drophead coupé

Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé

The Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé is a handmade convertible manufactured by Rolls-Royce that debuted at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, on January 7 2007. The platform is based on the 2003 Rolls-Royce Phantom and has styling heavily derived from the 100EX, a concept car unveiled to celebrate the company's centennial in 2004.

Exterior

The exterior remains faithful to the marine-nautical theme of the 100EX. The two-door four-seat droptop features rearward opening suicide doors and a two-tone color scheme that delineates between the upper and lower bodywork and frames the teak wood paneling of the droptop's tonneau cover. Unlike the 2004 concept car, however, the production unit eschews the EX's bare, brushed aluminium bonnet in favour of more easily maintained lacquered stainless steel.

The front fascia takes its cues from the 100EX but with the crucial difference of the middle bodywork/raised bonnet/grille assemblage terminating midway down the face rather than continuing downwards and bisecting the front bumper. The headlamps are also taken straight out of the 100EX/101EX concept and are similar to the Phantom's. The deepset rectangular high beams are light-emitting diode (LED) units while the round "faux-foglamp" driving lights are projector-style xenon arc lamps. The exterior is available in more than 44,000 color combinations. It is obligatory to have the brushed aluminium and an exterior colour, but there is soon going to be one model with just one colour - black.

It combines aluminium technology and hand-crafted materials. All in all, the car continues Rolls-Royce's current design theme, premiered on the Phantom, combining features of luxuriant 1930s Art Deco with cold 21st century "techno-modern".

Interior

The interior is a modern avant-garde reinterpretation of the traditional English Gentlemen's Clubroom with a wide, varied pluralistic palette of design philosophies ranging from minimalism to Art Deco. Perhaps the car's main design showcase is the yachting-inspired wood veneering that wraps around the 8/9ths top portion of the cabin from suicide door to suicide door and terminating in a crafted droptop tonneau cover, hand-finished in nautical-grade teak wood paneling sandwiched between an interior band of contrasting hardwood and the bare stainless steel motif of the car's upper exterior bodywork. Similarly with the 100EX and 101EX, the dashboard and the steering wheel are straight out of the Phantom.

A triangular A-pillars with quarter glass, as well as the spring-loaded pop-up rollover hoops behind the rear seats, provide additional strength and protection for the convertible body.

Production

In its first year on the market (2007), 253 Drophead Coupés were sold worldwide.

The first car destined for the U.S. market was auctioned at the 2007 Naples, Florida Winter Wine festival charity for $2 million, of which $1.6 million will go to the Naples Children and Education Foundation. Purchased by a local real estate developer, the winning bid is believed to be the most expensive new car ever sold in the U.S.

Concepts

Pininfarina built a version called Rolls-Royce Hyperion, based on the Drophead Coupé. The car was unveiled in 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

Scale Model

Although a number of unauthorized scale models of the Phantom Drophead Coupe have been produced, Rolls Royce has awarded Exoto the exclusive right to make a 1:18 of the Phantom Drophead Coupe. The model will sell for US$498 making it one of the most expensive scale models.

References

External links

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