|2009 Phantom||2011 Phantom 102EX Experimental Electric||2011 Bespoke Phantom Drophead Coupe|
Image credits: © Rolls-Royce.
2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe news, pictures, and information
We can all appreciate the boldness and confidence of a Phantom II or the flowing grace of a Silver Cloud, but it takes a trained eye to assess those lines and see the science behind the shapes. To this end, Cameron and his team scrutinised the company's greatest creations in an effort to discover the essence of Rolls-Royce. Its design DNA, if you like.
The iconic grille and Spirit of Ecstasy mascot are obvious identifiers, but there are numerous more subtle elements that have an equally powerful effect. The coach doors and striking use of chrome. The gentle, upswept line of the sill - known internally as the 'waftability' line - that creates a powerful, poised stance and makes the car appear to be moving when stationary.
With closer inspection, other themes emerge. A long wheelbase is crucial to achieve the classic Rolls-Royce look, as is a long bonnet, but while the front should be bold and upright wîth a short overhang, the rear needs to be softer, wîth the roofline blending into a wide 'C' pillar (the rearmost of the car's vertical roof support posts), to give a flowing appearance. Large wheels add an essential sense of proportion: the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars rule of thumb being the diameter of the wheel and tyre is roughly half the height of the car.
'Our absolute priority, explains Cameron, was to create a motor car that is clearly a Rolls-Royce even when the radiator grille is not in view.'
|Engine : 6.7 L., 12-cylinder|
Power: 453 hp
Torque: 531 ft-lbs
Sitting on top of the chrome plated aluminium grille, the Spirit of Ecstasy is an iconic mascot recognised the world over. Claude Johnson originally commissioned the sculptor Charles Sykes to produce a mascot worthy of his cars in 1911. Sykes is claimed to have used a woman by the name of Eleanor Velasco Thornton as his model, and the resulting sculpture has graced Rolls-Royce cars ever since.
During the conception of the Phantom it was noted that after so many years of use, the original mould for the Spirit of Ecstasy had become worn, losing much of the delicate detailing. The decision was taken to recast the mould, using state-of-the-art computer technology, and old photographs of Thornton herself, to restore the missing detail and definition to the legendary figurine.
There are two wheel and tyre options: the standard 540mm diameter PAX alloy wheel, which is fitted wîth Michelin's PAX run-flat tyres (the world's first application of the PAX system as standard); and the larger 21inch alloy wheel, which runs on Goodyear's Extended Mobility Technology (EMT) run-flat tyres. In the unfortunate event of a puncture, either system has the capability to be driven for at least 100 miles at speeds up to 55mph, and negates the need for a spare wheel or compressor.
Both types of wheel are available in a number of finishes, either standard silver, or completely chrome plated. The centre caps can either be chromed or body coloured and feature ingenious self-righting RR logos, which remain upright at all times, are standard feature of either wheel design.
A bold and distinctive feature of the Phantom are the rear-hinged coach doors. While they undoubtedly offer an added sense of occasion when entering and exiting the car, the coach doors also perform an important safety function. Side-impact protection is much-improved, both as a result of rear passengers sitting inside the fixed body structure of the car, and thanks to a significant intrusion reduction over a standard rear door configuration.
The door aperture is tall, which when combined wîth the Phantom's flat floor and lack of door sills means it is easier to enter and exit the car. Another benefit is a sense of security for passengers, for when both the front and rear doors are open, they create a protective shield from passing traffic.
The unconventional nature of the coach doors posed our engineers some serious legislative challenges. These were overcome wîth the use of sophisticated electronically controlled door latches, which work in conjunction wîth a series of sensors to ensure that the coach door cannot be opened while the car is in motion.
We have also incorporated a closing assistance system for the rear doors, which can pull the door shut from any opening angle, allowing rear passengers to close the door from within the passenger cabin at the touch of a button. There is also a soft-close mechanism that pulls all the doors closed through the final 6mm of travel, minimising effort and noise.
Tuned to deliver a supremely comfortable ride, together wîth taut, responsive handling, the Phantom uses a custom-developed double wishbone front suspension and sophisticated multi-link rear suspension. Together wîth air springs and continuous electronic damping control, the Phantom maintains a level stance when laden wîth passengers and luggage. There is also a driver-selectable ride-height adjustment, which raises the Phantom by 25mm, for additional ramp clearance or when driving on poorly surfaced roads. Once the Phantom exceeds 60km/h in this mode the suspension returns to normal level automatically.
The product of our flawless surface finishing process, every Phantom has a total of 5 layers of primer, paint and high-gloss clear coat for an unrivalled shine and depth of colour.
We use state-of-the-art robots in two dust-free 'clean rooms' to apply the paint, as they minimise wastage and achieve a more consistent finish than humanly possible. However, we rely on our highly-skilled paint associates to spray those areas of the body the robots can't reach, and to complete those tasks that require human dexterity and judgement, such as ensuring scrupulously cleaning the bodies between coats, inspecting the final finish for the most minute imperfections, and polishing the paintwork to a flawless mirror finish.
There are 13 standard paint colours, but this number rises to some 44,000 different hues if you enlist the services of our Bespoke team. It is also possible to have a Phantom painted in a variety of two-tone colour schemes, where the top surface - bonnet, roof and boot - or sides are painted in a tone that contrasts or complements the main body colour.
At the heart of the Phantom is its all-aluminium 6749cc V12 engine. Úsing the most sophisticated engine technology available, including direct petrol injection, variable valve control and variable camshaft timing, it produces impressive maximum power and torque figures - 453bhp at 5350rpm and 531lb ft/720 Nm at 3500rpm - wîth peerless refinement and unmatched drivability.
Tuned to deliver Rolls-Royce's legendary 'waftability', it gives 75% of its maximum torque at just 1000rpm, the remaining 25% arriving in one, sustained, linear stream as the driver squeezes the throttle.
All this pulling power is delivered to the road through the rear wheels, via a six-speed automatic gearbox. Controlled by a column selector, the transmission uses shift-by-wire technology, which means there is no mechanical linkage between the selector and the transmission itself. With gearshift points optimised for comfort, and pulling away in 2nd gear, the Phantom is engineered to make silky smooth progress through the gears. Though effortless in delivery, the Phantom's performance is truly spirited, wîth a 0-60mph time of just 5.7sec and an electronically governed top speed of 149mph.
Power of different kind is supplied by the Phantom's electrical system. With a two liquid-cooled alternators and automatic charge management of the main battery and dedicated starter battery (both located beneath the boot floor for optimum weight distribution), you can use the Phantom's entertainment systems without fear of draining the starter battery and compromising vehicle reliability.
Technology has been at the core of Rolls-Royce's engineering philosophy for more than a century. It's appropriate, therefore, that the Phantom is built around a highly advanced aluminium spaceframe - the largest of its kind ever made in the automotive sector.
Though hidden from view, it is one of the undoubted engineering highlights of the car, comprising some 200 extruded aluminium sections and more than 300 parts made of sheet alloy. Highly-skilled craftsmen weld the structure together by hand, completing some 150-metres of weld in 2,000 separate locations.
Designed to be immensely strong, for safety, and rigid, to provide a solid platform around which the rest of the car can be built, the spaceframe weighs just 550kgs - considerably less than if it were made from steel.
Clever design means the spaceframe is adaptable, making it possible to build new Rolls-Royce models without the need for a radical re-design. It's an extremely advanced and efficient piece of engineering. A good example of this is the Phantom Extended Wheelbase, which gains an extra 250mm of rear legroom without compromising the styling or engineering integrity of the standard car.
An impressive and highly effective finishing detail, it takes some 3-hours for our highly-skilled craftsman to hand-paint a single, 6-metre long coachline. Úsing special brushes, made from ox and squirrel hair, the coachline must be precisely level and an even 3mm in width.
Traditionally painted in a colour to match the interior trim, many customers now elect to have coachlines - both single and twin - in contrasting colours, and sometimes request additional hand-painted monograms or emblems, to further personalise their cars.
Originally a feature first seen on the Bespoke Edition Phantom Black, and subsequently offered as a part of our Bespoke programme, Visible Exhausts are now available as an option.
A subtle but unmistakable hint at the Phantom's huge reserves of effortless performance, the integrated twin exhausts add a sense of visual purpose without compromising the whisper quiet nature of the peerless Rolls-Royce V12 engine.Source - Rolls-Royce
The Rolls-Royce Phantom'Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it.'
Sir Henry Royce
The Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chief Engineer and Founder gave us these words over 100 years ago, and they remain the cornerstone of the company philosophy.
When the new Phantom was unveiled in January 2003, it marked a renaissance for arguably the most famous name in the automotive world; a name that has become synonymous wîth excellence.
'Project Rolls-Royce' began on 28 July 1998, when BMW Group became custodian of the marque. The new Phantom is the result of an intense four-year design and engineering programme that not only produced an entirely new motor car, but also established a new company and a new manufacturing plant at Goodwood in the South of England. At the time, it was described as 'the last great adventure in motoring'.
DESIGN'Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble.'
Sir Henry Royce
The Rolls-Royce Phantom is not about achieving a single superlative - the biggest, the fastest, and the most powerful. Rather, it is about finding the optimum balance of all these attributes and more. With a Rolls-Royce, superlatives are found in the details. New thinking and attention to detail can be seen in a number of areas of the Phantom - the coach doors designed to make entry and exit as graceful as possible, a retractable Spirit of Ecstasy that hides away at the touch of a button, the Teflon-coated umbrellas housed in the rear doors and the interlinked RR wheel centres, engineered to remain upright at all times.
Authenticity is the key element. Ian Cameron, Chief Designer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, explains: 'Our absolute priority was to create a motor car that is clearly a Rolls-Royce even when the radiator grille is not in view. More than this, the new car has to stand apart from all others on the road.'
Authentic design elements, such as a long bonnet and wheelbase, short front and long rear overhang, strong C-pillar and discreet rear window, run throughout the Phantom, combining wîth 21st century engineering integrity to create a car wîth genuine presence.
Generous interior proportions and the elevated position of the electrically operated front seats give a sense of authority. Rear passengers are seated 18 mm (0.7 in) higher than those in front, allowing an uninterrupted view of the Spirit of Ecstasy. Sat alongside the C-pillar, behind the rear side glass and well behind a conventional saloon arrangement, rear occupants enjoy an unrivalled sense of privacy and security.
The size of the motor car is a balance between design and engineering considerations. For example, the requirement for a prominent seating position and substantial interior space determined the wheelbase, floor height, width and standing height, which in turn determined the axle position and wheel size. As a result, the new car's wheelbase is 3570 mm (140.6 in) while the overall length is 5834 mm (229.7 in). It is 1632 mm (64.3 in) tall and 1990 mm (78.3 in) wide. The 460 litre/16.2 cu ft (DIN) boot is large enough to take four sets of golf clubs wîth ease.
The rear interior compartment is unique in every respect. Taking a fundamental step back, the design team started out by asking a simple question: 'What is the best way to get into and out of the rear of a motor car?'
The answer was coach doors, hinged at the rear, which allow passengers to enter and exit wîth decorum. Once they are seated, the door can be closed automatically simply by pressing a small button on the C-post. And because they allow the passengers to sit further back in the body of the car, coach doors also provide improved side impact protection. So much so that the Phantom has no need for rear side airbags.
Each C-post contains a panelled quarter mirror which, from within, appears to be a continuation of the side window, but offers a degree of privacy without having to resort to darkened windows or curtains. And when both front and rear doors are open, they form a protective barrier around a passenger entering or leaving the car.
The coach doors house another surprise feature. Within each rear door is an umbrella which is released at the touch of a button. After use, it can be stored even when wet: special drainage channels are incorporated into the coach door, and the umbrella material is coated wîth Teflon to ensure that it will not rot.
Inside, the design called for an open, almost flat, rear floor to allow passengers to move easily from one side of the car to the other - to exit the car at the kerb side, for example - and to create an inviting ambience. Maximum rear headroom was also a priority, wîth a figure of 979 mm (38.5 in) achieved.
The rear seats are available in two different configurations: lounge and theatre. Lounge seats have room for three passengers and are distinctly curved at their outer sides. With no lateral separation, this seating arrangement allows rear passengers to turn easily towards each other on a journey, making it easier to converse and enjoy an intimate environment. The theatre seating concept provides twin individual seats separated by a centre console that can house personal entertainment equipment, a drinks cabinet or other bespoke items.
All the doors and the boot lid have automatic soft closing which ensures they are securely fastened without the need for them to be slammed shut.
'Rolls-Royce supremacy is the reward of superlative design and meticulous care in manufacture.'
Rolls-Royce sales brochure, 1928
As expected from a Rolls-Royce, the interior features the finest materials found in any car. Two types of leather finishes are used - a natural grain hide for seating and a textured 'tipped' leather for door panniers and centre consoles. Naturally, it is the softest used in the automobile .
Deep-pile carpets are covered wîth sumptuous lambswool rugs, while metal surfaces have either a high-polish Sterling finish, such as the air vents, 'organ stops' and lighting consoles, or a satin finish, which is used on the door-handle surrounds and §teering column stalks. The headlining is of a wool and cashmere blend, providing a light and airy contrast to the leather surface of the central roof console.
No fewer than six different veneers are available for the woodwork: Figured Mahogany from West Africa, Burr Walnut, Birdseye Maple and Black Tulip from North America, and Oak Burr and Elm Cluster from Europe.
The switchgear displays a modern interpretation of the traditional Rolls-Royce principles of simplicity and clarity. Great care has been taken to balance the need to access a large number of functions without increasing complexity.
As a result, the major controls will be recognisable to long-standing Rolls-Royce owners, wîth iconic 'organ stops' still used to control the flow of air to the face-level vents. These have been joined by 'violin keys', similar in shape to the tuning heads on a violin, for minor switchgear.
A column-mounted, electronically controlled gear selection lever is retained, while a slim, leather-covered, three-spoke §teering wheel incorporates controls for the telephone, audio and navigation systems, as well as a button that allows the driver to access a 'low' mode for the gearbox.
Ahead of the driver is an instrument cluster comprised of three black-faced circular dials. A central speedometer is flanked by a split gauge for fuel level and water temperature, and a unique power reserve gauge which communicates the 'adequacy' of available power - for example, at 100 mph, the engine has 75 per cent of its total power capability left.
A notable innovation appears in the centre of the dashboard. A veneered panel housing the analogue clock swivels to reveal a monitor for vehicle settings, satellite navigation, on-board television and the telephone system. A controller, discreetly stowed in the centre console when not required, allows the driver to access these various specialist functions.
Starting point for the sophisticated ventilation system was to minimise the intrusive effect of direct forceful airflow, by providing indirect airflow for greater comfort. The circular air conditioning and heating controls are familiar items, controlling the six temperature zone interior wîth individual fan control for all four quarters of the cabin. Complementing a conventional heated rear window, the front side windows of the Phantom are heated for effective, noiseless demisting.
Light fittings, which can be found in the front and centre roof consoles and in the C-posts, are art-deco inspired; there are two reading lights in the front and twin reading lights for each side in the rear. Ambient interior lighting for night-time driving is provided by LEDs in the roof, while a brighter 'boulevard' setting allows rear passengers to see each other - or be seen - without distracting the driver.
'There is no evidence of an engine power ... until that power is required. Then it comes in a volume and wîth a fluency that is almost incredible, having regard to any sign of sensible effort in its delivery.'
Rolls-Royce Phantom II brochure, 1929
A Rolls-Royce is often perceived as the perfect chauffeur-driven car, where the primary concern is for the comfort of the rear passengers. But Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has a fundamental understanding of how the Phantom will be used, and the truth is rather different. While there will be occasions when an owner would prefer to enjoy his or her Phantom from the rear compartment, many owners will spend considerable time driving themselves.
Central to the design, therefore, has been the concept of relaxed control. This can be seen in the elevated driving position, the effortless operation of the controls and the refined performance of the engine.
A 6.75-litre V12 built to a Rolls-Royce specification by BMW, the engine offers ample power and huge reserves of torque, combined wîth exceptional fuel economy: headline figures include the 5.7 seconds that see it sprint from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h in 5.9 seconds) and the 25.7 mpg (11.0 ltr/100 km) it returns over the EÚ extra urban fuel economy cycle.
Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that the Phantom can cover 44 metres (144 ft) in just 4.0 seconds from a standing start. It's a figure many sports cars would be hard pressed to match. Top speed has been limited to 149 mph (240 km/h).
Maximum power is 453 bhp (338 kW) wîth peak torque of 720 Nm (531 lb ft) reached at 3,500 rpm. More significantly, 75 per cent of that torque is available from 1,000 rpm, making the power delivery seem effortless.
This refined engine performance does much to give the Phantom its 'waftability', a Rolls-Royce trademark that can be traced back to the turn of the last century. In 1907, a writer from the British motoring magazine Autocar described riding in the Rolls-Royce 40/50 hp as '... the feeling of being wafted through the countryside'. Engineers at Rolls-Royce quickly coined the term 'waftability' to encapsulate that sensation.
Waftability is achieved in many ways. Effortless acceleration from low engine speeds is one. Near silence of operation is another. A cosseting ride is a given, as is the refinement and comfort of the interior.
But waftability can also be found in the lines of the motor car itself: standing still, the Phantom looks ready to glide off. It's in the natural operation of the controls and in the minimum demands placed on the driver. The feeling can even be found in the masterly view from the driver's seat, over the long bonnet and front wings to the Spirit of Ecstasy and beyond.
Ergonomic features include a large-diameter §teering wheel combining traditional Rolls-Royce cues wîth modern technology: in use it has the lightness and tactility of a precision instrument. The thin-rimmed wheel is wrapped in leather wîth a hidden joint to make it more comfortable to the touch and automatically tilts away when the electronic ignition key is removed to ease entry and exit. The engine is started and stopped via a push button mounted within the ignition panel.
Double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension combine to give the driver stress-free access to the Phantom's full performance potential without compromising exceptional ride comfort. The rack and pinion §teering gives delightful feel through the wheel and the perfectly balanced chassis, wîth 50/50 weight distribution, ensures precise handling wîth excellent feedback of road and driving behaviour.
Naturally, for a Rolls-Royce motor car, such performance is matched by extraordinary tranquillity. Even at speed, the V12 engine emits no more than a distant hum. At idle, it is virtually silent. Engineered into the motor car is a dual-note exhaust: at low engine speeds, a valve in the system closes to increase back pressure and reduce the exhaust note to a whisper for understated arrivals and departures.
Combined wîth the synchronised wheel centres, which ensure that the interlinked RR badges on all four wheels are always in an upright position, the silence makes the Rolls-Royce Phantom appear to be gliding rather than driving away.
'Strive for perfection in everything you do.'
Sir Henry Royce
Adopting a fundamental rather than an incremental approach to designing a new motor car, the Rolls-Royce Phantom benefits from the application of innovative technology, most notably in its aluminium space frame structure. As well as being far lighter than a steel shell of an equivalent size, it is significantly more rigid, to the benefit of both handling and ride comfort.
Since the space frame is fully structural, the outer panels are simply fastened to the frame itself. Most of these, including the bonnet and rear wings are made from lightweight aluminium, or composite materials; only the boot lid is made of steel to aid weight distribution.
The vehicle package concept brings wîth it other bonus features and allows the use of coach doors as well as a double floor, providing an area for essential services without intruding into passenger space. In addition, the extra rigidity provides the highest levels of comfort and quietness as well as exceptional passive safety attributes.
Drive is to the rear wheels via a 'shift-by-wire', six-speed automatic transmission tuned to match the characteristics of the V12 engine. Electronic control means that, in normal use, the Phantom starts off in second gear wîth early up-shifts and late down-shifts.
However, by engaging the kickdown switch, which is integrated into the throttle pedal assembly, the car will set off in first and the full performance of the engine will be released. Similarly, engaging kickdown on the move allows later up-shifts and more immediate response. The gearbox incorporates a 'low' mode, suitable for steep mountain descents.
Mounted well ahead of the passenger compartment for optimum sound insulation, the engine itself is one of the most advanced in the world. Remarkably compact, the all-aluminium unit has four valves per cylinder, 48 in all, twin overhead camshafts per cylinder bank, four in all, and a long intake manifold for optimum low-end torque. It features direct fuel injection, fully variable valve lift control and variable valve timing.
Considering the size and performance potential of the Phantom, fuel economy is exceptional: over the EÚ extra urban cycle the Phantom returns 25.7 mpg (11.0 ltr/100 km) wîth a combined figure of 17.8 mpg (15.9 ltr/100 km). The fuel tank has a capacity of 22 imperial gallons (100 litres).
The huge wheels and tyres have been specially developed for the Rolls-Royce Phantom: it is the first car in the world to feature the advanced PAX run-flat tyre system from Michelin as standard. The 21-inch aluminium wheel option, shod wîth Goodyear tyres, illustrates a more sporting side to the Phantom's character.
Massive brakes - 374 mm (14.7 in) ventilated discs at the front and 370 mm (14.5 in) ventilated discs at the rear - bring peace of mind, as does the fact that the Phantom has passed all current and anticipated crash-test requirements.
Not only does its aluminium space frame bring significant benefits in occupant safety, but the Phantom also features a raft of passive restraint systems, including the Intelligent Safety Integration System (ISIS), which uses a decentralised optical network of sensors to permit intelligent triggering of the airbags. Dual-stage front bags are complemented by door-mounted side airbags in the front and window airbags running the length of the interior.
Sir Henry Royce
A Rolls-Royce motor car never has, and never will be, mass-produced. More than 260 man hours go into each Rolls-Royce Phantom, wîth many of the traditional features - such as the coach lines and exquisite cabinetry - still completed by hand.
The Phantom is, however, a 21st century motor car and the finest craftsmanship is augmented by advanced technical solutions: the result is a marriage of traditional skills and modern machinery, of human endeavour and technological achievement.
But there is no substitute for human involvement. A five-axis CNC milling machine might give the dimensional accuracy required for the interior trim, but it cannot ensure the veneer grains and patterns are aesthetically matched. Only the trained human eye and the sensitivity of human finger tips can ensure the highest quality hides and finest veneers are used in the Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Hand-crafting also allows much greater scope to satisfy individual customer demands. Such is the choice of colours, textures, veneers and equipment that it is highly unlikely that two identical Rolls-Royce Phantoms will ever be produced, unless deliberately commissioned, of course.
'The quality remains long after the price is forgotten.'
Sir Henry Royce
For nearly 100 years, Rolls-Royce has been the icon of motor engineering and design. The name has entered the language as the expression of perfection in a range of endeavours far beyond the motor .
The new Rolls-Royce Phantom is entirely in keeping wîth that long and illustrious heritage yet, at the same time, is totally contemporary. It reflects the timeless values of quality, distinction and authority, combining the best of the past wîth the best modern design, engineering and technology to re-interpret the character of Rolls-Royce in the 21st century.Source - Rolls-Royce
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|2010 Rolls-Royce models|
|Rolls-Royce Phantom Bespoke LWB|
|Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe|
|Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe 60th Anniversary Special Edition|
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|2009 Phantom||2011 Phantom 102EX Experimental Electric||2011 Bespoke Phantom Drophead Coupe|