2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom Limelight Collection
Rolls-Royce is anything but shy when it comes to offering customized and exclusive special editions of the Phantom, and now it’s got yet another limited run of it’s ultra-premium sedan, this time called the Limelight. Featuring a unique paint and wheel combo, tailor-made storage compartments, and rear seats posh enough to coddle a sultan, the Limelight is designed specifically to fit the needs of “that select group of people who spend their lives in the public eye and on the world stage.”
“In creating the Rolls-Royce Phantom Limelight Collection, our designers have delivered authentic luxury by thinking deeply about the lifestyles of the powerful people who operate in the public eye and move swiftly from engagement to engagement as part of their daily life,” explains Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, in a press release.
The storage spaces are arranged to help the passengers prepare for the engagement, the seats help them relax, and the upgraded exterior helps them arrive in style. It’s a classic Rolls-Royce theme taken to another level of sophistication (and price bracket). Continue reading to learn what Rolls-Royce thinks the world’s elite need from their cars.
Continue reading to learn more about the Rolls-Royce Phantom Limelight Collection.
2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom Limelight Collection
0-60 time:5.7 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:155 mph (Est.)
Anyone who spends a good amount of time on the world stage is sure to crave some degree of effect upon arriving at his or her destination. As such, Rolls draped the Limelight in Gala Blue paint, while the hood is finished in silver. Complementing this color scheme is a hand-painted Seashell and Navy Blue coachline with a diamond motif, something Rolls claims creates the “three dimensional illusion of a diamond bracelet draped over the surface of the car.”
Unique nine-spoke alloy wheels round out the exterior upgrades. Rolls says the look is “rich but stealthy,” but in my opinion, it’s anything but under the radar. A Phantom has presence no matter what color it comes in, with its long hood line, classic squared fascia, polished metal accents and shiny grille topped by the Spirit of Ecstasy. It’s a big, rolling testament to power and wealth. However, given the right crowd, perhaps with a mix of Bugattis and Bentleys, I suppose I could see how the Limelight might be considered understated.
Phantoms are best known for their ultra-premium cabin space, and the Limelight adds to this prestige with a variety of new features unique to this special edition. Most prominent is a tailored set of rear door panniers “designed to ensure cherished personal possessions fall easily to hand.” While these features can be customized to hold an endless variety of items per individual customer preference, Rolls does have a few standard configurations aimed at meeting the needs of both the lady and the gentleman.
For the fairer sex, Rolls endowed the pannier with a concealed fragrance holder in the top-left pocket, capable of containing three individual fragrances, while the men get a concealed section for watches.
For the fairer sex, Rolls endowed the pannier with a concealed fragrance holder in the top-left pocket, capable of containing three individual fragrances, while the men get a concealed section for watches. This panel opens with a single push. The top-right pocket is open and contains men’s fragrance bottles or dual watch or jewelry holders for the ladies. The fragrance bottles are handmade and come from Bresle Valley in Northwest France, famous for its luxury perfumes.
The bottom-left pocket is a universal pouch for things like credit cards, business cards, glasses or makeup. Completing the pannier is a Z-Box made from carbon fiber and milled aluminum and covered in leather.
Beyond the premium storage spaces, Rolls also outfitted the Limelight with seating equipment that goes beyond the standard model: “The optimum position for relaxing in luxury and safety in the rear compartment of a motor car whilst on the move has long been a subject of debate,” the automaker says in a press release. “Whilst some mass-luxury car makers have gone so far in their wish to install an aircraft-style flat-bed seat in the rear that they have had to created safety devices to compensate for the resulting body posture, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars engineers and ergonomists have worked closely with the medical profession to establish the optimum seat position that relaxes the body most whilst in motion.”
The Limelight uses passenger seatbacks that tilt to a “recommended” 27-degree incline to help the VIP’s head rest against the rear cushion. Meanwhile, the lower body enjoys a new calf rest that rises to 68 degrees, while a footrest lifts from the floor by up to 30 degrees.
There are two trim levels available, called simply the “Light” and the “Dark.” The Light trim features contrasting Seashell with Navy Blue leather with Seashell tone-on-tone stitching, while the Dark trim features contrasting Navy Blue with Seashell leather and Navy tone-on-tone stitching.
The upholstery is finished in a diamond-shaped embroidery as an homage to Rolls’ past. This styling is applied to the central seat flutes, door cards, rear console and “Picnic Table” backs. There’s also a two-veneer finish unique to the Limelight, which includes Smoked Chestnut and Piano Seashell on the door cappings that blends with the leather schemes. Finally, a Limelight Bespoke clock that includes color influences from the exterior Gala Blue paint is present as well.
Note: model pictured is not Limelight edition.
The drivetrain for the Limelight is standard Phantom spec, which means under the hood lies a 6.7-liter V-12 strapped with two turbochargers, granting the hired chauffeur an enjoyable 453 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque routed to the rear wheels. That might sound like quite a substantial bit of muscle, but when motivating the 5,840-pound Phantom, 0-to-60 still takes 5.7 seconds.
The rest of the drivetrain is set-up for maximum comfort, with pillow-like double-wishbone suspension and a silky smooth eight-speed automatic transmission.
Pricing for the Limelight has not been officially announced, but is expected to fall somewhere in the $650,000 range. That’s roughly $175,000 above the standard $475,000 Phantom, but considering the clientele for which this car is designed, that shouldn’t be an issue. Only 25 units will be produced worldwide, and Rolls is taking orders now.
First unveiled in 2009 at the highly appropriate Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Mulsanne was originally developed as a competitor for the Rolls-Royce Ghost. It’s smaller, lighter, and more powerful than the Phantom, with a 6.75-liter V-8 boosted by twin turbochargers for 530 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque, blessing it with a 0-to-60 time of less than five seconds.
You’ll find no extra storage compartments and the rear seats weren’t designed with the input of physicians, but the cabin is still quite nice, with high-end materials, leather upholstery, rear-facing screens, and retractable tables. Pricing starts at $300,000, which is a number that’s sure to go up with any customization required.
Read our full review here.
It’s always interesting to see the themes put forth by these special edition ultra-luxury cars. They can be artistic, like with the Phantom Serenity, or a bit playful, like with the Phantom Nighthawk. With the Limelight, we get to see Rolls address its customers more directly, like a butler predicting the needs of his employer before being asked.
But in the end, what is this car really? Taking a step back, it’s hard to see it as more than just a Phantom with some storage space and nice electric seats. And while it’s true that the storage space is made from the highest quality materials and to exacting specifications, and the seats are designed for maximum comfort, that’s all you really get. Yes, the paint and wheels are nice, but is it all worth the cost of a brand new McLaren 570S?
For at least 25 affluent individuals out there, I’m quite positive the answer will be a definitive yes. Rolls-Royce doesn’t go halfway when it comes up with a theme, so if you need maximum comfort and decent personal storage from a car you can practically live out of, then maybe this is the one for you.