When we sampled Rolls-Royce's delectable Phantom Drophead Coupé (the perfect complement to warm Tuscan sun), the Goodwood-based manufacturer was already putting the finishing touches to the final piece in the Phantom fleet. Joining the Drophead, and sitting alongside the hugely accomplished saloon and extended wheelbase versions, is this new Drophead Coupé, a peerless four-seater based on the 2006 101EX concept.
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While the Drophead had more than a hint of nautical elegance, with its teak rear deck and sisal floor mats, the Coupé is a more elegant, sporting affair, if something with the inherent grace and presence of a Rolls-Royce could be defined as sporting. Ample power is provided by the company's vast 6.75-litre V12 (kiss goodbye to your congestion charge discount), giving the car performance that belies its hefty proportions.
The company's designers have done well to soften the bulk, creating flowing lines that accommodate rear-hinged doors (with push-button closing, naturally), and a drop down picnic boot for two. Forward vision at tricky junctions is provided by a bumper-mounted camera, while there's the option of having a 'starlight headlining', a fibre-optic light show embedded in the roof lining.
Craftsmanship, engineering, materials and finish are all first rate. Although Rolls-Royce are readying a more mass-market saloon to tap into the sub £200,000 market, the Phantom Coupé demonstrates more than ever that their core customer base has no need to fret.