Rolls-Royce might not sell millions of cars a year, but in its own way the company is a big success story. In 2007 Rolls shifted 1010 cars, up 25 percent compared to 2006, and way ahead of Maybach. The strong sales will increase further with the introduction of this, the Phantom Coupe.
The Coupe is set to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March, two years after we first saw the 101EX concept. The looks will be a little more restrained than on the concept, but from the A-pillars forward the Coupe will be near-identical to the Drophead Coupe. The Drophead was, incidentally, a contender for our Car of the Year award in 2007, so the coupe has a rather good starting point.
But it already has coupe in its title – what does the new model do differently?
Exclusivity is Rolls-Royce’s forte these days, and with production of the convertible selling out so far, this new fixed-head version gives wealthy buyers a whole new option. On the other hand, the Simon Cowells amongst us have a new model to complete our set. Expect the coupe to be a little more sporting than the Drophead, but to keep all those gorgeous Rolls features like umbrellas in the suicide doors.
The fixed head version loses the teak rear decking that defines the Drophead, but keeps the option of the brushed steel bonnet, as we can see in these pictures. Underneath it lies the 6.75 V12 from the rest of the Phantom range, providing a healthy 453bhp and 531lb ft, and a 0-60 time close to the Drophead’s 5.7 seconds.
The switch to a fixed roof should make the Coupe even more deftly quiet than the Drophead, and expect a larger rear screen, too. It’s just disguisded on this car. Prices should start just shy of £300,000.
Further down the line for Rolls is a baby Phantom, codenamed RR4 and due in 2010. You can read CAR Online's scoop on the junior Rolls here - it could even be the brand's first hybrid, as it will share much of its mechanical package with BMW's new 7-series.