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10. Honda Integra Type-R
Forget the 12 days of Christmas. This is the seven days of dream garages.
Trading partridges in pear trees for horsepower in sexy sheetmetal, starting today each AutoGuide editor will reveal their list of the 10 cars we’ll be asking Santa for this year, giving a little insight into our automotive preferences.
Now 10 may seem like a lot to have in a dream garage, but narrowing down the list is harder than you think. When you’re dreaming, you want to dream big – but when it comes down to it, you start to think hard about which cars you realistically want to have.
So to kick things off, my list starts off with a Japan-spec Honda Integra Type-R. I can already hear what you’re thinking, “Wait, what? A dream car list and one of them is a Honda?”
Well, you know the saying: You never forget your first love.
Powered by a high-revving 1.8-liter B-series engine, the Type-R is one of the most balanced, best-handling front-wheel drive cars ever made. Its rarity in America has turned it into a collectible, and finding a mint condition one in today’s market is nearly impossible.
In fact, finding a low mileage Type-R will cost you nearly what the vehicle’s MSRP was when it first came out – if not more. So why not the Acura model? Well, I’ve always had a soft spot for the design on the Japan-only front end on the Integra, it’s simply a design that can hold its own even with today’s modern cars.
Rolls-Royce is going for gusto with its special “Six Senses” Ghost, which the company says appeals to all your sensory perceptions, and more. Silly? Maybe, but there’s no question that this concept defines luxury transportation.
The company wants to evoke your sixth sense with their new concept, the Ghost Six Senses. This car, which is being shown at the Beijing Auto Show, is based on a regular Ghost but with extra luxurious elements added to appeal to your sixth sense.
London’s world famous department store will have a MINI Goodwood on display from April 8 to April 22, celebrating the delivery of the first customer cars. Co-developed by the infamous Rolls-Royce design team, the car features luxurious amenities that would normally be seen in a Rolls-Royce.
Even owning a vehicle with a price tag of around $250,000 doesn’t make you immune to recall notices.
As part of a larger BMW recall, a total of 69 Rolls-Royce Ghosts from the 2011 model year are being recalled for a circuit board that can cause an electric auxiliary water pump to overheat.
The overheating pump can cause an engine compartment or vehicle fire, though no injuries have been reported related to the recall. Rolls-Royce will be notifying owners before the end of the month and dealerships will replace the faulty pump for free.
With the advent of hybrids and electric vehicles, many skeptics thought the age of high-performance sports car would die out. Reality couldn’t be any more different, as America has more than 70 cars on sale today that make 500-hp or more.
The number of vehicles pushing out 500-hp or more has nearly doubled in the last five years. What is more remarkable is more than a decade ago, there were just two vehicles in the club: the Ferrari 575M and the Lamborghini Murcielago. Now Ferrari alone has four models pushing out over 500-hp.
The ability to pump out so much horsepower has been aided by the leaps and bounds that engineering and technology has made over the last decade. Automakers are now able to equip their vehicles with smaller, more fuel efficient engines, which thanks to forced induction, can reliably crank out plenty of peak horsepower.
Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös recently confirmed that there will be no all-electric model or SUV coming anytime soon, if at all. The British luxury automaker will instead concentrate on its existing Ghost model, potentially releasing a coupe and convertible variant.
Back at last year’s Geneva Auto Show, Rolls-Royce showed off an all-electric 102EX concept but the CEO states that “the results were ambivalent,” even though its acceleration and silenced was praised. The problem was, “the charges times are not acceptable, and the range is not acceptable,” said Müller-Ötvös. And even though the CEO said that a plug-in hybrid variant could combine the best of both worlds, the British automaker has no immediate plans to go down that route.
So along with the EV idea, Rolls-Royce also affirmed that they won’t be dabbling with SUVs, or building a model to slot in under the Ghost. “Rolls-Royce stands for the best sedans in the world, magnificent coupes and convertibles, and we really would like to retain this identity. I have a difficult time imagining an SUV for our brand.”
What will we see from Rolls-Royce in the near future? It appears that variants of the Ghost will be in development, similar to how the Phantom has a Coupe and a Drophead Coupe model. We saw evidence of Rolls-Royce focusing on their Ghost when they announced two-tone variations for their smaller model at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
[Source: Car and Driver]
Demand for such a car extends beyond the Chinese borders, however, and so Southern California dealership Rusnak Rolls-Royce Pasadena, decided to take matters into its own hands. As a result the dealership has commissioned its own Year of the Dragon Ghost EWB, exclusive to Rusnak Rolls-Royce.
The Rolls-Royce Year of the Dragon Ghost EWB by Rusnak Rolls-Royce has all the luxurious upgrades that are found in the Year of the Dragon Phantom, but in the slightly smaller and sportier Ghost EWB. Rusnak went through all the impeccable details to ensure the quality would be fitting for a Rolls-Royce, replicating all the custom embroidery work and gold-painted dragons found on the limited edition Phantom. The special-edition Ghost EWB even comes with hand-stitched cushions for the rear.
The Pasadena-based dealership is now taking orders for the Year of the Dragon Ghost EWB in limited quantities.
GALLERY: Rusnak Rolls-Royce Year of the Dragon Ghost EWB
It may seem that Rolls-Royce only cared about its Phantom Series II debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, but the British luxury automaker had a bespoke, two-tone Ghost well hidden in their exclusive on-stand guest lounge.
It was one of the first examples of a two-tone Rolls-Royce Ghost, a bespoke option that will be offered for the first time this year thanks to the popularity of two-tone Phantoms. The two-tone Ghost that was in Geneva was finished in Infinity Black and Cassiopeia Silver upper two-tone. Inside is seashell headlining and black leather with black-stained ash veneer, further accented by steel pinstripes. For floor mats, Rolls-Royce only offers the most luxurious lambswool mat.
The Ghost pictured above has been commissioned by a client in the Middle East, featuring a Baynunah Brown with Arizona Sun two-tone. A gold-plated Spirit of Ecstasy with double coach-line in gold finish off the bespoke design.
“Whether Ghost or Phantom, any Rolls-Royce is a work of art, taking its place in our clients’ luxury collections alongside yachts, helicopters and fine jewellery,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “So I am delighted that we are now able to offer two-tone options for Ghost as well as for Phantom, features that once again extend the palette upon which a Rolls-Royce masterpiece can be painted.”
GALLERY: Two-Tone Rolls-Royce Ghost
Tuning company Vorsteiner released an image of their latest project, a Rolls-Royce Ghost gussied up in gaudy glory.
We have to wonder if the British ultra-luxury automaker feels the same about people modifying their cars as champagne maker Cristal did when Jay-Z idolized their champagne in what they see as a distasteful light.
Nonetheless, the Vorsteiner Ghost comes with 24-inch three-piece rims that barely fit into the wheel wells and look like they’re riding on black rubber bands. The body kit includes a front spoiler with a chin splitter and a carbon fiber rear decklid spoiler as well as side skirt blade attachments.
The tuning package will be released this summer to those special few who can afford a Ghost and have the dubious moral fortitude it might take to modify such a creature.
Defining the one percent is messy math business that we’re far from doing, but maybe you can reach this stellar status by demonstrating your wealth through gifts.
If that is the case, hip hop entertainer Birdman certainly made the cut in the video below where he gave away a Rolls-Royce Ghost and Bentley Mulsanne — along with a second Bentley that he kept for himself.
If you aren’t up to date on the world of ultra-luxury cars, here’s a quick rundown.
The Bentley Mulsanne launched in 2010 and is the company’s sedan, sporting a 6.75-liter twin-turbo V8 making 505 horsepower and 753 fl-lbs of torque. You can choose to enjoy that power behind the wheel, though at the $290,000 starting price some people may prefer just to pay a chauffeur. Little Wayne got the Mulsanne, while Birdman’s brother and business partner Ronald “Slim” Williams walked away the happy new owner of a Rolls-Royce Ghost.
The Ghost starts at $380,000, and packs 563 horsepower and 575 ft-lbs of torque. Realistically, people buying these cars aren’t all that concerned with the power specs. Badges and emblems emblazoned on the body and throughout the vehicle mean more to status symbols than big power numbers. The interiors ain’t bad either.
Either car offers a splendid example of what it feels like to swim in fine leather and rich wood. Ferris Beuller said it best, “It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.” Of course in that movie he’s referring to a Ferrari 250 GT California, but the words still ring true.
If you’ve been scratching your head over these names, this “Lil Wayne”, Ronald “Slim” Williams and a grown man who walks around calling himself “Birdman”, you probably don’t have a taste for rap music.
The three men referred to above are responsible for Cash Money Records, the label behind some of today’s pop icons like Drake, Nicki Minaj, T-Pain and among others, the predator look-a-like himself: Lil Wayne. Know then or not, the first guy in the video is Birdman and these cars cost him a total of well over $1 million so he must be doing something right.
You can watch the video below.
He’s only been in the job since March, but Rolls-Royce Chief-Executive Officer Torsten Muller-Oetvoes says that so far, the ultra luxury marque has weathered the current economic storm rather well.
In 2011, Rolls is projected to beat the record 2,711 cars, sold last year, with China poised to overtake the US as the largest single market.
In addition, during a recent interview with Automotive News, Muller-Oetvoes said that Rolls-Royce is planning to expand its factory at Goodwood, Sussex, in the UK, as well as possibly boosting the number of dealers world wide, from the current 85, to around 100. In addition, he spoke about possibly adding a Ghost coupe to compliment the sedan.
Since being launched, the Rolls-Royce Ghost sedan has attracted a new type of customer to the brand which tends to be younger and more in-tune with today’s technology. That said, Muller-Oetvoes believes that the key to success in the future is will be down to a steady growth strategy, though not necessarily a significant increase in volume.
“Like no other brand, Rolls-Royce stands for exclusivity, quality and individual style,” he said. ” We will continue to grow steadily, but ours is not a volume strategy. For example, we have no long-term plans for sales in five figures.”
Muller-Oetvoes also believes that former stablemate Bentley (now owned by rival VW) isn’t really a competitor for Rolls, though the Mulsanne might come close as a Ghost rival. He said “they [Bentley buyers] purchase models of both brands, their garages are like closets, equipped for all of life’s occassions. Rolls-Royce competes with other luxury goods such as real estate, yachts, fine art and jewelry.” So no SUV is likely for Rolls then, which is probably a good thing.
Muller-Oetoves also says that V12 engines will remain very much in Rolls’ future, despite current fads towards smaller engines, diesels and alternative fuel powertrains, though company is exploring other options. ”Our engines are highly efficient and our 102EX electric Phantom project is the first step in exploring the potential for alternative powertrains in the long-term,” he stated. In reference to diesels, he stated that while they might be popular in Europe, “a diesel could never deliver a true Rolls-Royce experience: effortless performance and, of course, silence.”
As for the possibility of introducing electric, hybrid or other such powertrains down the road, it will essentially hinge on buyer interest in such technologies, which among Rolls-Royce owners is currently, almost non-existent. ”Few clients who have driven 102EX are prepared to charge a battery for eight hours for a range of just 200km,” he stated.
[Source: Automotive News]
Pricing has finally been announced for the MINI Cooper receiving goods from Rolls-Royce’s factory in Goodwood and it’s probably shocking to many, even those that expected an utmost premium for the Rolls-Royce goods. So let’s just get that out of the way with the base-model Mini Cooper Goodwood coming in at an astonishing $68,000. We’re going to safely assume that the $68,000 won’t convert over to America’s market, but even at close to $50,000, that’s a crazy price to pay for a Cooper.
Those in Europe that are really interested and have no problems paying the price tag will get a ton of Rolls-Royce specific details on their MINI Cooper with Inspired by Goodwood emblems to prove you paid the price. The standard paint color is Rolls-Royce’s own Diamond Black metallic while MINI’s Reef Blue metallic is available as an option.
Interior upgrades include Rolls-like woven headliner, Cornsilk-hued leather with stitched black-leather contrast. The entire doors and center console are covered with luxurious leather while the speedometer and tachometer faces have been swapped with Rolls-Royce font.
It’s questionable if the price tag is worth it; but for those that certainly love Rolls-Royce’s luxurious amenities and prefer to drive a more discrete MINI Cooper, well, here’s your compromise.
GALLERY: MINI Cooper Goodwood
Rolls- Royce is expecting a massive sales increase in the second quarter of this year, thanks to increased demand spurred by their “cheaper” Ghost model, which retails for a mere $246,500.
The introduction of the Ghost in 2010 helped sales jump 167 percent, spurred by enormous growth in China. The brand expects to open 11 showrooms in the country by year’s end, with China eventually overtaking the United States as its largest market. Nevertheless, Rolls-Royce will open a further 4 dealerships in the US by year’s end.
You want it all… you just can’t afford it. But what you can afford is the Luxury Toys For Men book that is full of toys you will never own.
Offering 138 full-color photographs, this book is available in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian and features the ultimate wish list of luxury toys that men want. And making it to the top of the list is the Aston Martin One-77. For a mere $1.7 million, the special edition Aston Martin One-77 is limited to only 77 cars. A few of the other luxury vehicles that made it into the book include the Audi R8 GT, Rolls-Royce Ghost, Jaguar XKR Special Edition, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S Awards Edition and the Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible.
The book also features luxe living necessities such as electronics, accessories and gadgets. Just a few of the things you wish you had are the Ecosse Titanium Series RR motorcycle, SportRiva 56′ and Aguti 20M yachts, Challenger 850 and Citation CJ4 jets, and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grand Prix watches.
[Source: Born Rich]
Rolls-Royce is testing an extended wheelbase version of their “entry level” Ghost sedan (the term being relative, since the car starts at a mere $245,000).
The car is expected to add 6 inches to its wheelbase, mostly via the rear suicide doors, which will allow passengers to stretch out a little more. If the idea seems a little redundant in light of the larger Phantom, it’s worth noting that long wheelbase cars are hugely popular in Russia and China, two crucial markets for high-end luxury cars that Rolls needs to corner to ensure its long term health.
The stretched Ghost is expected to command a $30,000 premium over the base car, but we may not even see it in North America.
[Source: Auto Express]
Rolls-Royce is well on track to sell 800 cars in China, a figure that would see the country pass the United States as RR’s largest market. While Rolls sold just 100 cars in 2009, the brand sold 500 from January to October of 2010.
Rolls is planning on adding another 4 stores in China, which should help increase sales for the brand. While the Phantom retails for $380,000 USD in America, China’s various taxes on luxury cars, which add up to an additional 82%, mean that a Phantom costs around $990,000 in China.
Bouyed by strong sales in China, Rolls-Royce is set to expand their Ghost range of small(er) sedans – but the company is tight lipped on just what models will be part of the Ghost range.
With RR making three Ghosts for every Phantom, it would be a safe bet to assume that the Ghost will mirror the Phantom’s lineup, with a coupe and convertible to follow. With much demand coming from China, it’s not unreasonable to expect that market’s taste dictacting the next double-R – no matter what they may be.
Ordinary folk may be suffering through a recession, but Rolls-Royce announced that their production run is sold out until at least September, with the Phantom unavailable until October.
Rolls-Royce claims that they are producing cars at “record” levels, which for the niche manufacturer is still a relatively low output of 15 cars per day. The increase in production is likely a response to record demand for the cars. Rolls-Royce sales were up 200 percent in 2009, with China driving much of the demand.
In addition to the $380,000 Phantom, Rolls-Royce recently launched the $245,000 Ghost, their entry level vehicle.
[Source: Inside Line]
After a dismal year in 2009, Rolls-Royce is reporting a sales boom of its products so far in 2010. According to the Financial Times, sales of Rolls-Royce models are up 146 percent for the first five months of the year. The reason for the drastic increase isn’t just the turn-around in the economy, however, but the introduction of the new Ghost model. Not only is the Ghost expanding the Rolls-Royce lineup, but its significantly more “affordable.” Launching in most markets over the winter the Ghost retails for $245,000, while the high-end Phantom starts at $380,000.
According to Rolls-Royce boss Torsten Müller-Ötvös, the company expects to double sales in 2010 compared to last year. Much of that will come from the new Ghost model, with increased sales in developing markets forecast to drive demand. In fact, Müller-Ötvös commented that the company expects China to surpass the U.K. as the brand’s second largest market this year. The largest market for Rolls-Royce products continues to be the United States.
GALLERY: Rolls-Royce Ghost
[Source: FinancialTimes via Carscoop]
Perhaps it’s just the relaxed West Coast way of doing things, but we were surprised at the accessibility Rolls-Royce was giving to its new Ghost model at the LA Auto Show. Normally at auto shows the public are kept away from cars and only the media are allowed up close. Except with Rolls.
We’re not saying the media can’t get intimate with a Rolls, but rather than just walk up you usually have to ask. And once past the velvet rope (both a literal and figurative rope), the regal British automaker’s representatives won’t stop you from dropping your bargain suit bottom where only Armani has been before, but you do get a sense of unease about the situation as their fingers twitch and their faces turn to a police wince.
Then again, perhaps the folks at Rolls were a little more inviting as this is just an “entry-level” model.
The Ghost is the first entirely new model from Rolls-Royce since 2003, when the flagship Phantom debuted. Slightly smaller than that uber-luxury land-yacht the Ghost is still massive and excessively luxurious. It’s real claim to fame, however, might be its more performance-oriented engine, a 6.6-liter V12 that makes 563hp and 575 ft-lbs of torque at just 1500 rpm. Using a new eight-speed automatic transmission the Ghost will be able to hit 62 mph in just 4.8 seconds.
The Ghost will be available with a very long list of standard an optional equipment, including rear-seat LCD screens with fold out tables and, of course, umbrellas in the doors.
Rolls-Royce is expected to follow the same product development strategy with the Ghost as with the Phantom, so expect to hear rumors of both a coupe and a convertible starting soon.