Shopping for a new Rolls-Royce Phantom?
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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
“Plenty of power for any occasion”
the Phantom Drophead felt more than big; it felt out of scale, like a 1:18th-scale model in a 1:43-scale world
considering its heft and ride qualities, handling was impressive
The 2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom, Phantom Coupe, and Phantom Drophead Coupe are all offered exclusively with a BMW-sourced 6.7-liter V-12 engine that develops 453 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque and is capable of sending the cars from 0-60 mph in less than six seconds.
Edmunds says, “In spite of a curb weight approaching three tons, going from zero to 60 mph takes just 5.7 seconds.” “The 453-horsepower Rolls V-12 shares its basic makeup with that of the BMW 760 sedan,” states 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.”
The 2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom range is not meant to be sporty, but considering its size, 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,” finds Car and Driver, who adds that “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 asserts that, “considering its heft and ride qualities, handling was impressive, with good steering feel and little body lean in fast turns.”
Autoblog claims that the Phantom Sedan 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 the reviewer further muses, “imagine being able to sit on the back of a white rhino and hit the gas, you'll get the feeling.”
As for the Drophead Coupe, a 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 Coupe 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 states that 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 impressed, finding that “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 that, “even a car with 531 pound-feet of torque occasionally needs the torque-multiplying magic of a shorter gear.”
Though Phantom buyers will not be concerned with fuel economy, ConsumerGuide reports that there was “no opportunity to measure, but the EPA estimates an average of 14 mpg. Premium fuel is required.”
The 2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom is surprisingly quick, but anyone desiring sports car performance should consider buying another vehicle. That's no problem, as anyone considering a Rolls-Royce in the first place can afford it.