The Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe is the production version
of the Rolls-Royce
100EX Centenary concept car of 2004. The 2008 Phantom Drophead
Coupe will go on show at the 2007 Detroit Motor Show with few
visual differences to the initial concept car. Although the
V16 from the 100EX has been swapped in favour of the more conventional
6.75 litre V12.
Because of the open top lifestyle the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead
Coupe will endure, the car uses nautical styling influences,
like the 100EX did. Such as teak decking behind the rear seats,
wipe clean seats and a moisture resistant carpet. Other styling
elements carried over from the 100EX include the unpainted brushed
aluminium bonnet and A-pillars.
The two-door, four-seat Phantom 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.
The exterior lines of the Phantom Drophead Coupe 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
emphasises the airy openness of top-down motoring, embracing
the elements and creating a stunning, social environment.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chief Designer, Ian Cameron, said, "This
car gave us the chance to think about the very nature of convertible
motoring and in particular what it means to Rolls-Royce. Above
all we were determined to make this car a joy to live with and
engineered it to give years of effortless service to its owner."
Front opening coach doors have been homologated for the 2008
Phantom Drophead Coupe and add considerably to the ease of access
to the rear seat, as well as to the overall aesthetics. Unique
to Rolls-Royce, the doors dramatically transform the Phantom
Drophead Coupé's looks, giving a side profile reminiscent
of classic sports cars of the '60s. Crucially, they also aid
the overall stiffness of the body as the rear hinged doors allow
for an uninterrupted A-pillar.
"The Phantom Drophead Coupé is about emphasising
the essentials of pleasure," says Cameron. "Above
all, we were determined to make this car a joy to live with.
Rolls-Royce is the opposite of stiff formality. Why would you
design and build a car like this and not make it fun to use?"
At the front of the Drophead Coupe 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, remodelled using advanced computer software.
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
program at Goodwood.
The front end of the 2008 Phantom Drophead Coupé is more
streamlined than that of previous Rolls-Royce cars. Slim front
LED side lights sit above larger round driving lamps. The front
bumper is integrated into the design, further softening the
look. A discreet camera nestles underneath the numberplate to
provide an excellent split-screen view of the road ahead, via
the onboard monitor, to help when parking or when pulling out
of a side road.
An entirely new palette of nine exterior colours has been developed
for the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé: Metropolitan
Blue, Admiral Blue, Jubilee Silver, Diamond Black, Duck Egg
Blue, Semaphore Yellow, English White, Woodland Green and Ensign
Red. These are complimented with hood colours in Silver, Black,
Beige, Navy Blue, Deep Red and Deep Green.
The interior of the Phantom Drophead Coupe revolves around the
idea of an indoor/outdoor space: an all-weather passenger compartment
that combines the practicality required for convertible motoring
with the sumptuous elegance expected of Rolls-Royce. Rather
than take inspiration solely from the automotive world, Chief
Interior Designer Alan Shepherd looked elsewhere. "In 2004,
when we were designing 100EX, we visited a boatyard in Southampton
where one of the famous 1930s America's Cup J-class yachts was
being restored. We were struck by the variety and uses of different
materials throughout. All of the J-class yachts have a tremendous
sense of purposeful elegance about them, and this was something
that we were keen to emulate."
The Phantom Drophead Coupé's advanced aluminium spaceframe
is at the heart of its refined, dynamic driving experience.
Lightweight and exceptionally strong, it impacts positively
on ride, comfort and safety. Its inherent rigidity is essential
in isolating vibration and maintaining the hushed interior calm
associated with the brand. 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.
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 highly effcient unit uses direct injection
and variable valve timing. The engine is mated to a six-speed
ZF automatic shift-by-wire gearbox.
Similar and related vehicles:
2005 Rolls Royce Phantom
2006 Rolls Royce Phantom Black
Rolls-Royce 200EX Concept
Rolls-Royce 100EX Concept
Rolls-Royce 101EX Concept