Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe (2006): first official pictures

Published: 30 December 2006

Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe: the lowdown

Rolls-Royce today reveals the first pictures of its new, £300,000 convertible, the Phantom Drophead Coupé. It’s a very grand name for a very grand motor car. The Phantom Drophead Coupe will be unveiled at the Detroit auto show on 7 January, but over the next five pages we will give you the lowdown on Rolls’ first drop-top since the Corniche, which met its maker in 2002.

What do I get for £300,000?

The Drophead Coupe is the world’s most expensive cabriolet, eclipsing the £222k Azure from Rolls’ former sister brand Bentley. Although the Drophead is based on the Phantom, some 1300 parts are new. So the convertible shares the Phantom’s light but rigid aluminium spaceframe chassis, although the wheelbase is reduced. Mounted in the nose and driving the rear wheels is the same 6.75-litre V12, developing 460bhp. It wafts the Drophead from 0-60mph in just 5.7sec.

Stunning details

The most fantastic design cues from the 2004 100EX concept cabrio have made it to the production version. The brushed steel bonnet is present, along with teak decking that has to be treated with oils during a service to preserve its finish. And the stunning rear-hinged coach doors, to ensure stately access, are carried over.

The inside story

The Drophead may have a smaller wheelbase than the Phantom, but there’s still room for four people in comfort. The dashboard is similar to the Phantom’s but the cabin is bedecked in fine new wood and leather materials.

Raising the roof

It almost takes a marquee to cover that huge cabin, and Rolls claims the Drophead’s roof is the largest on any convertible. It’s five layers thick to ensure a genteel hush even at motorway speeds, and the roof is lined with cashmere. Such attention to detail is only to be expected from the world’s most luxurious convertible.

By Phil McNamara

Group editor-in-chief of CAR magazine