Rolls-Royce Motor Cars unveiled its new Phantom Coup at the 78th International Geneva Motor Show and production will start at it Goodwood, England facility in the summer of 2008.
The Coup is the most driver-orientated model in the Phantom line. A number of subtle but significant modifications change its character. It is noticeably more dynamic, while still offering incredible levels of comfort.Marrying cutting-edge technology with a beautifully proportioned, muscular body that exudes power and style, it incorporates timeless Rolls-Royce design cues in an utterly contemporary manner.Designed to cover great distances effortlessly, the Coup is the perfect choice for a transcontinental trip. Power is provided by the Phantom's 6.75 liter V12 that produces 453hp, 531 lb-ft of torque and has segment-leading fuel economy. A 25% increase in fuel capacity, compared to the Drophead Coup, adds significant driving range. Agile, fast, long-legged and virtually silent, the Phantom Coup allows both driver and passengers to emerge unruffled, even after an all-day run.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chief Designer, Ian Cameron, said, "Rolls-Royce has always been about pace, performance and style. For the Coup design we gave the quintessential Rolls-Royce design a dynamic twist. This adds a sense of drama to the outstanding engineering and drivability that are fundamentals of Rolls-Royce cars. The dynamic drive of the Phantom has always come as a surprise to customers and the Coup takes it one step further."The Phantom Coup features rear-hinged coach doors, which add to the ease of access to the rear lounge seats as well as to the overall aesthetics. Crucially, they aid the overall stiffness of the body as the rear hinged doors allow for an uninterrupted A-pillar, helping to make this the most torsionally rigid Rolls-Royce ever. A brushed steel finish on the A-pillar and hood, as seen for the first time on 100EX concept car, is also available for the Coup.
At the rear is a spacious picnic boot. A split-tail compartment opens in two parts, giving easy access to 395 liters of space. The lower tailgate also provides a comfortable seating platform for two adults when lowered.At the core of the Phantom Coup is an advanced aluminum chassis, perhaps the single most significant component in delivering the marque's legendary refinement. Lightweight and exceptionally strong, it impacts positively on ride comfort, handling and safety. Hand made, it requires over 130 meters of welding to create each body.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chairman and Chief Executive, Ian Robertson, said, "The Coup has been designed and engineered to be the most dynamic interpretation of our values. Our 2007 sales figures illustrate how successful the entire model range has been with an increase of 25% over the previous year."
At the core of the Coup is a sophisticated, all-aluminum spaceframe, first seen in the Phantom. It provides an exceptional base for the car, offering great strength, a high degree of torsional rigidity and low weight, all of which benefit dynamics. Manufactured to within a tolerance of just 0.1mm/0.004", each spaceframe is constructed by hand and then checked by computer to ensure total accuracy. The body's structure, comprised of box sections of aluminum, is painstakingly hand-welded by a team of experts. Every morning, each member of the team performs a 300mm test weld to ascertain atmospheric effects on the metal with which they are working so that these can be taken into account. In all, more than 130meters of weld are used to create the Coup's spaceframe.The Phantom Coup's lightweight and rigid structure, the most torsionally stiff in the Phantom line, provides the foundation for its excellent dynamic abilities, but it also offers safety benefits. The box sections are exceptionally strong and offer greater dispersion of energy in the event of a collision. Frontal impacts are absorbed by crumple zones that direct the force into both the Y-shaped chassis members and main understructure - the strongest part of the chassis. Side impact intrusion is minimized by the double-skinned floor construction, side sills and integral side impact bars in each door.
The inherent safety of the spaceframe is enhanced by other safety systems controlled by ISIS (Intelligent Safety and Information System). This takes readings from sensors located throughout the car and, in the event of an impact, makes up to 4000 calculations a second to establish its severity, deploying safety systems as necessary. These include intelligent braking and restraint systems, such as Dynamic Stability Control and Dynamic Traction Control, seatbelt pre-tensioners and any of six airbags.
With the exception of the picnic trunk, steel hood and A-pillar surround, all the Coup's panels are created from aluminum, a material that delivers a substantial weight saving over steel. The large, single-piece front wings are made by a process called super plastic forming. The alloy is heated and then formed, without stress of the material, to the required shape and size in a process seen for the first time in the automotive industry.
At the heart of the Coup is the same 6.75 liter V12 engine as used by the Phantom. Featuring advanced direct fuel injection with variable valve lift and timing, it offers the perfect combination of power and outstanding combustion efficiency. Designed to develop massive low-down torque, it delivers 75% of its maximum power at just 1000rpm, giving the smooth, unstressed performance associated with Rolls-Royce cars. The powertrain develops 453hp at 5350rpm and 531 lb-ft of torque at 3500rpm - ample for even the most enthusiastic of drivers. At 100mph (where permissible), the Coup's power reserve dial shows that 90% of the engine's power remains untapped.
The objective of the Phantom Coup engineering team was to create a driving experience that was entirely true to Rolls-Royce, yet noticeably more dynamic. The resulting balance of agility and refinement, however, surprised even those closest to the project.
The smooth ride is still exceptional, yet has been made a little firmer by the introduction of stiffer rear dampers and modified spring rates. Body roll is reduced by a thicker rear anti-roll bar and the steering has been tuned to offer more feel - a sensation enhanced by a slightly thicker, hand-stitched leather steering wheel.
The suspension and chassis tune mean that the power is put down on the road incredibly effectively. Outstanding grip means that the dynamic stability control (DSC) is less likely to be activated under enthusiastic cornering, making it feel more balanced when pushing on.
A sport button on the steering wheel activates a new gearbox program. Each gear is held for longer, increasing the rate of acceleration. Kick-down is also faster and accelerator pedal response has been enhanced.
Together these individual changes to the car's set-up give a substantially more dynamic feel than the Phantom and Phantom Drophead Coup. In combination with the effortless power that is always on tap, the new state of tune makes driving the Phantom Coup not only pleasurable but also exhilarating. With a limited top speed of 155mph, the Coup accelerates from 0-60mph in 5.6sec.The Coup's wheelbase is 250mm shorter than the Phantom, giving greater agility. Its 49:51 weight ratio ensures that it remains beautifully balanced through corners, while the slight rear weight bias maximizes straight-line acceleration and traction. Self-leveling air suspension continuously adjusts to driving conditions, enabling drivers to place the car accurately through bends. The steering has modified Servotronic assistance to provide increased road feel.
The extreme rigidity of the Coup's chassis gives magnificent control and precision. The front double-wishbone suspension features a hydraulic mount to minimize vibrations through the steering wheel, while multi-link rear suspension gives increased ride comfort, with anti-lift and anti-dive technology for stability under heavy acceleration and braking. This combines with the stronger rear anti-roll bar and stiffer spring and damper settings to increase both accuracy and agility.
As standard, the Phantom Coup has 21" Goodyear tires with run-flat capability, sitting on seven-spoke aluminum or two different styles of forged aluminum rims. In the unfortunate event of a flat tire, the Coup can run for at least 100 miles at speeds of up to 50mph before the tire has to be replaced. As well as being convenient, this run-flat technology negates the need for spare wheels and a jack, freeing up space in the luggage compartment. The Coup's 100-liter fuel tank allows for the longer drives that its character encourages, giving a range of around 400 miles.
Braking is provided by massive 374mm/14.7" ventilated disc brakes at the front and 370mm/14.6" at the rear. Twin-piston alloy calipers at the front and single piston calipers at the rear ensure that the Coup is brought to a stop quickly and without drama. Naturally, the braking system incorporates the latest in anti-lock systems and Emergency Brake Assist is activated under heavy braking, applying full force in an emergency stop.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has never accepted what is nearly right, only what is best. Henry Royce's maxim, "Strive for perfection in everything you do" is exemplified in the extraordinary craftsmanship of the car's interior. Highly skilled men and women employ both traditional techniques and cutting-edge technology to create an interior that is unsurpassed in terms of quality and attention to detail. They work with only the finest natural materials, including cashmere blends, wood veneers and leather, all of which are specially selected by a team of experts before being painstakingly prepared so that their inherent beauty is captured.
Each wood veneer is chosen for its complexity of grain and color and is selected from sources worldwide. Woods available for the Coup include Zebrano, Elm Cluster, Mahogany Flare, Rosewood and Walnut Burr. Each part is crafted by hand in the wood shop at Goodwood. Veneers are laid onto a substrate part of up to 24 layers of wood and aluminum, carefully constructed to provide strength and safety in the event of an impact. They are then lacquered and polished to a mirror finish, perfectly showcasing the beauty and intricacy of the wood's grain.The Coup's interior uses larger pieces of leather than the Phantom's, mainly because of the nature of the seats, and this makes the selection of appropriate hides even more challenging. Following a unique barrel-dyeing process, which ensures a rich, uniform pigmentation throughout the leather, each hide is checked by hand and eye, and any naturally occurring blemishes and imperfections are marked in preparation for cutting. Where possible, the hide is used in such a way that these marks are hidden rather than discarded, minimizing waste and creating a perfect finished product.
Vehicle length: 220.8"
Vehicle width: 78.2"
Vehicle height (unladen): 62.7"
Curb weight: 5798 lb
Axle load ratio, rear (unladen): 51.7%
Gross vehicle weight: 6724 lb
Fuel management: Direct injection
Power output @ engine speed: 453hp (SAE) @ 5350rpm
Max torque @ engine speed: 531 lb-ft @ 3500rpm
Compression ratio: 11:1
Transmission type: ZF 6HP32
Final-drive ratio: 3.460
Brakes, front/diameter: Ventilated
Brakes, rear/diameter: Ventilated
Aerodynamics;Drag Cd: 0.36
Top speed: 155mph (governed)
Acceleration 0-60mph: 5.6sec
Tire front: Goodyear EMT 255/50 R21 106W
Wheel size, front: 8x21"
Tire, rear: Goodyear EMT 285/45 R21 109W
Wheel size, rear: 9.5x21"