Browsing Rolls-Royce Phantom's Archives »»
The more a car costs, the less frequently it's replaced - usually. Take, for example, the Bugatti Veyron. It's one of the most expensive cars on the market, and it's been there for eight years now. Eleven years passed in between the launch of the Ferrari Enzo and that of its successor LaFerrari. Now comes word that the Rolls-Royce Phantom could stick around essentially unchanged until the year 2020.
The report comes from LeftLaneNews, which cites Rolls-Royce communications chief Richard Carter in stating that the Phantom isn't going anywhere fast - despite its massive 6.75-liter V12 engine. The Phantom is the car that essentially relaunched the brand under BMW ownership way back in 2003. It has since spawned long-wheelbase, coupe and convertible models, and underwent a few minor upgrades in 2009. It may yet get another series of enhancements before it's replaced entirely, but don't expect anything drastic within the next half-dozen years or so.
For what it's worth, Rolls-Royce has other things to focus on, and we don't just mean an endless parade of special editions and one-offs for emerging luxury markets in Asia. After launching the Ghost, the company followed up with the Wraith coupe and is said to have a convertible version in the works. An SUV is reportedly under consideration, as is a sixteen-cylinder roadster. But that's not even why the Goodwood-based automaker is stretching out the Phantom's lifecycle like it did its wheelbase: the average Phantom buyer pays a good half million for their new ride, and they wouldn't be too happy to see it replaced quite so soon.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The Middle East is a vital market for Rolls-Royce, particularly in the Gulf emirates. So the British automaker wouldn't let the region's premier auto show go by unnoticed, and to that end has rolled into the Dubai Motor Show with an array of special editions.
Chief among them is the Celestial edition Phantom, a customized limousine that initially debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show but has returned to Dubai with the addition of 446 diamonds hand-set into the door panels, center console and cabin privacy partition. Taking the spirit of the Phantom's trademark starlight headliner even further, the Celestial edition reproduces overhead the constellations exactly as they were on the evening of January 1, 2003, when Rolls-Royce delivered the first Phantom to its owner, as verified by the South Downs Planetarium in Chichester, England.
The Bespoke division also fitted the Celestial Phantom with inky blue leather, special glassware and a custom picnic set. The wheel hubs are also engraved and the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament uplit, demonstrating just a few of the possibilities awaiting those with the means not only to buy a new Rolls-Royce, but also commission special features from the Bespoke department.
The Celestial Phantom is joined at the Dubai Motor Show by the Chicane edition Phantom Coupe and the Alpine Trial edition Ghost, as well as the Middle Eastern debut for the new Wraith coupe.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Rolls-Royce is marking 10 years of production at its Goodwood, England home, with the aptly named Home of Rolls-Royce Collection. The first instance of the Collection, a brilliantly appointed Phantom, has come to The Quail to make its world debut.
The goal of the Home of Rolls-Royce Collection seems to be to really showcase the kind of pristine, detailed work that the artisans back in Goodood are capable off, while creating a car that almost instantly achieves heirloom status. The Phantom seen here displays a truly impressive wood paneled cabin, where a technique called marquetry has been used to inlay some 170 sections of 11 different types of wood into a "celebration" motif.
You'll find a compass theme throughout the car as well - inside and out - which the company tells us is meant to highlight the sales of Goodwood-built Rollers on five continents across the world. Compass designs can be found on the armrests and center console, with each piece of embroidery taking more than 100,000 stitches to create. Not to be outdone in terms of time lavished, the compass motif painted on the exterior of the car takes one squirrel-hair-brush-wielding craftsman six hours to perfectly apply.
Rolls-Royce wasn't so gauche as to include a price for the custom Phantom in its press release (if you have to ask, and all that), but it hardly needs to be said that the special edition car will ring up for considerably more than $400K point-of-entry price.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Rolls-Royce may be forced to expand its lineup beyond the über-luxury cars gobbled up by the ultra-wealthy jetset, as new competition in the form of the rumored, high-end Mercedes-Benz S-Class could take a slice of the luxury pie from the BMW-owned manufacturer.
Automotive News reports that this, along with the combination of BMW's unwillingness to move above the price-point set by the 7-Series and Bentley's expansion into the SUV realm, could force Rolls-Royce's hand. AN is arguing that, as unrealistic as it might sound, Rolls could develop a four-door crossover or shooting brake, but that any such plans are in the earliest of stages.
In the near term, the smallest Rolls-Royce, the Ghost, will get a refresh in 2014, while the sporty Wraith fastback will spawn a convertible variant by 2015. The big boy of the Rolls-Royce range, meanwhile, is due for a far more comprehensive re-do. The Phantom is expected to share a platform with the next-generation 7-Series in 2016. Advanced materials are expected to feature heavily, as Rolls-Royce seeks to trim body fat and improve fuel economy without compromising the performance or comfort expected of the brands' flagship model.
All told, the next few years look to be busy ones for one of Great Britain's most distinguished brands.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Ten years ago, Rolls-Royce opened its Goodwood manufacturing facility and handed over the keys to the very first Phantom. Back then, parent company BMW was cranking out Phantom sedans at the blistering pace of one unit per day. By the end of 2003, that number had tripled, and today, the Goodwood plant builds a total of 20 Phantoms in sedan, coupe, drophead and extended-wheelbase models during a single day's working hours. Originally, there were fewer than 400 workers on staff responsible for hand-building the big cruisers, but now the plant boasts over 1,400 craftsmen, with 100 of those positions added in 2012 alone.
Rolls-Royce boasts one of the lowest staff turnover rates of any brand in the industry, thanks in part to a successful apprenticeship and internship program, and the company notes 80 percent of its workers live within 15 miles of the facility. You can read the full press release on the 10th anniversary of both the Phantom and the Goodwood plant below.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Tags: 2013 rolls-royce phantom, Convertible, coupe, Goodwood, luxury, phantom, Plants/Manufacturing, Sedan, Uk
tearing sideways through the British countryside went viral and for good reason. The real mystery of the video was who was behind the wheel of the $400,000 car. Now we think we know the identity of the Stig's uppercrust cousin. More »