2007 Detroit Auto Show: Rolls-Royce Intros Phantom Drophead Coupe, The Car We Predicted WOULD Be Built
January 1, 2007; Rolls-Royce Motor Cars will unveil to the world its new Phantom Drophead Coupé at NAIAS 2007 on Sunday, Jan. 7. The car goes into production in the summer at Rolls-Royce’s Goodwood plant in the United Kingdom.
The two-door, four-seat marries a sleek, streamlined convertible body to a lightweight, but rigid all-aluminum spaceframe chassis.
Exterior lines echo the timeless styling of the great Rolls-Royce cars -- a long hood, large-diameter wheels, short front and long rear overhangs and the quintessential dynamic line descending along its flanks.
A number of features first seen on 100EX, the experimental convertible shown by Rolls-Royce in 2004, have been engineered into the new Phantom Drophead Coupé. Two of the most visually striking of these are the brushed steel hood and A-pillar and the teak decking for the rear hood cover. The brushed steel is machine finished to give a uniform grain before undergoing extensive hand polishing to achieve a perfect sheen. At the rear, the teak decking is treated with a carefully blended mix of oils to preserve a natural finish and a long lasting luster that is as beautiful as it is hardy.
Front opening coach doors have been homologated for the new car 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.
Luggage is housed within a picnic trunk, a split-tail compartment that opens in two parts giving easy access large cargo space. The lower tailgate provides a comfortable seating platform for two adults when lowered. Careful engineering of the folding soft-top roof means that it stows in a relatively small space resulting in a luggage compartment that remains unaffected regardless of whether the roof is up or down.
The fabric hood is the largest of any modern convertible car. Five layers of material ensure that the cabin remains quiet at any speed. Lined with cashmere, it has been tailored to stow in a relatively small space.
At the core of the Phantom Drophead Coupé is an advanced aluminum chassis. Lightweight and exceptionally strong, it impacts positively on ride comfort, handling and safety.
Power is supplied by the same 6.75-liter naturally aspirated V12 engine found in the Phantom sedan, delivering 0-to-60 mile per hour acceleration of 5.7 seconds.
Also of note, the Phantom Drophead Coupé uses 1,300 new parts over those developed for the Phantom sedan, and it is the first such car to be offered by Rolls-Royce since 2002, the last being the Corniche.
The Phantom Drophead Coupé will be priced at $407,000 (U.S.) or 370,000 Euros.