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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.
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
On the Chinese calendar, 2012 is the ‘Year of the Dragon,’ which celebrates one of the most celebrated mythical creatures in national folklore. Symbolically, in Chinese culture, the dragon represents power, prosperity and good fortune.
How appropriate then that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars should choose to commemorate the ‘Year of the Dragon’ by providing an array of special Bespoke dragon features for it’s Phantom customers.
The Year of the Dragon Collection, includes a twin coachline on each side of the car, incorporating a Dragon that always looks forward in an effort to achieve perfect symmetry. As one would expect, the coachlines are entirely handpainted and draw inspiration from the Forbidden City in Beijing.
Moving to the inside, special Dragon embroidery is featured on the headrests, hand stitched from four different thread colors, Black, Golden Sand, Tan and White. In addition there’s a Dragon passenger panel inlay to compliment the seat embroidery with ‘Phantom’ applied in gold.
As part of the Dragon package, each Rolls-Royce Phantom will also receive two hand stitched rear seat cushions with R-R logos and specific embroidery to match the rest of the interior.
The crowning touch is a pair of illuminated door sill plates which display ‘Year of the Dragon 2012′ in red LED lettering.
“The Bespoke team is privileged to commemorate the Chinese Year of the Dragon with this exciting Collection,” declared Thomas G. Jefferson, Bespoke Sales Manager, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “This limited edition car embodies the synergy of craftsmanship, creativity and culture in a manner that is uniquely Rolls-Royce.”
Next year, the UK’s National Motor Museum will stage the largest exhibition of James Bond cars ever displayed. The exhibition will run at the museum through 2012 and will include some of the most famous vehicles from the movies, to celebrate fifty years of the film franchise. Some of the heavy hitters will include the 2002 Jaguar XKR with SFX weapons from Die Another Day, the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 from Goldeneye and the 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III from Goldfinger. In total, fifty James Bond vehicles will be present at the museum.
2012 also marks the 40th anniversary of the National Motor Museum, so it works out well that in this special year, both the franchise and the museum can celebrate monumental anniversaries.
GALLERY: James Bond Cars
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.
Kim Kardashian’s star-studded wedding will feature a fleet of white Rolls-Royce Phantom and Maybach 62 limousines, as befitting a celebrity wedding.
The Kardashians worked out a deal with Platinum Motorsports (which customizes vehicles for athletes and celebrities like David Beckham) to provide this sterling example of conspicuous consumption, which the company said was not a challenge. All the cars will be chauffer-driven, and will ferry guests around for optimal paparazzi exposure.
Plus, Kardashian insisted every vehicle be white… not matte black.
Curious about these Platinum Motorsports ballers? Check out the video after the jump:
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
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.