If you were given the chance to drive a car that cost almost a 1/2-million dollars what would you do? How about four of them? We did – the entire Rolls-Royce line up, including the Phantom, Coupe, and Drophead Coupe. It’s an experience many can only dream about and we’ll never forget.
Recently we had a very unique opportunity. Rolls-Royce was in town and they were showing off their entire 2009 lineup. Better yet, we were invited to not only come down and poke around the Phantom and Coupe but drive them as well. Here’s how it went…
Don’t miss the photo gallery from our stint behind the wheel of these ultimate luxury machines.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars enjoys prestige unlike no other brand. It’s often used as a metaphor to describe the best money can buy. I bet you’ve heard someone using the phrase “It’s the Rolls-Royce of…” at least once in your life. The Phantom and Phantom Extended Wheelbase are, if you will, the Rolls-Royce of all Rolls-Royces. Its the company’s largest and most opulent model. The Phantom Coupe and Phantom Drophead Coupe have only two doors and are slightly smaller.
All models (we’ll just call them collectively, the Phantom) offer superb luxury inside and out. While many car companies promote their vehicles are meant for “drivers”- a Rolls-Royce would land squarely on the other side side of the spectrum. A Rolls-Royce is to be driven around in.
Whether behind the wheel or in the second row, the experience of simply sitting in a Rolls-Royce is very unique. The Phantom fits all of the traditional molds for what you’d expect of a world-class executive chauffeur. Attention to detail is so extreme it’s no wonder why all Rolls are still built by hand.
The interior of the Phantom is covered in rich leathers, real wood veneers, and small billet pieces of metal. There’s so much leather and wood in fact that it takes between 15 and 18 hides and over 43 pieces of wood to upholster one Phantom. The wood trim, although looking solid on the outside, is comprised of 28 layers of wood and aluminum for strength and safety.
Every switch, knob, or button has a smooth and mechanically precise feel to it. The Phantom offers a variety of options to keep even the most affluent customer happy. You can choose from over 15 standard exterior colors and 13 standard interior hues. Each car is given a final hand polishing – for five hours. Should one of those selections, or any option for that matter not quite fit your liking- Rolls-Royce will customize your car to your exacting specifications. Colors? 45,000 choices are at your fingertips. Maybe you’re looking for a carbon fiber interior? Sure thing.
If you’re lucky enough to get behind the wheel of a Rolls-Royce, we can verify you’re in for quite a treat. The company has placed a 6.75-liter V12 engine under the bonnet- also assembled by hand. You may not associate Rolls-Royce with quick and powerful, however a jaunt 0-60mph only takes 5.7 seconds in the Phantom, 5.6 seconds in the Coupe. This rather un-executive-like speed is courtesy the V12’s 435-horsepower and 531 lb ft of torque.
Driving a Rolls could better be described as “floating.” For all the power and weight you’d expect these machines to motor down the road like a boat. In reality, you never really get a grasp on the sense of speed. So refined is everything from acceleration to steering wheel feel, it’s almost as if you’re behind the wheel of an object that the outside world has lost its influence over. Even full-on acceleration is turbine smooth. Road bumps and cracks are pleasantly imperceptible.
As you already know, the best money can buy does cost the best money someone could hope to have. The Phantom starts at a jaw dropping $380,000. The Phantom Extended Wheelbase is an even cooler $450,000. The Coupe and Drophead Coupe list for $408,000 and $430,000 respectively. With Rolls-Royce Bespoke customization, the sky is truly the limit.
After a few hours of fun playing in cars costing more money than I’ve ever made in my entire life; my view of the automotive industry has been forever changed. It was both nerve-wracking and exhilarating at the same time. Would you want to be the guy who dented up a nearly $1/2-million car?