Full 2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Review
What's New for 2010
There were no changes made for the 2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe.
The beautiful Contessa Sofia di Vincenzo disembarks rather elegantly from the Flying Lady, your regal yacht that has docked in Monaco after a three-week cruise from Miami and through the Mediterranean. Her ebony hair falls upon her tanned shoulders, her flouncy azure dress dancing in the soft sea breeze. You take her delicate hand and lead her to your...
If you finished that sentence with "rented Chrysler Sebring," there's been some misunderstanding. The correct answer is 2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, which in American English translates to "two-door convertible version of the Rolls-Royce Phantom." It is the pinnacle of luxury convertibles, the end-all of automotive grandeur and the quintessential land-based runabout to store aboard your Flying Lady. Other cars will do, but what you want is a Drophead.
Although 10 inches shorter than the standard Phantom, the Drophead Coupe (pronounced coop-ay in fine British tradition) is still 20 inches longer than an Audi Q7 and only 2 inches shorter than a Suburban. It weighs more than both. The Drophead is also incredibly wide, which makes maneuvering in tight spots akin to piloting the Flying Lady through a lazy river.
The Drophead is special in plenty of other ways as well. Most notable are the rear-hinged "coach" doors that have essentially been extinct on two-door cars since the 1930s. Of course, only the finest materials have been used to create a truly one-of-a-kind cabin. No fewer than 18 bovines sacrifice themselves for king, country and interior. Their hides are tanned in nine standard colors (available in contrasting combinations) such as black, creme light, roseleaf, fleet blue and consort red. Rolls' bespoke services will even create a personal leather color to match the Contessa's azure dress if you like. The same goes for customizable exterior paint, which they'll even name after her.
But this is all standard Rolls-Royce fare. The Drophead Coupe stands apart with a special optional tonneau cover for the five-layer soft top (available in six colors itself) that is finished in 100-percent genuine teak and is said to resemble the deck of a luxury yacht. Rolls sources blonde green teak grown in hilltop regions of Southeast Asia. Each "deck" features 30 separate pieces cut from the same tree to avoid any variation in grain patterns. Those pieces are bonded, then black caulking (the same as yacht builders use) is applied to the grooves before the entire deck is sanded and finished. It's recommended that the teak be oiled at every service interval. Sound impossibly high-class? It bloody well is and you should order it.
There's a car under all this pomp and circumstance, and we're happy to report it's a mighty fine one. Meticulously engineered by BMW and Rolls-Royce, the Phantom Drophead Coupe perfectly blends the dynamic virtues of a modern German car with the style and panache expected of a classic British luxury automobile. The power from its V12 is vigorous, its ride is supple, its handling surprisingly un-yachtlike. There are other high-end luxury convertibles, but none can truly stand toe to toe with the 2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe. If you have achieved that Flying Lady lifestyle, or even strive for it, there is simply no other automotive choice.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe is a four-seat ultraluxury convertible with two rear-hinged doors. Everything you'd expect from a luxury car is standard, along with 21-inch wheels, run-flat tires, an adjustable air suspension, power-closing doors, bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, a two-piece "picnic" trunk lid, a five-layer convertible soft top, parking sensors, front and rear heated seats, power front seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, memory functions and multizone climate control. Electronic features includes Rolls-Royce emergency telematics, keyless ignition/entry, voice commands, Bluetooth, a navigation system and a 15-speaker Lexicon surround-sound stereo with an in-dash single-CD player, in-glovebox six-CD changer, an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio with a lifetime subscription.
If that list seems incomplete, rest assured that Rolls-Royces can be customized to your heart's content. Besides the infinite color palette available, other optional features include different wheel designs, front and rear camera systems, visible exhaust tips, a brushed stainless-steel hood and such frivolities as champagne fridges and humidors. Individual requests are likely to be accommodated.
Powertrains and Performance
The Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe is powered by a 6.7-liter V12 that produces 453 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission sends that massive power to the rear wheels. Rolls-Royce estimates that the Drophead will go from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. Fuel economy is likely to be better than your yacht's.
Safety equipment includes run-flat tires, antilock brakes, traction and stability control, a pop-up rollover protection system, active front head restraints, front knee airbags, front side airbags and Rolls-Royce emergency telematics. Front and rear parking cameras are optional.
Interior Design and Special Features
Believe it or not, the 2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe has a pretty nice interior. Almost every surface is adorned in beautifully crafted veneer, shiny chrome, soft cashmere or the sumptuous hides of Bavarian cattle. The dashboard has so much wood on it that you might mistake it for a clothes bureau. The driver is greeted by classically simple gauges and a minimalist control panel. The climate controls are mounted a little low on the dash, however, and consist of strange thumb wheels instead of dials or buttons with a digital display. More complex functions like the navigation system are managed by an interface similar to BMW's iDrive system, with the trademark mouselike controller hiding inside the center console when not in use and the LCD screen disappearing behind the classic analog clock.
Thanks to the rear-hinged "coach" doors, ingress and egress are far easier than in traditional coupes. The doors are impressively large and quite heavy, though one doesn't have to yank them shut, as they are power-operated. Although not nearly as spacious as the Phantom sedan's enormous rear quarters, the Coupe's backseat still provides plenty of adult-sized comfort for hours of high-class travel.
Big. That's the best word to describe the 2010 Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe, a vehicle that is enormous in every dimension despite being 10 inches shorter than its sedan comrade. As such, piloting it through tighter streets can be daunting, with its wide body and huge front end perched in the distance like the bow of a ship (the Spirit of Ecstasy perched atop the grille may start to look like Leo DiCaprio yelling, "I'm king of the world!"). Thankfully, the optional split-view front camera provides a left-right side view of crossroads ahead.
Given its size, the Drophead is definitely happiest out on the open road, dominating high-speed thoroughfares like a road-going ocean liner. The ride is smooth but not floaty, absorbing broken pavement with nothing but muted thumps, and the open-roof structure feels impressively rigid. You could probably hit a land mine and barely notice. Unlike with other convertibles -- especially large ones -- there is no body flex or creaking, which perpetuates the feeling of spectacular, indestructible quality.