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Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé
A
sportier pulse of nobility

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé: front driving view.

Phantom Coupé: 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.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé: side view.

High 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 Drophead Coupé.

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 2008.

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.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé: back driving view.

The 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 characteristics.”

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé: LED and headlight.

Slim LED sidelights and larger, round driving lamps.

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 aluminium.

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.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé: dashboard view.

Driver 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.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé: dashboard view, closer.

The 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.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé: starlight headlining.

Starlight 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.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé: rear seating.

The 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 spaceframe.

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.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé: back driving view from top.

The 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).

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé: roof with A and C pillars.

The Coupé is clearly distinct from the Drophead.

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 wheel. 

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.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé: open doors and boot.

The doors can be closed at the touch of a button.

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 stop).

Leather Veneers
Black Mahogany Flare
Smoke Grey Rosewood
Seashell Walnut Burr
Navy Blue Piano Black
Moccasin Zebrano
Cacao Elm Cluster
Consort Red
Signal Red
Roseleaf

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 of experts.

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 product.

Prices will be announced prior to markets launch.

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