From £313,200
The most exclusive grand tourer of them all

What is it?

The entirely predictable coupe version of Rolls’ Phantom Drophead cabriolet. Only the very richest need apply – but the lucky few who put one in their (inevitably well-stocked) garages will get themselves the most exclusive grand tourer on the planet.

Power comes from the same 6.75-litre V12 engine that powers all the BMW-era Rollers, meaning 453bhp and 531lb ft of torque. That’s undoubtedly more-than-plenty – although the figures look slightly anaemic next to the astonishing 731lb ft that the Bentley Brooklands extracts from its far more old-fashioned turbocharged V8.

What’s it like?

An amazing experience. You could spend hours in the Phantom Coupe without even moving and not run out of things to look at and touch. As with other modern Rollers, the detailing is exquisite, from the rear-hinged ‘suicide’ doors to the umbrellas that pop out of the front wings.

The neatest toy is the so-called ‘Starlight’ headlining – an extra cost option that adds 1600 tiny lights into the ceiling, creating the effect of sitting beneath a glowing night sky. And yes, millionaire owners will be able to specify their own crests or patterns to be included in the pattern.

Driving the Phantom Coupe proves it’s far more than just a show-pony. Indeed, some subtle dynamic tweaks ensure that this is by far the best-handling of the Phantom family, and the first that an owner might try to pilot in an enthusiastic fashion.

Steering weight has been increased compared to the Phantom saloon and Drophead, and although the rack is still very low-geared, it delivers enough communication to make brisk progress an stress-free experience. The Phantom Coupe never feels less than massive, but it does a far better job of shrinking its apparent dimensions on a sweeping road than the saloon or cabrio do.

Rolls-Royce has also added a ‘Sport’ button to the steering wheel to sharpen the transmission’s reactions. It works reasonably well, although there’s still no way for the driver to directly determine which of the six ratios is engaged – but despite the V12 engine’s silken efforts, the Phantom Coupe never feels quite as rapid as you think it should. It wouldn’t see which way an enthusiastically driven Brooklands went.

The lack of straight-line performance probably won’t bother potential owners too much – especially not as they will be getting themselves one of the most refined vehicles in the world. The Coupe is amazingly quiet and comfortable – conversations can be conducted in hushed tones at the sort of speeds necessary for crossing entire Continents. Firming up the ride hasn’t diminished ride comfort either. All in all, an amazing car.

So, should I buy one?

You should certainly start saving. The Rolls is almost £70k more expensive than the Bentley Brooklands – but at this end of the market that’s not going to be of anything more than peripheral concern. If you’re looking for the most exclusive coupe in the world – and you’ve got the bank balance to land it – then this is it.

Mike Duff

Join the debate

Add a comment…
theoriginalshoe 5 August 2008

Re: Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe

James Read wrote:
What subjective rubbish

Note to self: always be objective in Autocar forums in case, perish the thought, you accidentally write a subjective opinion. But wait a minute, is that not the point of a forum...?

krazyd 2 July 2008

Re: Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe

Rolls Royce and Bentley are the height of bad taste and scream snobbery and notions of superiority. They are horribly over priced cars that are unweildy and ugly. I personally have nothing against expensive cars, but anyone who would choose such a heap of sh** over a Ferrari for the milk run and a Maserati Quattroporte for long journeys deserves no respect at all. Cars for gimps.

Beowolf 2 July 2008

Re: Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe

Hi Jim, yup, think it's one of those statistics I picked up in a magazine over the years, hence the '???'. Did a quick google and below is the best I can come up with. Of course 60% is very different to 90+%. And while I am quite anti-big-silly-expensive cars, one has to acknowledge the advantages/disadvantges of these machines. I.e. if they last ten times as long, then they don't even need recycling so to speak and don't waste as much energy as the purchase of a new car every five years....

'...Around 100,000 Rolls-Royce motor cars have been built over the past 100 years and experts speculate that at least 60 per cent of them are still in existence. Amazing — especially when you consider that many
vehicles saw action in both world wars.. ..'

'... More than six out of ten of all Rolls-Royce Motor cars built are still roadworthy. The oldest known Rolls-Royce still on the road is the 1904 10hp owned by....'