to 60 mph in under six seconds and on to a limited top speed of 149 mph / 240 km/h.

Engine: 6.75L V12 
Horsepower: 453 bhp / PS 
Top Speed: 149 mph (240 km/h) 
Peak torque: 720 Nm (531 lb ft) 
Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 5.7 sec (0-100 km/h in 5.9) 

Retail Price: starting at 310,000 pounds (380,000 euros or 435,000 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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