Full 2014 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Review
What's New for 2014
For 2014, the Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe sees only minor changes. These include newly standard daytime running lights, different wood cabin trim choices, new wheels and an optional highly polished grille frame.
Few things on four wheels say you've arrived as emphatically as the 2014 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe. The regal radiator-style grille, high beltline and thick rear roof pillars contribute to this presence, as do the heritage, rarity and price tag of this magnificent automobile. Plus, even though it's about 9 inches shorter in length than a Phantom sedan, this is still a very imposing car.
Upon opening the "coach" style (rear-hinged) door, you'll quickly realize that there are few places to take a seat as sumptuous as the Phantom's cabin. Here you'll find every imaginable luxury and the finest leather hides, hand-polished woods and gleaming metal inlays available. Despite the old-world charm and craftsmanship, modern conveniences abound as well, such as an infotainment system with a (once you've acclimated) user-friendly multifunction controller. Of course, the chief difference between the Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe and the sedan is the rear passenger compartment. Although the Coupe has a smaller backseat than the limolike sedan, there's still ample room for a pair of adults.
With its sportier state of suspension tune and two-door body style, the Phantom Coupe is billed as the driver's car of the Phantom line. Now, how much a vehicle with a 130.7-inch wheelbase and a Chevy Suburban-like curb weight can be a driver's car is open to debate. Yet despite its massive specifications, the Phantom Coupe's acceleration is immediate and forceful when you lean into it, yet always refined and silent. Similarly, its handling feels more athletic and effortless than one would rightly expect from a luxury cruiser of this size. This is a result of the incredible air suspension, which not only keeps this enormous vehicle level and controlled through turns, but provides a serenely supple ride as well.
Yes, other super-luxury coupes like the 2014 Bentley Continental GT and 2014 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class and upcoming 2015 S-Class Coupe are even quicker and nimbler (not to mention considerably less expensive). But they don't possess the undeniable grace and head-turning road presence innate to every Rolls-Royce. Even when simply standing still, the 2014 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe exudes class and exclusivity that's virtually unmatched by any other car.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Rolls-Royce Phantom is a four-passenger, ultra-luxury coupe. Standard equipment includes 21-inch cast-aluminum wheels, an electronically adjustable air suspension, automatic and adaptive LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, multiple parking and maneuvering cameras (rearview, top view, front side), power-closing rear-hinged doors, a power-closing trunk lid, multizone climate control, 10-way power front seats, heated front and rear seats, driver memory functions, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a wool and cashmere headliner and two umbrellas hidden in the front fenders.
Standard electronics features include Bluetooth phone connectivity, a navigation system, voice controls, Rolls-Royce Assist emergency telematics and a multifunction electronics interface with an 8.8-inch display and pop-out controller. The audio system is a Harman Kardon Lexicon Logic 7 surround-sound system with a glovebox-mounted six-DVD changer, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB/iPod interface and satellite radio with a lifetime subscription. Also standard on the Coupe model is the Phantom's Dynamic package, which adds stiffer antiroll bars (to sharpen up the car's handling) as well as sportier suspension, transmission and brake calibrations.
While the Phantom Coupe's options list does not officially feature a drinks cabinet or refrigerator, it does offer many of the customizable extras available on the Phantom sedan, including various wood, metal and mother-of-pearl inlays, a leather headliner, monogrammed headrest, leather seat piping, a glovebox humidor, trunk-mounted parasols and a "Starlight" roof liner with embedded pin lights simulating nighttime stars. Really, though, Rolls-Royce's Bespoke program will do its best to customize your Phantom in any way you can imagine. At the very least, the paint and trim combinations are infinite, since Rolls-Royce will mix paint and treat the interior materials to match any color combination a customer dreams up.
Powertrains and Performance
The only available powertrain for the 2014 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe is a 6.7-liter V12 that produces 453 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque. All Phantom models are rear-wheel drive and have an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Phantom Coupe is a touch quicker than the Phantom sedan, capable of accelerating from a standstill to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, according to Rolls-Royce.
The EPA rates the Phantom Coupe's fuel economy at 14 mpg combined (11 city/19 highway).
The 2014 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe safety equipment includes antilock brakes, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, side airbags for front occupants and full-length side curtain airbags. In addition, front and rear parking sensors are standard, as is a camera system that shows rear, front-side and overhead views to assist you in parking and pulling into traffic in this very large coupe.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Phantom Coupe may seat only four, but it still feels as large as your living room, at least for front seat occupants, who sit in thrones that face a broad, vertical and squared-off dashboard. The seating position is very high and almost suggestive of driving an SUV. The rear-hinged coach doors make accessing the wide rear bench seat surprisingly easy once the front seats have motored forward. As in the sedan, the rear seats are set back deep into the roof's cove, where it can get a little claustrophobic, particularly since no sunroof is offered.
Clean, traditional instrument dials and an elegant center-mounted clock contribute to the interior's formal atmosphere. Even with its relatively thick steering wheel, the Phantom Coupe's cabin is far too dignified to take on even a remotely sporty ambience. It certainly does feel special, though, thanks to its many exquisite details. Those include multilayer wood veneers, deep-pile lambswool carpets and yards of leather trim that's sourced from cows in high-altitude Alpine meadows free of thorny trees or barbed wire that might spoil their hides. Hand craftsmanship is evident in the splendid stitchwork and pleated leather that no machine could finesse.
Hidden behind the clock is the Phantom's 8.8-inch infotainment screen that includes a split-screen interface, thus allowing a certain amount of multitasking such as changing radio or media sources while simultaneously displaying the navigation map. Eight memory keys below the screen serve as bookmarks for radio presets as well as one-touch recall of favorite navigation destinations. The entire setup is essentially a disguised version of the iDrive interface in BMW models (right down to the multifunction controller that pops out from the Phantom's center console). Generally speaking, it works well, though initially you'll want to take some time to familiarize yourself with its menus before you hit the road. Other controls, particularly those for the front seats and climate control, are unusual, and it may take some time to figure them out.
For a vehicle with a nearly 3-ton curb weight, the Phantom Coupe is amazingly quick. The V12 is spectacularly powerful and virtually silent in operation, providing a forceful yet drama-free surge of acceleration, like a ground-bound private jet, each time you lay into the right pedal.
We have yet to sample a newer Phantom Coupe (last year brought revisions to its suspension and steering that promised sharper steering response and handling capability). However, in previous drives the Phantom impressed us with its light yet communicative steering and its composure around turns. Plus, like every Rolls-Royce, it has a supple, controlled ride that dispatches bumps, potholes and even speed humps as if they aren't even there.