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First look: Rolls to unveil Phantom Coupe at Geneva

Top-end: Phantom Coupe features rear-hinged doors and a bigger fuel tank.

Rolls-Royce reveals the fourth derivative of its new-generation Phantom: the coupe

18 Feb 2008

ICONIC British-based, German-owned mega-luxury car-maker Rolls-Royce has revealed first details and images of its new Phantom Coupe ahead of its official public premiere at the Geneva motor show on March 4.

Production of the fourth bodystyle derivative to emerge from the BMW-developed Phantom model range, which will be one of the world’s most expensive coupes ever and is claimed to be the most driver-orientated Phantom to date, begins at R-R’s Goodwood manufacturing facility in England from mid-2008.

50 center imageAs such, the new two-door Roller will feature a number of “subtle but significant” modifications to differentiate its character from the short-wheelbase Phantom sedan and convertible Drophead Coupe models with which it will share many components. Together, they are claimed to make the two-door fixed-roof Phantom “noticeably more dynamic, whilst still offering incredible levels of comfort”.

Among the changes will be a 25 per cent increase in fuel capacity over the Drophead Coupe to improve its driving range, notwithstanding the fact Rolls-Royce claims its carryover 338kW/720Nm 6.75-litre V12 offers class-leading fuel consumption.

R-R says the result is a vehicle that can cover long distances effortlessly, making it “the perfect choice (for) Australia’s stretching roads” and allowing both driver and passengers “to emerge unruffled, even after an all-day run”.

The hallowed British maker says the Phantom Coupe’s rear-hinged “coach” (not “suicide”) doors not only improve ease of access to the rear lounge seats as well as overall aesthetics, but also improve the vehicle’s body rigidity by allowing for an uninterrupted A-pillar, which is claimed to make it the most torsionally rigid Rolls-Royce ever. A brushed-steel A-pillar and bonnet finish, as seen for the first time on the 100EX, will also be available for the Coupe.

There’s also what R-R describes as a spacious picnic boot, which offers a relatively tight 395 litres of luggage space and is accessed via a split tailgate – the lower section of which “provides a comfortable seating platform for two adults when lowered”.

Beneath all this is the same hand-made aluminium chassis that underpins the other Phantom models, including the sedan released here in January 2003, the Extended Wheelbase launched in March 2005 and the Drophead Coupe that hit Australian roads in January 2007.

“Rolls-Royce has always been about pace, performance and style,” said Rolls-Royce Motor Cars chief designer, Ian Cameron. “For the Coupe design we gave the quintessential Rolls-Royce design a dynamic twist. This adds a sense of drama to the outstanding engineering and drivability that are fundamentals of Rolls-Royce cars. The dynamic drive of the Phantom has always come as a surprise to customers and the Coupe takes it one step further.” Rolls-Royce experienced a 25 per cent sales increase in 2007 (31 per cent in the Asia-Pacific region), when it sold 1010 Phantoms to easily outsell its most direct rival in the Mercedes-Benz-developed Maybach, which attracted just 401 customers last year. First Phantom Coupe deliveries for Asia-Pacific customers (including Australians) are slated to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

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