2012 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe | road test

Posted on Apr 18, 2012 by

Quick Review

GoodGood Exclusivity, Prestige, ride quality
BadBadPrice
SpecsSpecs6.75-litre V12; 453bhp, 720Nm
PricePriceAED 1,760,000
RatingEditors Rating Five Star

Rolls-Royce cars are heralded as the finest cars money can buy on the planet. Owning one guarantees admiration, exclusivity and a level of sophistication envied by even those who are considered rich. The Rolls Royce 101EX concept received ecstatic reactions back in the autumn of 2007 when it was publicly showcased and it was then that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars announced that a series model would go into production sometime in 2008.

The Phantom Coupe is the third new model to emerge from Rolls-Royce’s stable since BMW Group became custodian of the marque in 1998. We drove 2012 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe for hours together, getting personal with the elements that are said to commemorate the highlights of one’s successful career and life in general. Did we enjoy the short feeling of imagining ourselves as millionaires and discovering what the spirit of ecstasy is all about? Read on to find out.

 

The Phantom Coupe gets the Drop Head’s front fascia and the Phantom’s rear end and the lines blend in perfect harmony. The front end gets futuristic LEDs and large, round headlamps. The microscopic metallic particles mixed in the YAS blue paint give the car a fluid; almost liquid like finish and the aluminium hood has been brushed to perfection. In fact, five separate coats of paint and lacquer have been applied to the bonnet for that clinical finish. The front doors are rear-hinged; enabling all occupants to enter and exit more gracefully one touch of a button electronically shuts them. Large 21-inch wheels, short front and long rear overhangs and the classic long bonnet render a perfect coupe profile. The retracting spirit of ecstasy on the grille tops it all off.

Being in the cabin is an enriching experience, one that spoils you with acres of sumptuous leather and a rich wood grain finish.  The multi-zone climate control has chromed eyeball vents and traditional ‘organ stop’ controls while additional features are operated via beautifully crafted ‘violin keys’. There are lashings of exotic textures, crafted ever so perfectly. However, the highlight of the interior is the fibre optic roofliner designed to emulate the sky on a starry night. There are nine standard body colours to choose from but if they don’t suit your taste, RR has another 44,000 hues available.

The epitome of the Rolls-Royce tradition is felt in the way the 6.75-litre V12 engine powers this graceful brute. 453 horses are delivered as 5,350rpm and they deserve to be driven around town like a shepherd ushers his herd. No point in making a stampede out of it. No doubt that the claimed 5.8 seconds to a 100km/h is achievable but in all honestly all that pace loses grace that this imperial coach hones. Drivability, as expected, is a breeze with 75 per cent of its maximum power available at just 1000rpm. The Coupé’s 100-litre fuel tank allows for long drives that its character encourages, giving a range of around 630km. The Coupe has 374mm and 370mm ventilated disks upfront and rear, respectively. When you haul a leather-clad carriage weighing two and a half tonnes, you need such braking force.

The Coupe gets a hand made all-aluminium spaceframe, first seen in the Phantom. It requires 400 hours of welding to put it together in an immaculate fashion. The Coupé’s wheelbase is 250mm shorter than that of the Phantom, providing greater agility. It is a dynamic touring car with firmer and beefier suspensions than the sedan and the Drophead Coupe but if you were thinking of it being in the same line as the Continental GT, think otherwise. Talking technical, RR engineers have managed to keep the weight distribution ratio at a close to ideal 49:51 and there is a self-levelling air suspension that continuously adjusts to driving conditions. There is almost a disconnected feel between road undulations and cabin. Even with huge 21-inch wheels the ride is comparable to a smooth sailing cruise liner.

The cabin is as quit as a shuttle’s in outer space and the crisp output from the 420watt 9-channel 15 speakers Lexicon LOGIC7 sound system just blows you away. The small pop-out media screen, concealed by a real wood trim is based on the previous generation BMW’s iDrive system. The door conceals the trademark umbrella that pops out at a touch of a button. The boot can be opened conventionally or perhaps if you want that picnic basket out, pull a lever and have the tailgate drop, a thing only seen in a large sized SUV Land Cruiser and others. If you’ve got travelling luggage, your butler will find it more than easy to load up the 300-litre cargo space.

Purchase orders to this particular car will script a base price of AED 1,760,000. But endless customisation is considered habitual in a customer of such rank and so you can expect numbers to go way north of that. Also note, it takes about a year between order and delivery.

The 2012 Coupe is the culmination of the most desirable qualities in a road going companion. It has resounding prestige and presence that reflects in the faces of onlookers. The wafting ride and cabin keeps you inert from the world outside, the hustle and bustle of the city or country. In its truest form, there is no car that compares and if you’ve got the dough, the Phantom coupe should be your number one choice for a luxury coupe. For the less fortunate, we say beg, borrow or steal.

Specifications:

Engine: 6.75-litre V12

Max power: 453bhp @ 5,350 rpm
Max torque: 720Nm @ 3,500 rpm
Transmission: ZF 6-speed automatic
Drivetrain layout: Front engine; rear wheel drive
Body style: Full size 2+2 Luxury Coupe
Seating capacity: 4

Weight: 2,620kg

Performance:

0 to 100km/h: 5.8 seconds (claimed)

Top speed: 250 km/h (claimed)

Fuel Economy:

City: 23.2 ltr/100 km

Highway: 11.3 ltr/100 km

Mixed cycle: 15.7 ltr/100 km

Price:

As tested: AED 1,760,000

The competition:
Mercedes-Benz CL 65 AMG, Bentley Continental GT

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