Rolls-Royce claims the BMW-sourced 6.7-liter V-12 powering the 2009 Phantom produces 453 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque that propels the 5,776-pound Phantom to 60 mph in under 6 seconds.
“In spite of a curb weight approaching three tons, going from zero to 60 mph takes just 5.7 seconds,” says Edmunds. “The 453-horsepower Rolls V-12 shares its basic makeup with that of the BMW 760 sedan,” reports Motor Trend, “but it's larger, more powerful, and retuned for even greater refinement. It even sounds different from a 7-Series V-12: dead silent at idle, but with soft intake and exhaust moans when you're really on it.”
Reviewers agree that "sporty" is not the word to describe the 2009 Phantom, but for such a sizable automobile, its handling and road manners are impressive. “Sporty is always a relative term, particularly when it’s applied to a coupe that’s well over 18 feet long and weighs close to three tons,” says Car and Driver, adding “the coupe drives smaller than its specs suggest, the suspension is a little stiffer than that of the other Phantoms, and the steering is surprisingly quick and tactile, with good on-center response.” ConsumerGuide comments, “considering its heft and ride qualities, handling was impressive, with good steering feel and little body lean in fast turns.”
According to Autoblog, the Phantom is “the stiffest Rolls-Royce in the lineup, and utilizes different spring rates, stiffer dampers, a thicker rear anti-roll bar, and steering tuned for more response.” Its handling is helped by “a 49:51 weight ratio," and “imagine being able to sit on the back of a white rhino and hit the gas, you'll get the feeling,” they muse.
However, the reviewer at Edmunds describes his experience driving the convertible a little differently: “As we drove this car in Italy across some of the finest goat paths in the Tuscan countryside, the Phantom Drophead felt more than big; it felt out of scale, like a 1:18th-scale model in a 1:43-scale world. Many a Fiat Panda had to swerve into roadside olive groves to avoid us as we came steaming down the centerline.”
Motor Trend says the Phantom is “backed by ZF's superb six-speed automatic transmission, which offers a 'Low' mode-in reality more like a 'Sport' mode-holding the tranny longer in each gear for more spirited acceleration.” Edmunds isn’t as impressed with the Phantom’s transmission, remarking, “the only operational aspect of the convertible that we don't like is the six-speed automatic's reluctance to downshift during passing maneuvers,” adding, “even a car with 531 pound-feet of torque occasionally needs the torque-multiplying magic of a shorter gear.”
As if fuel economy matters with a vehicle such as the Phantom, ConsumerGuide reports that there was “no opportunity to measure, but the EPA estimates an average of 14 mpg. Premium fuel is required.”