Test Drive: 2010 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe car test drives rolls royce luxury cars
Test Drive: 2010 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe car test drives rolls royce luxury cars
Test Drive: 2010 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe car test drives rolls royce luxury cars
2010 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe. Click image to enlarge

The interior of the Phantom Coupé is an absolute delight and exceeds every expectation. If cabinet-making maestros Chippendale and Sheraton were alive today and crafting vehicle interiors rather than elegant furniture, this is the kind of work they’d be happy to be involved with. The veneers used by Rolls-Royce to create its remarkable interior trim come from many parts of the world and can be extremely expensive. A burr walnut tree can cost tens of thousands of dollars and only part of the wood is suitable for veneer. Every panel in the car is carefully matched to its nearby opposite number and no two cars are ever quite the same inside. Veneers are stored at Rolls-Royce for decades and carefully numbered so that if a car interior is ever damaged, wood for a repair can be found from the same tree and the same cut, ensuring a perfect match.
   
Similar care goes into the fine leathers used by Rolls-Royce and customers can specify just about any colour or texture that takes their fancy. It takes several hides to upholster a Phantom Coupé and each is painstakingly inspected before being judged flawless and ready for the cutting and hand-stitching processes. Rounding off every Rolls-Royce since 1911 has been the stately Acropolis-inspired radiator grille with its “Spirit of Ecstasy” sculptured figure flying gracefully atop it in all her glory. Nowadays, the flying lady retracts into the grille when the vehicle is parked to prevent theft. The system also functions automatically when needed to protect any hapless pedestrian struck by the mighty Rolls. Like no other feature of the Phantom, it’s the temple-like grille and its flying lady that make it absolutely clear that this is no ordinary car – this is a Rolls-Royce. 
  

Test Drive: 2010 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe car test drives rolls royce luxury cars
Test Drive: 2010 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe car test drives rolls royce luxury cars
2010 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe. Click image to enlarge

Despite brimming over with traditional values, this car is a very sophisticated piece of engineering with every state-of-the-art feature a vehicle in this class can pack in. Safety features include a full suite of air bags and a wide range of electronic stability and braking aids. Of course, if you need even more protection than that offered by the standard Phantom, Rolls-Royce will be happy to sell you an armoured version. Aimed at buyers who need, as Rolls says, “the highest levels of personal protection,” the car packs in enough high-tech weapons-proofing systems to bring a sigh of envy from Transporter movie star Jason Statham himself.

It’s true that there was some grumbling by diehard Rolls fans when BMW acquired the company, but few could argue that Rolls-Royce is producing better quality cars and is heading in exactly the right corporate direction – recession or no recession.

The Phantom range is surprisingly large for this class. Beside the Coupé, there are standard and long-wheelbase sedans and a splendid convertible (“drophead” in Rolls-speak) for Phantom buyers to choose from. For those looking for something a tad more compact and a bit less expensive in a Rolls, the new Ghost should fit the bill nicely.

Pricing: 2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe
  • Base price: $408,000 (U.S.)
  • Options: None
  • A/C tax: $100
  • Freight: $2,000
  • Price as tested: $410,100
    Click here for options, dealer invoice prices and factory incentives

    Specifications
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe

    Competitors
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2010 BMW 7 Series
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

    Crash test results
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)