AutoGuide News Blog
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.
Sportiness is no Ghostly Apparition with the Wraith
Rolls-Royce is one of the most famous automakers in the world. This storied British brand is best known for building obscenely lavish cars, motoring vehicles that scream “expensive,” but in a well-mannered, genteel way.
Models like the Ghost sedan and Phantom flagship practically define the luxury segment. They’re decked out with features and materials not found in lesser vehicles, even from premium brands. But traditionally Rollers are all about comfort; “waftability” is something engineered right into these models from day one. They’re designed to transport passengers in total comfort and serenity.
In the past if you wanted a sporty luxury car you’d have to shop somewhere else. The folks at Mercedes-Benz would happily sell you an AMG-amplified model, or BMW would gladly entice you with their M cars. But sporty and Rolls-Royce were mutually exclusive, until now.
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.
Super-luxury automaker Rolls-Royce just announced a recall of its 2013 Phantom lineup. Call backs are never a good thing, but they can be especially embarrassing at the ultra-premium end of the market. How does the company treat its “high rolling” customers when something unexpected happens?
This weekend’s Pebble Beach event gave Rolls Royce a perfect occasion to premier the first Aviator Collection model of the Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe.
Rolls-Royce debuted its new Phantom Extended Wheelbase today at the Beijing Auto Show, adding new technology, drivetrain options and styling to the car.
Long wheelbase cars have become hugely popular in the Chinese market, and Rolls-Royce as a leader in luxury is looking to cash in on the trend with its stretched Phantom. Running the Rolls will be the company’s V12 direct-injected engine, mated with a new eight-speed automatic gearbox which the company projects will help with fuel consumption by 10 percent.
Rolls-Royce has probably caught on that bespoke models for niche markets sell pretty quickly. The British luxury automaker sold out its “Year of the Dragon” Phantom in merely two months to the Chinese, and now it created a complete one-off Phantom Coupe Mirage for the United Arab Emirates market.
Inspired by Arabian horses, the one-off model was ordered by Rolls-Royce Brand Manager at Abu Dhabi Motors to help increase Rolls-Royce’s brand presence in the United Arab Emirates. The Phantom Coupe received a matte black exterior finish, while the interior has been highlighted in Mugello red with black accents.
Throughout the car are classy Mirage inlays, which signify the horse the vehicle was based on.
“The synergies between the Arabian horse and the Rolls-Royce brand are hard to ignore. Arabian Horses are one of the oldest equine breeds in existence, renowned for their refined physical attributes, fine temperament and strong bloodline; just as Rolls-Royce is synonymous with exquisite design, flawless performance and pioneering heritage. This car celebrates those shared qualities by embodying the spirit of a true champion, Mirage, the perfect example of a Classic Arabian Horse,” said Kadhim Al Helli, the Brand Manager who commissioned the custom build from Goodwood, England.
It might just be a one-off to start, but we believe the UAE market will embrace the unique model and demand for, at the very least, Mirage homages on more special order Phantoms.
GALLERY: Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Mirage
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]
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
Some people probably rolled their eyes when Rolls-Royce announced the Year of the Dragon Phantom, believing it would just be another poor-selling limited edition vehicle. But never underestimate just how strong the Chinese culture and beliefs are. Or rather, just don’t underestimate the wallets of those strong-believing Chinese.
The $1.2-million custom Rolls-Royce Phantom sold out in just two months. How many did they sell? Well, the luxury British automaker won’t reveal the number.
This clearly gives Rolls-Royce even more confidence in the Chinese market, where the company plans to add another 10 dealerships to its 14 existing ones.
The Rolls-Royce Year of the Dragon edition has “marvelous embroidery work” and a red exterior, which is the color of luck. There are also gold hand-painted dragons on each fender, same as the one that is hand-stitched on the cushions in the rear and in the headrests.
GALLERY: Rolls-Royce Year of the Dragon Phantom
Wald’s creations are known to be aggressive but for the most part they tend to keep the luxury still intact with their styling packages. This time however, they may have gone too far with their Black Bison kit for the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe.
We’d be the first ones to say that a Rolls-Royce is probably the last car you ever want to put a body kit on, and unfortunately Wald is further proof of that. In an attempt to add some sportiness to one of the world’s most luxurious convertibles, they’ve turned it into some sort of atrocity. Wald plans on debuting this package at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon, which adds a new front bumper with mesh inserts and LED daytime running lights. The side skirts are somewhat tolerable, but the rear diffuser looks out of place. We do find the trunk-mounted lip spoiler to be a nice touch however.
In addition to the five-piece body kit, Wald also offers front fender vents, carbon fiber accents, lowered suspension and custom wheels for the Phantom Drophead Coupe.
GALLERY: Wald Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
Over in the United Kingdom, Hertz has teamed up with Premiere Velocity in order to offer their customers the ability to rent some of the world’s finest exotic supercars. The list of exotics being offered is impressive including Lamborghini‘s LP560-4 Bicolore and Aventador, Porsche‘s Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet, Ferrari‘s 458 Italia, Range Rover‘s Evoque, Mercedes-Benz‘s Brabus S-Class and SLS AMG Roadster, Rolls-Royce’s Phantom and even McLaren’s MP4.
The full range of cars available is up on Hertz’s website and a 5-percent discount is offered when booking through http://www.hertzsupercars.com. Prices vary, but a C63 AMG for example is £201.25 a day ($314) while an Audi R8 is £362.25 ($565). Hertz wand Premiere will also offer customers with a bespoke meet, greet and delivery system at any agreed location whether it be their home, office, hotel or airport.
The requirements? Enough money, 25-years of age and no more than six points on their driver’s license.