hand built in England from this summer.
MT, PR, 19 April 2008.
Following its world premiere last
month at the 78th International Geneva Motor Show, the
new Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé will be unveiled
tomorrow for the first time in the Asia Pacific region
at the 10th Auto China 2008 Beijing, to be held at the
New China International Exhibition Centre.
The new Coupé is powered by the
Phantom’s 6.75-litre V12 that produces 453 bhp, 720
Nm of torque, with a 25 per cent increase in fuel tank
capacity (100 litres, like the Phantom), compared to
the Drophead Coupé (80 litres). It will be hand built
from this summer, alongside the other models at
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ manufacturing plant at
Goodwood on the South Coast of England. Deliveries to
the Middle East are expected from October 2008.
waistline and sleek panels for an
uninterrupted visual flow.
The new Phantom Coupé is the
fourth model since the launch of Phantom in 2003 (the
program started when BMW Group became custodian of the
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars marque in 1998), followed by
the Phantom Extended Wheelbase and the Phantom
Hence, the new model should boost
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars sales which reached last year
their highest number for 17 years, with a total of
1010 cars retailed to over 50 countries around the
world. 2007 was also the fourth successive year of
growth for the company, with an increase of 25 per
cent over 2006.
On the character side, the new Coupé
is designed to represent the most driver-orientated
model in the Phantom line, with noticeably more
dynamic handling, whilst still offering the levels of
comfort expected from the brand.
Origin - In 2006,
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars unveiled 101EX, an experimental
car hand-built to explore a new design direction for a
modern coupé. Wrapped in a sleek, rakish body, 101EX
was an engineering-led study.
The positive worldwide reaction to
101EX was followed in autumn 2007 by Rolls-Royce Motor
Cars announcement that the Phantom Coupé
series model would go into production in the summer of
The Coupé marries cutting-edge
technology with a muscular body and Rolls-Royce design
cues such as the long bonnet, large-diameter wheels,
short front and long rear overhangs and the classic
dynamic, rising profile.
visible tailpipes hint at the Coupé's
role as a driver’s car.
The cabin’s sumptuous leather,
rich wood grains and cool chrome accents create a
driver environment worthy of the brand.
Exterior Design -
“For the Coupé design we have emphasised the
dynamism. The Coupé builds on (the Phantom) 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,” says Ian Cameron, who led the design team.
Important detail: "the Coupé
and the Drophead are two distinct cars, with different
personalities and specific performance
LED sidelights and larger, round
The front end, with its slim LED
sidelights and larger, round driving lamps, sweeps
back over the long bonnet. The front coach-doors are
rear-hinged and were newly homologated for use on the
Drophead Coupé. Enabling all passengers to enter and
exit more gracefully, these doors also offer safety
benefits: the rear hinging allows an uninterrupted
A-pillar, which adds significantly to the car’s
overall torsional rigidity. For ease of operation, the
doors may be closed at the touch of a button, housed
discreetly inside the front quarterlight.
The Phantom Coupé has a high waistline with sleek
body panels for an uninterrupted visual flow,
complemented by accents of stainless steel and
When lowered, the picnic boot - as
seen on the Drophead Coupé - provides a seating
platform for two, with hinges substantial enough to
hold a weight of 150 kg / 330 lb. It also offers easy
access to the luggage compartment, which has a volume
of 395 litres / 13.9 cu ft.
To get its mirror-like finish of the paintwork, the
body receives five individual coats of paint and
lacquer, with hand-finishing between each layer. It is
then polished for five hours to produce its unique
lustre. A new palette of nine standard paint colours
has been selected for the Coupé, including Darkest
Tungsten, Anthracite and New Sable.
and passengers touch only leather,
wood or chrome.
Additionally, the Bespoke programme
offers more than 44,000 different hues. Like the
Drophead Coupé, the new model is available with a
brushed steel bonnet and A-pillar surround. These
parts are machine-brushed to create a uniform grain
and then hand-polished.
The visible tailpipes hint at the Coupé's leadership
in model line-up as a driver’s car, as do the
21-inch wheels, which are available in three styles,
including two forged alloy options. An optional
camera, nestled below the front number plate, helps
when pulling out of a side road or parking, as it
transmits a split-screen view of the road ahead. At
the rear, another camera is fitted beneath the chrome
boot-lid handle, to aid reversing manoeuvres.
Interior Design -
As one would expect, the interior is hand-built using
the finest materials and equipped with a
studio-quality sound system. The cabin uses
traditional materials in a modern way: driver and
passengers touch only leather, wood or chrome.
analogue clock set in a veneered panel
hides a media screen.
An analogue clock set in a veneered
panel hides a media screen, only revealed when called
upon. The multi-zone climate control has chromed
eyeball vents and traditional ‘organ stop’
controls, while additional features are accessed using
beautifully crafted ‘violin keys’ – contemporary
uses of long-established Rolls-Royce design features.
The Lexicon LOGIC7TM sound system can be controlled by
just one dial. Unique in its use in the automotive
industry, the system has 15 metal-matrix speakers to
deliver an exceptional clarity of sound, regardless of
where a passenger may be seated. A nine-channel
amplifier powers these speakers – two sub-woofers
fitted beneath the seats and 13 100 mm mid-range and
44 mm tweeter arrays carefully placed around the car
– to an impressive 420 watts of sound. iPod
connectivity is also available as an alternative to
the standard six-CD changer.
headlining: impression of a
star-filled night sky.
Closer fitting than those of the
Phantom, the slim-line front seats are designed to
offer a sportier feel with comfort. The rear of the
Coupé houses a lounge seat, a curved sofa that
interior designer Alan Sheppard describes as,
“intimate for two yet superbly comfortable on long
journeys”. Boulevard lighting creates a gentle
luminescence, an effect that can be heightened by the
optional, full-length starlight headlining, which
incorporates hundreds of tiny fibre optics to give the
impression of a star-filled night sky. Adjustable to
provide a quiet glow or ample light to read by, this
lighting is complemented by discreet directional
reading lights in the C-pillars.
As with every Rolls-Royce car, the interior of the
Coupé can be personalised via the Bespoke programme,
allowing for any number of features, each tailored to
the tastes of the individual.
Aluminium spaceframe -
At the core of the Coupé is an all-aluminium
spaceframe, first seen in the Phantom. It offers
strength, torsional rigidity and low weight, all of
which benefit dynamics. Manufactured to within a
tolerance of just 0.1 mm / 0.004 in, each spaceframe
is constructed by hand and then checked by computer to
ensure total accuracy.
rear of the Coupé houses a lounge
seat, a curved sofa.
The body’s structure, comprised
of box sections of aluminium, is hand-welded by a team
of experts. Every morning, each member of the team
performs a 300 mm test weld to ascertain atmospheric
effects on the metal with which they are working so
that these can be taken into account. In all, more
than 130 metres of weld are used to create the Coupé’s
The Phantom Coupé’s lightweight and rigid
structure, the most torsionally stiff in the Phantom
line, provides the foundation for its dynamic
abilities, but it also offers safety benefits. The box
sections are exceptionally strong and offer greater
dispersion of energy in the event of a collision. Side
impact intrusion is minimised by the double-skinned
floor construction, side sills and integral side
impact bars in each door.
Safety is enhanced by other systems
controlled by ISIS, the Intelligent Safety and
Information System. This takes readings from sensors
located throughout the car and, in the event of an
impact, makes up to 4000 calculations a second to
establish its severity, deploying safety systems as
necessary. Safety systems include also intelligent
braking and restraint systems, such as Dynamic
Stability Control and Dynamic Traction Control,
seatbelt pre-tensioners and six airbags.
wheelbase is 250 mm shorter than that
of the Phantom.
With the exception of the picnic
boot, steel bonnet and A-pillar surround, all the Coupé’s
panels are made from aluminium, a material that
delivers a substantial weight saving over steel. The
large, single-piece front wings are made by a process
called super plastic forming. The alloy is heated and
then formed, without stress of the material, to the
required shape and size in a process seen for the
first time in the automotive industry.
Engine - At the heart
of the Coupé is the same 6.75-litre V12 engine as
used by the Phantom, with advanced direct petrol
(gasoline) injection and variable valve lift and
timing. It delivers 75 per cent of its maximum power
at just 1000 rpm, giving the smooth, unstressed
performance associated with Rolls-Royce cars. The
powertrain develops 453 bhp / 338 kW of power at 5350
rpm and 720 Nm / 531 lb ft of torque at 3500 rpm. At
160 km/h (100 mph), where permissible, the Coupé’s
power reserve dial shows that 90 per cent of the
engine’s power remains untapped.
Dynamics - Beyond
output and torque figures come agility and refinement.
The Coupé’s wheelbase is 250 mm shorter than that
of the Phantom, giving greater agility. Its 49:51
weight ratio ensures that it remains balanced through
corners, while the slight rear weight bias maximises
straight-line acceleration and traction (as it is a
rear-wheel drive car).
Coupé is clearly distinct from the
The suspension and chassis are
tuned to send power to the road effectively, so that
the dynamic stability control (DSC) is less likely to
be activated under enthusiastic cornering, making it
feel more balanced when pushing on.
Ride has been made a little firmer
by the introduction of stiffer rear dampers and
modified spring rates. Body roll is reduced by fitting
a thicker rear anti-roll bar and the steering has been
tuned to offer more feel – a sensation enhanced by a
slightly thicker, hand-stitched leather steering
The front double-wishbone
suspension features a hydraulic mount to minimise
vibrations through the steering wheel, while
multi-link rear suspension gives increased ride
comfort, with anti-lift and anti-dive technology for
stability under heavy acceleration and braking. This
combines with the stronger rear anti-roll bar and
stiffer spring and damper settings to increase both
accuracy and agility.
Self-levelling air suspension
continuously adjusts to driving conditions. The
steering has modified Servotronic assistance to
provide increased road feel.
doors can be closed at the touch of a
A sport button on the steering
wheel activates a new gearbox programme. Each gear is
held for longer, increasing the rate of acceleration.
Kick-down is also faster and accelerator pedal
response has been enhanced.
Together these individual changes
to the car’s set-up give a substantially more
dynamic feel than the Phantom and Phantom Drophead
Coupé. With a limited top speed of 155 mph / 250
km/h, the Coupé accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.8
seconds (0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds).
The Phantom Coupé has standard
21-inch Goodyear tyres with run-flat capability,
sitting on seven-spoke aluminium or two different
styles of forged aluminium rims. In the event of a
flat tyre, the Coupé can run for at least 100 miles /
160 km at speeds of up to 50 mph / 80 km/h before the
tyre has to be replaced. The run-flat technology
negates the need for spare wheels and a jack, freeing
up space (and weight) in the luggage compartment. The
Coupé’s 100-litre fuel tank allows for longer
drives, giving a range of around 400 miles / 630 km.
Brakes - Braking is provided by 374 mm /
14.7 in. ventilated disc brakes at the front and 370
mm / 14.6 in. at the rear, with twin piston alloy
calipers at the front and single piston calipers at
the rear, and the latest in anti-lock systems and
Emergency Brake Assist (the latter is activated under
heavy braking, it applies full force in an emergency
Noblesse oblige -
Highly skilled men and women employ traditional
techniques and cutting-edge technology to bring and
exceptional interior in terms of quality and attention
to detail. They work with the finest natural
materials, including cashmere blends, wood veneers and
leather, all of which are specially selected by a team
Each wood veneer is chosen for its
complexity of grain and colour. Woods available for the
Coupé include Zebrano, Elm Cluster, Mahogany Flare,
Rosewood and Walnut Burr. Each part is crafted by hand
in the wood shop at Goodwood. Veneers are laid onto a
substrate part of up to 24 layers of wood and aluminium,
carefully constructed to provide strength and safety in
the event of an impact. They are then lacquered and
polished to a mirror finish, showcasing the intricacy of
the wood’s grain.
The Coupé’s interior uses larger
pieces of leather than the Phantom’s, mainly because
of the nature of the seats, making the selection of
appropriate hides even more challenging. Following a
unique barrel-dyeing process, for a rich, uniform
pigmentation throughout the leather, each hide is
checked by hand and eye, and any naturally occurring
blemishes and imperfections are marked in preparation
for cutting. Where possible, the hide is used in such a
way that these marks are hidden rather than discarded,
minimising waste and creating a perfect finished
Prices will be announced prior to