2020 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
Everything you get in the massive Phantom, but with a sportier stanceby Ciprian Florea, on
Introduced in 2007, the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe marked the return of the company’s flagship convertible after a five-year hiatus, with the Corniche V having been discontinued in 2002. Based on the massive Phantom sedan, which was retired in 2016, the Drophead Coupe was also laid to rest after some nine years on the market. With the brand-new Phantom VIII in the spotlight, it’s time to talk about the next-generation Drophead Coupe, which could be less a couple of years away.
Much like its predecessor, the upcoming Drophead Coupe will use the underpinnings and technology found in the sedan. It will also borrow most design features, so now that we’re familiar with the Phantom, it’s safe to say that the Drophead Coupe isn’t much of a mystery. Thanks to a rendering provided by Xtomi, we can also have a closer look at the car long before it goes into production. Find out everything you need to know about the next-generation Phantom Drophead Coupe in our speculative review below.
Update 8/22/2017: After speaking with Gerry Spahn, the Head of Communications for Rolls-Royce here in the U.S., we have to report that there will be no Phantom Drophead Coupe derived from the Phantom VIII. Read our special update section below to learn more about it.
Continue reading to learn more about the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
2020 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
Horsepower @ RPM:500
Torque @ RPM:600
0-60 time:5.5 sec.
Top Speed:155 mph
The Sad But Undeniable Truth
Editor’s Note: After this review went live, I received an e-mail from none other than Rolls-Royce’s Head of Communications, Gerry Spahn. After a quick phone call with him, I have to, unfortunately, report that there will be no Drophead Coupe based on the 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII. A Coupe is also out of the question for this generation. Now, that isn’t to say that they won’t come to be for future generations, however, don’t wait around for one show up in the near future. Of course, if you’re willing to pony up some serious cheddar, you may be able to get Rolls to entertain the idea of a special one-off just for you.
So, with that in mind, read our speculative review below, but take it with a grain of salt as the chances of seeing a Drophead go into production from this generation are non-existent. On the plus side, the Cullinan SUV will be coming by the turn of the decade, and Rolls-Royce may even bring an all-electric car to market sometime in the next 10 years or so. It may not be a bad tradeoff at all, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments section at the end of this review.
Much like its predecessor, the new Drophead Coupe will be a two-door Phantom with a retractable roof.
Much like its predecessor, the new Drophead Coupe will be a two-door Phantom with a retractable roof. Having already seen the new Phantom, it’s safe to say that the upcoming Drophead Coupe won’t be very different from the outgoing model. Sure, if you read Rolls-Royce’s description of the car you’ll be tempted to believe that a lot has changed, but once you take a look at the Phantom you’ll notice that the overall design is decidedly evolutionary.
Not a bad thing by any means, because Rolls-Royce is about heritage and keeping its design recognizable, but be prepared for a new Drophead Coupe that’s more of a facelift rather than an overhaul.
So what kind of changes should you be looking for? As seen in the rendering made by xtomi, the front end will get a revised grille integrated into the surrounding body work. It will basically look cleaner and more modern. This is indeed an important change, as the previous grille was reminding me maybe a bit too much of the 1980s. And just like the Beatles are no longer playing, Rolls-Royce needs to try something new.
|2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII||Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe|
As seen in the rendering, the front end will get a revised grille integrated into the surrounding body work.
The grille will be flanked by new headlamps that are slightly larger and features a redesigned LED cluster. Below, we should find a new bumper with a larger grille, as well as a three piece center section that adds sportiness to the design.
The profile shouldn’t be radically different, but the slightly curved character line under the door will be replaced by a straight line. Also, the beltline won’t be as obvious and will add more elegance to the design.
We will see far less significant changes out back. As it turns out, Rolls-Royce kept the previous Phantom’s lines on the new model, so it’s safe to assume that the flowing lines inspired by 1950s and 1960s cars will remain on the Drophead Coupe as well.
Current Vs. The upcoming Roll Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
|2013 Roll-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe||2020 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe|
Note: 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII interior shown here.
The interior of the new Phantom includes several changes, especially in the dashboard area.
The interior of the new Phantom includes several changes, especially in the dashboard area. While the new layout doesn’t feel as massive, it still conveys that Rolls-Royce-specific luxury feel. The two-tier design is still there, but the upper dash feels more modern, while the center stack no longer looks like grandma’s drawer. The steering wheel hasn’t changed much, but the spokes include new controls, yet another feature that brings the Phantom into the 21st century. The door panels are also new, while the seats have been redesigned for enhanced comfort and support.
Of course, the main focus here was to make the car as comfortable as possible. One massive improvement is the new sound insulation, which, according to Rolls-Royce, makes the Phantom "the most silent motor car in the world." Specifically, the cabin is now isolated from outside noises by 6 mm two-layer glazing, the largest ever cast aluminum joints in a body-in-white, double-skin alloy on areas within the floor, dense foam insertions between the layers, and high-absorption layers within the headliner, doors, and trunk. In all, the Phantom has 287 pounds of noise-deadening materials.
The new Phantom has 287 pounds of noise-deadening material.
Technology was also upgraded with features like Alertness Assistant, a four-camera system with panoramic view, all-round visibility including helicopter view, Night Vision and Vision Assist, Active Cruise Control, collision warning, pedestrian warning, cross-traffic warning, lane departure and lane change warning, an industry leading 7x3 high-resolution head-up display, WiFi hotspot, and the latest navigation and entertainment systems.
Note: 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII interior shown here.
Almost every inch of the interior is wrapped in high-grade leather and Alcantara.
As usual, almost every inch of the interior is wrapped in high-grade leather and Alcantara. There are acres of wood veneer, as well as genuine aluminum trim. The analog clock can still be found on the dashboard.
Expect to find all these features in the new Drophead Coupe, as well as the many and fancy options available with each Rolls-Royce. Of course, the two-door will have slightly less room for rear passengers, while access to the rear seats won’t as comfortable.
Note: 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII engine shown here.
The Phantom's 6.75-liter V-12 engine has been redesigned and now delivers 563 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque.
Traditionally, the Drophead Coupe has used the same engine as the Phantom up until now, so it’s safe to assume that the two-door will get the sedan’s brand-new engine. As a reminder, the Phantom’s 6.75-liter V-12 engine has been redesigned and now delivers 563 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque. That’s a significant boost over the outgoing model and a lot of power to play with in such a heavy car.
While output might not be the same in the Drophead Coupe, it should still be north of 500 horses and 600 pound-feet. The same eight-speed ZF gearbox will be used, albeit with minor changes to suit the slightly different specs. Look for the Drophead Coupe to hit 60 mph from a standing start in slightly less than 5.5 seconds, while top speed should be limited to 155 mph.
Look for the Drophead Coupe to hit 60 mph from a standing start in slightly less than 5.5 seconds.
The new engine employs two turbochargers that deliver torque from 1,700 rpm, something that results in calm low speed progress, as well as enhanced fuel economy.
For reference, the current Drophead Coupe comes with 453 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of twist on tap. The sprint to 60 mph takes 5.6 seconds, while top speed is locked at 150 mph.
The already famous Magic Carpet Ride was also improved, now featuring the latest generation of self-leveling air suspension.
Equally important is the fact that the Drophead Coupe will ride on a new, lighter architecture. The already famous Magic Carpet Ride was also improved, now featuring the latest generation of self-leveling air suspension. The suspension makes millions of calculations every second, reacting to body and wheel acceleration, steering inputs and camera information. In addition, the "Flagbearer" system will add a stereo camera integrated in the windscreen to see the road ahead, adjusting suspension proactively up to speeds of 62 mph.
Speaking of which, the suspension system should include the Phantom’s new double-wishbone front axle and five-link rear axle, which deliver "astounding levels of control over lateral roll and shear forces and delivering incredible agility and stability." These attributes will be further enhanced by the new four-wheel steering.
It’s obviously too early to talk about pricing, but it’s safe to assume that the new Drophead Coupe will cost a bit more than the outgoing model. The current convertible retails from around $550,000 in the U.S., so expect a sticker of at least $575,000. Before the fancy options, of course.
Very few cars have what it takes to compete against the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, and the Continental GT Speed is one of them. The GT Speed comes in a slightly different form, however, as it lacks the chutzpah of a Rolls-Royce. However, it offers more horsepower and better performance as of 2017. In addition, Bentley doesn’t have a customizing program the size of Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke, meaning customers have to settle for less options. But if more power is what you’re looking for, the GT Speed provides. The 6.0-liter W-12 cranks out a whopping 633 horsepower and 620 pound-feet of torque following the most recent upgrade, enabling the convertible to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in only four seconds. That’s more than a second faster than the Phantom Drophead Coupe and a sprint that will put many sports cars to shame. What’s more, the Bentley’s top speed is far more superior at 203 mph, being one of the very few luxury cars that can surpass the 200-mph mark. A ZF, eight-speed automatic with Quickshift works together with the massive engine for those figures to happen. The 2015 Bentley Continental GT Speed retails from around $240,000, making it more affordable than the Phantom Drophead Coupe.
Read our full review of the Bentley Continental GT Speed.
Although the outgoing Drophead Coupe is already ten years old, it’s by no means dated. Sure, it may lack some of the newer technology seen on recently launched cars, but as far as luxury and comfort goes, it’s still in a league of its own. The redesign will take things up a notch by means of a new, lighter platform, as well as the state-of-the-art technology that the modern driver — or in this case the backseat businessman — needs.
Read our full review on the Rolls Royce Phantom VIII.
Read our full review on the current Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe.