Rolls-Royce Phantom

From Rolls Royce press: In 2006, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars unveiled 101EX, an experimental car hand-built to explore an exciting new design direction for a modern coupé. Wrapped in a sleek, rakish body, 101EX was an engineering-led study, showcasing the technical and architectural innovation inherent in the quintessential modern Rolls-Royce car. Both handsome and elegant, it encapsulated the essence of contemporary coupé style.

So positive was the worldwide reaction to 101EX that, in autumn 2007, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars announced that a series model would go into production in the summer of 2008. This coupé would complete the Phantom family, standing alongside the Phantom, Phantom Extended Wheelbase and Phantom Drophead Coupé.

Revealed at the Salon International de l'Automobile, Geneva in March 2008, the Phantom Coupé is the third new model from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars since BMW Group became custodian of the marque in 1998.

The Coupé is the most driver-orientated model in the Phantom line. A number of subtle but significant modifications have been made that change its character. It is noticeably more dynamic, whilst still offering incredible levels of comfort a balance not easily achieved.

The Coupé marries cutting-edge technology with a beautifully proportioned, muscular body that exudes power and style. Utterly contemporary in appearance, it nonetheless incorporates timeless Rolls-Royce design cues such as the long bonnet, large-diameter wheels, short front and long rear overhangs and the classic dynamic, rising profile.

Pleasing to the touch and to the eye, every material used in the Phantom Coupé has been carefully selected to combine form with function. The cabin's sumptuous leather, rich wood grains and cool chrome accents create a driver environment unparalleled in luxury and comfort.

Designed to cover great distances with the minimum of fuss, the Coupé is a sublime choice for a transcontinental trip, its effortless power provided by the Phantom's 6.75-litre V12, producing a phenomenal 453 bhp and 720 Nm of torque. Agile, fast, long-legged and virtually silent, the Phantom Coupé allows both driver and passengers to emerge unruffled, even after an all-day run.

"Rolls-Royce has always been about pace, performance and style," says Ian Cameron, who led the design team. "For the Coupé design we have emphasised the dynamism. The driving dynamics of the Phantom have always come as a surprise to customers and the Coupé builds on this visually as well as dynamically, via hard engineering changes. Its design adds drama to the outstanding engineering and drivability that are fundamentals of Rolls-Royce cars.

"We could have simply bolted a hard-top roof to the Drophead in order to make the Phantom Coupé. After all, the convertible is an incredibly well mannered car that performs impeccably. But this would not have been the right thing to do. The Coupé and the Drophead are two distinct cars, with different personalities and specific performance characteristics."

Gallery: Rolls-Royce Phantom