At the 2004 Geneva auto show, Rolls-Royce showed off a 100EX concept. This January, the production version gets a Detroit reveal at the 2007 North American International Auto Show, and Rolls-Royce returns to the convertible market. The Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe goes into production in summer 2007 at the Goodwood, U.K., facility building the Phantom regular and long-wheelbase sedans. While final specifications are not yet confirmed, Rolls-Royce has been kind enough to release photos and initial information ahead of the formal press conference.
This two-door, four-passenger, truly luxurious convertible uses a version of the Phantom’s aluminum spaceframe chassis and its 6.8L DOHC 48v V12 engine., though Rolls counts 1300 new parts for the droptop. As big as this luxury cabriolet is, a 0-to-60-mph time of 5.7 seconds is promised. Rolls-Royce calls the Phantom Drophead Coupe a less formal interpretation of classic Rolls-Royce design, but it still offers a commanding presence and truly Rolls-Royce personality. Compared with the standard wheelbase Phantom, the Drophead Coupe carries a nearly $70,000 price premium at $407,000 versus $333,350 for the base Phantom sedan. (The extended wheelbase Phantom carries a $395,000 price tag.)
The Phantom sedan offers ultra-luxury options such as a chiller and drinks cabinet for the center console, but every Phantom is basically made to order. The sedan’s standard equipment list includes the finest leather surfaces, cashmere trim, and fitted cabinetry, and this level of luxury translates to the convertible as well. The convertible adds brushed steel and chrome to the leather and wood expected from an interior of this caliber.
Like the 100EX concept, the convertible has coach-style, front-opening doors and the teak decking covering the convertible top. These make access to the rear seats easier as well as helping improve overall body stiffness. The trunk offers a split tail, with a lower tailgate providing seats for a two-person picnic. The roof is a five-layer softtop, something becoming a rarity in these days of retractable hardtops, folds into a small enough space that it does not impede luggage space up or down, and is lined with cashmere. The convertible also gets the concept’s brushed steel, machine finished and hand polished, hood and A-pillar. The brushed steel adds a dramatic flair to the design as well as helping improve the overall body structure.