2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Road Test Review

Brian Armstead - CAP staff
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Excellence can be measured in many ways.  Awards are a common form of denoting excellence, as are kudos from your peers.  After spending time behind the wheel of the 2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe, I think excellence is measured in the sheer awe and delight passersby expressed as this luxury chariot cruised by. 

With a starting price a bit north of $400,000 USD, the Phantom Coupe is a dream for most of us, and reality for the few that the recession has not really touched.  For these lucky ones, Rolls-Royce offers what could be described as the "ultimate" driving experience.

First impressions of the Phantom Coupe were, well, impressive! With a 6.75-litre V12 engine making 453 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque, accelerative force is ample. Step on the gas pedal and the car moves forward like a rocket.  With so much mass to move in this nearly three ton affair, one would think the handling of the Phantom Coupe would be sloppy, especially considering my previous experience driving the four-door Phantom can be best described as "floaty." The Coupe's air-damped suspension has been recalibrated for a sportier feel, and the results are much less body roll, no tire squeal during hard cornering, and no significant front end dive during hard braking. While no one will call handling quality "Porsche-like," it is enjoyable, and encourages you to push the big Coupe with confidence and authority.   As one would expect, the cabin of the Coupe is extremely quiet, even under full acceleration.  Phantom Coupes ride on your choice of three styles of massive 21" wheels/tires.

The Phantom Coupe's exterior is very aggressive, with an optional long, stainless steel "bonnet" (Brit-speak for hood), and lowered roofline.  It's a downright gorgeous car. The doors open outward at the "A" pillar, a unique feature that had jaws dropping everywhere it was witnessed.  Inside, you'd better like yards of premium leather and hand laminated wood, because it's everywhere.  Classic "Eyeball" air vents are controlled by "Organ Stop" chrome push-pull knobs. The "boot" (trunk) opens tailgate style, allowing you to pull out the wicker picnic basket and your obligatory jar of Grey Poupon for a relaxing day on a manicured plot of land.  The headliner features a planetarium-like starscape. Yes, the Rolls-Royce folks hand drill holes in the leather headliner, and hand wire LED lights to each of the more than 1,600 holes. The result is a lunar spectacle, one you must see to fully understand and believe. You can control brightness with a dimmer switch, or turn the display off completely.

On the center console, a rotary "Multi Task Controller" lets you dial your way through menus that control many interior functions, including audio and heating and cooling.  By the way, Miles Davis never sounded as good as he did through the Coupe's fifteen speaker, nine amplifier audio system.

Finally, should you be silly enough to drive such a beautiful car in the rain, Teflon coated umbrellas are located in each front "wing," readily accessible as you open the unique forward opening doors.

Should the "base" offerings from Rolls-Royce not meet your lofty standards, a full bespoke program is available to outfit your Roller with pretty much anything your heart desires and your wallet can manage. This sleek, fun to drive offering is sure to be bestseller for Rolls-Royce.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Coupe, Rolls-Royce, 2010, Phantom Coupe, $99,999+,

Organizations: Rolls-Royce

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