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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Cars like the Mercury Grand Marquis and Buick Roadmaster are quintessential examples of “old-person transportation,” if we may make a blatantly ageist statement.
Potentially offensive remarks aside, these large, rear-wheel-drive sedans were a favorite of the grandparent set; it’s hard to believe they didn’t come from the factory with wrap-around sunglasses, AAA stickers and boxes of tissues on their parcel shelves.
Even though these smooth-riding, body-on-frame cars are gone and their breed just about extinct, there are still quite a few current-production vehicles with plenty of elderly appeal. In our opinion, here’s a list of the 10 Most Geriatric Cars and Trucks on the Market Today.
Rolls-Royce is reportedly code-naming its SUV after the world’s largest diamond.
Value-conscious customers that don’t want the burden of a hefty new-car payment are smart to consider a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle. Automakers from Audi to Kia offer such programs.
If You Have to Ask You Can't Afford It
So, you’re in the market for a new car. Your ‘88 Toyota Tercel has served you faithfully for the past decade and a half since you purchased it following your second divorce. But now it’s high time for something with a few features, not to mention a body structure that’s doesn’t consist entirely of ferrous oxide. Savvy shoppers will visit AutoGuide.com for the latest news, freshest reviews and handiest buying tools.
In a thoroughly rigorous demonstration of the potential in its bespoke program, Rolls-Royce revealed its one-off “Ghawwass” Phantom Coupe.
A year later, Hall was clearly bored of his Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe-based Hyperion selling it for around $6 million. The car has now resurfaced at an Abu Dhabi dealership and is listed for sale at an undisclosed price – we’re guessing it’s a lot. The unique Hyperion’s styling might not be for everybody, penned by Jason Castriota of former Saab fame and built by the Special Projects division at Pininfarina.
It’s powered by the same 6.75-liter V12 with 453 hp and 531 lb-ft of torque. Changes from the Drophead Coupe include removal of the rear seats with the driving position pushed back over 15 inches. The rest of the body was also made of carbon fiber, minus the doors which were crafted from solid wood.
GALLERY: Pininfarina Hyperion
Office-K, a high-end aftermarket automotive store in Tokyo, Japan, organized an incredible Rolls-Royce meet along a swanky cobblestone street in the heart of Tokyo for its owners to celebrate their favorite luxury marque. A nod to Middle Eastern extravagance, Office K’s event was named “Dubai Street, Phantom Party.”
From standard Phantoms, to Extended Wheelbase models, Coupes, and Drophead Coupes, the wide ranging variety of custom tuned Rolls-Royce cars on display is surely a rare sight to behold. Check out the videos from the event below. Continue Reading…
Rolls-Royce has decided to roll out the red carpet for this year’s Geneva Motor Show, unveiling its Phantom Series II family of vehicles. The Phantom Sedan, Phantom Drophead Coupe, and Phantom Coupe have all received updates with “contemporary yet timeless design enhancements that frame the introduction of cutting-edge technologies which significantly improve the car’s drive-train, ease-of-use and connectivity.”
The Phantom models receive a new front-end design, featuring restyled bumpers and rectangular lights. But the British luxury automaker did what it does best, and the Phantom Series II is the first production car to ever include full LED headlights as standard. Not only do the LED headlights deliver a brighter and whiter light, it allows Rolls-Royce to introduce a variety of new technologies to better control lighting.
The Series II also sees updates to its in-car-entertainment system with a redesigned multimedia controller and a new satellite navigation system that’s been updated with 3D maps. Additional functions with the new navigation system includes guided tours, enhanced points of interest, and composite route planning – all now displayed on a 8.8-inch monitor. For additional safety, front, rear, and top-view cameras have been added.
While the engine has remain untouched on the Phantom models, Rolls-Royce did mate the V12 powerplant to a new eight-speed automatic transmission that sports a new rear differential. Fuel efficiency has been improved by 10-percent thanks to the new transmission.
Check out the extensive photo gallery that Rolls-Royce has released before the show doors open, and check back later when we see them all uncovered for some live photos.
GALLERY: Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II
GALLERY: Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Series II
GALLERY: Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Series II
GALLERY: Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended Wheel Base Series II
It turns out that owning a Rolls-Royce isn’t rare enough on it’s own for the majority of people buying these ultra-luxury cars.
No, the people willing and able to shell out for the best of the best seem to be afraid the valet will confuse their Ghost with the others outside the country club. According to the company, 56 percent of Rolls-Royce Ghosts and Ghost Extended Wheel Base Models featured a bespoke design in 2011.
The Ghost is actually a late-comer to the bespoke game as far as the Rolls-Royce family is concerned. The company sells a healthy chunk of their cars to the Middle East, where 99 percent of Phantoms sold featured bespoke designs.
“It is always our goal to exceed our clients’ highest expectations and fulfill their innermost desires,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Rolls-Royce CEO. “With highly bespoke Phantom and Ghost models, we are able to achieve this. The passion with which our bespoke craftspeople create these beautiful cars is reflected in some truly outstanding examples delivered across the globe last year.”
The company is on an upwardly bespoke trend: demand increased an average of almost 35 percent over the last six years worldwide. North America actually represents the most rapidly increasing demand, increasing 54 percent over that time period, though the Middle East is the highest overall with 99 percent demand for bespoke vehicles.
So what’s all this fuss about? Well, Rolls-Royce makes it their business to bend over backwards to ensure client satisfaction. Your new Rolls can come with paint of your choice, tread plates, champagne sets or even a picnic set for those balmy Sunday afternoons in the park.
GALLERY: 2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost
Qatar is slowly becoming the land of outlandish and brazenly modified vehicles, despite the modifications normally consisting of an insane paint job or wrap. This time around though, we’re almost speechless, as the world’s classiest and most luxurious vehicle has received a turquoise treatment. That’s right, this Rolls-Royce Phantom was delivered to the Rolls-Royce showroom in Doha, Qatar sporting the wonderful shade.
Obviously everyone’s first assumption is that this Rolls-Royce was potentially special-ordered for the Al-Thani family, who have become notorious for their collection of turquoise-painted exotics, but there’s no confirmation on who’s the lucky owner. Here’s hoping it does belong to the Al-Thani family and that no one else out there had the great idea of painting one of the world’s most expensive cars turquoise.
[Source: GT Spirit]
GALLERY: Turquoise Painted Rolls-Royce Phantom
MINI’s new Goodwood model was unveiled at the world-famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California this week. The MINI Goodwood is an exclusive special edition which has been produced in close collaboration with the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars design team.
This is a car that drips of automotive luxury and exclusivity in its highest form. The Goodwood has been priced at $52,000, making it the most expensive MINI ever. Only 1000 will be produced with only 140 will be coming to the US. The Goodwood features an interior and exterior design cragfted from the same fine materials and workmanship as the ultra-luxurious Rolls-Royce brand.
Two of the most beautiful features of the exterior design are the body finish in the exclusive Diamond Black metallic Rolls-Royce colour and 17-inch multi-spoke light alloy rims. The interior features seats covered in Lounge leather, Lambswool floor mats, a cashmere headliner and fascia and front door grab handles in burr walnut veneer and a sports steering wheel in Walknappa leather and Piano Black controls.
The MINI will be powered by the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine featured in the 2011 MINI Cooper S. The powerplant will have Twin Scroll turbochargers producing 181-hp. The MINI can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 6.6 seconds.
Deliveries are scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2012.
GALLERY: MINI Goodwood
Stuart Hughes, based out of the United Kingdom, is known for its bespoke customization of high-end luxury products from iPhones to yachts, liquor to furniture, and everything in between. But this Rolls-Royce Phantom may just be one of the company’s most extravagant creations, featuring over 260-lbs of 18-karat gold on the outside and inside of the of the armored luxury limousine.
Originally commissioned by an anonymous Middle Eastern businessman, Eurocash AG based out of Switzerland teamed up with Stuart Hughes to create this one-of-a-kind, over-the-top Phantom. The entire vehicle has been reinforced and armored to protect against some of the world’s deadliest weapons including AK47 gunfire and a pair of hand grenades. Highlights of 18-karat gold are also featured inside the cabin.
According to its Jameslist.com listing, the Phantom EWB is available for sale with 50-miles on the odometer. Everything around the Phantom is a tad confusing, since Stuart Hughes’ website claims it was delivered to the anonymous businessman for around $8.15 million, yet it’s for sale on Jameslist right now stating that it’s in Switzerland – possibly at Eurocash AG. Perhaps they’re just marketing in hopes to create yet another one of these magnificent… we mean, absurd, beauties.
GALLERY: Stuart Hughes / Eurocash AG Rolls-Royce Phantom
More commonly known as Mr. Bean, Rowan Atkinson is a little hard to take seriously. In all of his acts, the oftentimes silent comedian can generate laughs with his facial expressions alone. That’s why when we heard that he was recently on Top Gear and even set the fastest time in their “Star in a Reasonable Priced Car” competition, we knew we had to see the clip. We all knew Atkinson was an automotive enthusiast, but being able to see him in action while piloting a car around a track is truly priceless.
Piloting a Kia Cee’d, Rowan Atkinson now sits on top of the leaderboard with a time of 1:42.2, besting the likes of Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg. In addition, Atkinson brought a V16-powered Rolls-Royce Phantom to the show, a vehicle he was granted the rights to use through Rolls-Royce themselves. It’ll be seen in his upcoming film Johnny English Reborn, where the 9.0L V16 Phantom will star with Atkinson. Supposedly Rolls-Royce had toyed with the idea of mass producing the 9.0L V16 Phantom but ultimately tossed the idea out the window. But prior to that, Rolls-Royce managed to produce three or four of them, one of which Atkinson was able to get his hands on.
We can’t wait to see what sort of comedy ensues in his upcoming film, despite having a more serious note than the majority of his previous work.
Check out the clip of Atkinson at Top Gear after the break.
Rolls Royce Motor Cars has experienced tremendous success, enjoying a record half-year in 2011. The British automaker has seen an increase of sales by 64 percent worldwide, compared to the same period in 2010. Within the first six months of 2011, 1592 cars have been delivered to customers, and there is continued strong demand for both the Phantom and Ghost.
Rolls Royce is experiencing growth in all regions, but there is a particularly strong demand in Asia, with sales up over 170 percent. Sales are also growing in the Middle East, up by over 40 percent and the US is also growing by a similar amount. There has also been an increase in Europe with German sales up by 60 percent.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “This is an excellent half-year result and demonstrates the confidence that our customers have in our company and our products. The first six months of the year have also seen Rolls-Royce celebrate our unique heritage, with the centenary of the Spirit of Ecstasy, and demonstrate our innovation, with the Phantom Experimental Electric, 102EX. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars continues to operate as the world’s foremost ultra luxury car manufacturer.”
Look, most of the time we try our absolute best to find the bright side of things no matter how awful they might be. But this time, this Rolls-Royce Phantom spotted in Marbella, Spain, has us completely speechless.
Known as a popular place for the rich and famous, Marbella can be home to many tasteless creations as evidenced by this Phantom. The purple, white and yellow paint scheme is further accented by the similarly-themed wheels (that doesn’t fit the car’s large body at all we might add) and gold grille and Spirit of Ecstasy emblem.
But the interior is where it completely blows our mind. It’s been overwhelmed with pink – yes pink – upholstery on the dash, headliner, door panels, and more. We’re speechless, speechless we say.
GALLERY: Rolls-Royce Phantom in Marbella
Come on down to Crazy Nigel’s Used Cars, where we got more used and “pre-owned” Rolls-Royce models than you can shake a stick at! Hiya folks, what’ll it take you to get into this long-wheelbase Ghost? Chauffeur-driven, all city miles, and not a single scratch on its German bull-hide leather!
Rolls-Royce probably won’t hire any late-night infomercial shucksters like that to hawk their six-figure luxoboats. But for those looking to dip their toes into the Roller mystique, the company has introduced an official pre-owned service, called Rolls-Royce Provenance.
Provenance cars get a 24-month warranty, bumper-to-bumper servicing, and 24-hour roadside assistance that we like to think involves a Royal Navy ship-of-the-line and a team of tuxedoed butlers. And like most certified pre-owned programs, each car is inspected and given a full servicing by factory-trained technicians.
Rolls-Royce Provenance cars will only be available through a select number of authorized dealers. If you see a stickered LWB Phantom on a strip mall lot next to a row of 1996 Caravans, you can bet that somebody’s doing it wrong.