Last year, almost 95% of Rolls-Royce cars purchased were personalized by their bespoke workshop. The Phantom was the most popular subject, with 99% of Middle-Eastern, 98% of North American, 95% of European and 86% of Asian buyers individualizing their cars, while Rolls-Royce also increased their revenue by 30%.
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A limited-edition Rolls-Royce Phantom is something of an oxymoron. The company only sold 3,630 cars last year, and even fewer of those were its flagship Phantom. However, that isn't keeping the company from regularly revealing even more limited editions of its already hyper-exclusive cars. This is precisely the case with the new Phantom Drophead Coupé Bespoke Waterspeed Collection, a forthcoming model limited to 35 examples.
The special models are inspired by a famous speedboat race on September 1, 1937, between the United States and Great Britain on Lake Maggiore on the Swiss-Italian border. The British fielded the Bluebird K3 hydroplane boat powered by a massive supercharged V12 Rolls-Royce R-Type engine with Sir Malcolm Campbell at the helm. All that displacement shot the sleek watercraft to 129.5 miles per hour, claiming a new world waterspeed record in the process.
For the special commemorative Drophead Coupé model that celebrates "a seminal act of British daring and endeavor," Rolls-Royce is finishing the convertible in Maggiore Blue paint with a brushed steel hood and tonneau cover, along with inlaid wood trim. Rolls is not announcing an official release date or price for the special cars yet, but they are going on sale before the end of the year. Scroll down for the whole story about the car's inspiration.Permalink | Email this | Comments
I never the desire of luxury automakers to stick their engines, the heart and soul of their cars, under vast acreage of plastic. That's one of the (very many) reasons why I've always liked cars from the hyper-luxury automakers. They let you see all of that engineering beauty and perfection for yourself.
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