Neil Lyndon marvels at the speed and agility of the monstrous Phantom
The decade is rocketing towards its close, but it appears there is still time for yet another new version of the most extraordinary car of the age from Rolls Royce. Enter the enrapturing Phantom Coupe.
When Rolls Royce was frenziedly producing about 1,000 cars a year at its zenith in the 1930s, customers could choose from half a dozen models. Today, all new RRs are based on the aluminium space-frame chassis of a single model - the four-door Phantom saloon which first appeared in 2003. The two-door Drophead Coupe version of that car arrived in 2006 and now the moment has arrived, at last, for a hard-top two-door coupe. Blood might be squeezed more readily from a stone.
To be unveiled at next month's Geneva Show, the Phantom Coupe is the go-faster scion of this august line, the one that's intended to please the driver rather than the nabob lounging in the back.
The idea of a 'sport' version of a car that is more than 18ft long and weighs more than two and a half tons may sound like the automotive equivalent of an athletic hippo but, in fact, the Phantom's agility and turn of speed has always belied its monstrous mass. Like the saloon and the drophead, the new coupe is powered by a Brunel-sized 6.75l V12 engine which will propel this behemoth from 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds, and well beyond 200mph if it weren't limited to 155mph. It is also fitted with stiffer suspension and harder springs to make it go round a corner rather than continue in a straight line and take out a village or two.
The press release announcing this new car doesn't mention money, presumably on the grounds that if you need to ask... But it's likely to be about £350,000 ·
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