Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe is the only vehicle on sale today that requires new oil at each service interval.
People are still discovering that a Rolls-Royce no longer leans heavily on the snob appeal of being the car of choice for the Third Duke of Crispy Bits and Creaky Floors. And so the moment we took the wheel of the 2008 Phantom Drophead Coupe, we quickly realized that in addition to being neither a coupe nor a drophead, it is neither a technologically disadvantaged old crock nor simply a hollow affectation for old-money wannabes. It is, in fact, a very fine yacht and quite a good car as well.
With four full seats, it was essential that the coach doors afford both front and rear passengers with unimpeded access. We have also incorporated a closing assistance system, which can pull the door shut from any opening angle, allowing occupants to close the door from within the passenger cabin at the touch of a button. There is also a soft-close mechanism that pulls the doors closed through the final 6mm of travel, minimising effort and noise.
That is no small accomplishment, driving as we were at intensely extralegal speeds. And it was made all the more difficult since we were guiding this solid ingot of wealth via a comically large-diameter steering wheel that was mounted too high for us. Perhaps Rolls has taken its nautical theme a bit too literally in this case.
The Phantom Drophead Coupé is built around a version of the innovative hand-welded aluminium spaceframe first seen in the Phantom.
All this pulling power is delivered to the road through the rear wheels, via a six-speed automatic gearbox. Controlled by a column selector, the transmission uses shift-by-wire technology, which means there is no mechanical linkage between the selector and the transmission itself. With gearshift points optimised for comfort, and pulling away in 2nd gear, the Phantom Drophead Coupé is engineered to make silky smooth progress. Though effortless in delivery, the Phantom Drophead Coupé’s performance is truly spirited, with a 0-60mph time of just 5.7sec and an electronically governed top speed of 149mph.