The two-door, four-seat coupé edition of the Phantom offers the most energetic ride and appearance out of its sister models. Epitomising automotive beauty and athleticism, and still providing the famous Rolls-Royce "bed of air" ride quality, the Phantom Coupé is a true driver’s car. Chief Designer Ian Cameron created the vehicle to be a modern successor to the short-wheelbase "Continental" variant of the 1930s Phantom II.
Like its precursor, the present-day Phantom Coupé features rakish stylistic touches and subtle but noticeable engineering tweaks that render it even more agile and responsive than other Phantom models.
The profile of the Phantom Coupé gives an immediate signal of its power and manoeuvrability. A low-slung roof, visible chrome exhausts and 21” alloy wheels signify that this is a vehicle willing to let its hair down a little more than the stately saloon model. By matching the colour of the outer front grille to that of the rest of the bodywork, it is also possible to emphasise the length of the bonnet, thus accentuating the lower profile of the coupé.
As well as being pleasurable to view and touch, the quality of the interior’s full-grain leather upholstery, veneers and chrome detailing is indirectly important to the driver’s performance. After all, being in a relaxed and confident frame of mind is crucial for perfect judgment and anticipation. The optimum seating position is also of paramount importance, which is why the driver enjoys a raised seating position offering an uninterrupted view of the road ahead.
Rolls-Royce designers and engineers have succeeded in the difficult task of making the Phantom Coupé more responsive than its saloon and drophead counterparts. Nevertheless, the coupé has lost none of the archetypal Phantom characteristics; effectively non-existent wind and road noise, for example, and a magnificently smooth gearbox.
With the coupé’s slightly smaller and lighter frame, the 6.75-litre direct-injection V12 engine delivers a marginal increase in speed and acceleration compared to the saloon and drophead. It is possible to go from a standing start to 60mph in 5.6 seconds.
The main performance-related difference, however, is the increased steering weight. This makes it possible to control the course of the vehicle with pinpoint precision, even at high speeds. The sense of connection between driver and machine is intensified still further in “Sport” mode. This holds each gear on the automatic transmission for longer, making it possible to accelerate at an even quicker rate than usual.