Rolls Royce auto news

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Rolls-Royce developing new convertible

08/06/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Convertibles, Rolls Royce, Luxury

Rolls-Royce Wraith convertible prototype

Rolls-Royce is not a company that makes a lot of different vehicles, but of the ones it does, it tends to offer several versions. That's how we end up with sedan, long-wheelbase, coupe and (in the former's case) convertible versions of the Phantom and Ghost. And now Goodwood has confirmed development of another model.

Although details in the press release below are few and far between, it does promise to "deliver effortless, open-top touring... with an engaging and exhilarating driving experience." CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös added: "We are currently developing an exciting and thoroughly contemporary interpretation of a pinnacle drophead tourer which will introduce even more discerning men and women to Rolls-Royce ownership."

What that tells us is that the new model - set to reach showrooms "by mid-2016" - will be a convertible that's exciting to drive and more youthful than the Phantom Drophead Coupe. In other words, and in all likelihood, we're looking at the convertible version of the Ghost-based Wraith fastback (like the one we recently spotted undergoing testing, pictured above). Expect it, then, to carry the same 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12, but with the added rush of wind in your hair.

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Neglected Rolls-Royce Phantom may be the saddest of all time

05/31/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, Videos, Rolls Royce, Luxury

Worst Rolls Royce Ever

Rolls-Royce prides itself on exemplifying the pinnacle of automotive elegance. The brand is synonymous with quality and luxury. However, in the end even a Rolls is still just a car, and if you don't keep it up, it's bound to fail. That deterioration can be seriously fun to watch, though.

This 2005 Rolls-Royce Phantom might now be one of the worst cars on the planet and only has a little over 95,000 miles on it. The video claims that the original owner in New Jersey didn't make payments on the car for three years but rented the sedan out to people and used it for a livery service. Now, it's repossessed and would probably cost more to fix than it's worth.

This Phantom has had a hard life. We don't want to spoil too many of the broken pieces because they pile up to become increasingly absurd. However, the pièce de résistance must to be the broken Spider-Man umbrella in the door.

Warning, there is some explicit language in the otherwise hilarious video; scroll down to watch this automotive travesty.

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eBay Find of the Day: Andy Warhol's 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow

05/26/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Time Warp, Sedans/Saloons, Auctions, Rolls Royce, Celebrities, Luxury

1974 rolls-royce silver shadow

Andy Warhol is one of the most recognizable artists of the 20th Century. With hits like his famous Campbell's soup cans and Marilyn Monroe portraits, he is likely the first name you think of in association with the pop art movement. He isn't known for being an auto enthusiast, though, but maybe that's not entirely the case - there was his BMW M1 art car, after all. Now, Warhol's 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow is up for auction on eBay Motors.

According the seller, Warhol never had a driver's license, but he still wanted to own a luxurious car. It's claimed that he occasionally had his famous friends, including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, chauffeur him around in the Rolls. Following Warhol's death in 1987, the car was auctioned for $77,000, and since then it has only been sold to one additional owner.

The Rolls is painted Walnut and Mason's Black, which appears closer to a shade of brown in these photos, with a black leather interior. The engine is the company's' popular 6.75-liter V8 with a three-speed automatic transmission, and there are just 56,000 miles on this luxurious classic. The seller is including copies of original purchase order from Rolls-Royce and the title to Warhol Enterprises to prove the famous artist's ownership of the car, plus all of its service records.

For a Rolls-Royce with as much history as this car claims to possess, it doesn't seem to be inspiring much bidding. As of this writing, there are no bids with the price at $89,000. Too bad Warhol didn't paint it in a similar colorful style as the BMW. Maybe that would make it more popular...

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Aeroboat packs 1,100 seahorses of Rolls-Royce Merlin V12 power

05/21/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Etc., Rolls Royce

Aeroboat

We don't typically cover boats here - this is, after all, Autoblog and not Aquablog - but every so often something comes along that makes us want to dip our toes in the water, whether it's a Jaguar-designed speedboat, a Gulf-liveried megayacht or a Lamborghini-powered Riva Aquarama. This is another one of those occasions.

Set to be unveiled at the Salute to Style show in July at The Hurlingham Club in London, the Aeroboat is a motor yacht that seems to blend retro and furutistic lines in equal measure that would make Jules Verne proud without going Steampunk. Inspired by the Spitfire fighter plane, the Aeroboat packs aircraft-inspired switchgear and shock-mounted seats into a long, sleek form. But what really has our interests piqued is what lies beneath the stylish decks.

Each of the dozen Aeroboats to be built will pack a reconditioned, marinized, fuel-injected Rolls-Royce Merlin V12 engine - the same 27-liter powerplant that propelled the Spitfire. With 1,100 horsepower on tap, it's expected to propel the Aeroboat up to a top speed between 75 and 95 knots, or 86-109 miles per hour by landlubber standards, which is pretty damn fast on the open water.

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Work begins on new Rolls-Royce Phantom, PHEV likely

05/17/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Hybrids/Alternative, Sedans/Saloons, Rolls Royce, Luxury

Rolls-Royce Phantom II EWB, side view.

After reporting that a new Rolls-Royce Phantom would arrive sometime around 2017 in the same timeframe as a Rolls-Royce SUV, Autocar has a few more details on the next coming of the massive English sedan. Both its skin and its bones are being worked out right now, brand design head Giles Taylor telling the magazine that his team is "treading an evolutionary path" with the model, suggesting it will have "more charisma and more edge" as part of a future design language that will have "a charismatic expressiveness."

True, that gives us absolutely no indication of what the car will look like, but it seems fair to assume it will feature more curves and detailing than the present car. The long C-pillar will remain, though, the privacy it affords being "part of the Phantom recipe."

What's underneath could be more detailed as well, the report saying BMW is mulling an i3 kind of build, with an aluminum chassis supporting a carbon fiber bodyshell. Assuming production considerations and costs could be kept in line, the benefits would be a lighter car that offers more latitude with the design, easier implementation of new bodystyles and the segment's technology crown. A lighter Phantom would bring further rewards for its PHEV variant, which Autocar says is "a certainty."

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Rolls-Royce sketching out SUV for possible 'late 2017' release

05/15/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: SUVs, Rolls Royce, Luxury

Rolls-Royce logo on the grille of the Wraith.

With each new story on the Rolls-Royce SUV, the Goodwood automaker comes off as more at ease with their reluctantly birthed yet necessary sport ute. Company design chief Giles Taylor told Autocar that his team is still "sketching to assess the viability of the concept," which to ours ears means they're trying to figure out if such a beast is even possible within the confines of the brand. If it is, Taylor says it will be "a shooting brake, not a crossover with a sloping roof. A proper SUV."

A different company source, unnamed, seems confident that Taylor's team will figure it out, telling the magazine it would start at 200,000 pounds ($335K US). However, that same source said the vehicle will be "a kind of Mercedes-GLK-plus-plus," which is a baffling description in several ways. More reasonable is the speculation that it will ride on Ghost, not Phantom, architecture and make its debut sometime around late 2017.

That Ghost platform is expected to take cues from the carbon, aluminum and steel bones that supported the BMW Vision Future Luxury concept shown at the Beijing Motor Show and destined for the 9 Series. Some of those tricks will also go into the next-generation Phantom, which Autocar says will come in 2017 and not 2020.

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Rolls-Royce debuts Phantom Drophead Coupe Waterspeed Collection

05/14/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Convertibles, Rolls Royce, Design/Style, Luxury

Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Waterspeed Edition, front three-quarter view.

For the next act in its Bespoke Collection, Rolls-Royce has found one of its own to celebrate with the Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection, noting the achievements of British land and water record-holder Sir Malcolm Campbell. Like a few other racers of his era in the 1920s and 1930s, Campbell used his Bluebird Motor Company and Bluebird Garage to fund his interest in motorsports. He would break the waterspeed record in 1937 in his Bluebird K3 powered by a Rolls-Royce R engine, traveling 126.33 miles per hour on Italy's Lake Maggiore.

We've seen sketches of what Rolls-Royce intended with the Waterspeed Collection, and the real thing is just as handsome, and the new model includes a number of firsts for the marque. The Maggiore Blue exterior paint is also used for highlights on the engine, the polished wheels, two-tone steering wheel and the dashboard. The tonneau cover normally finished in teak is instead done in hand-finished brushed steel, a closer contrast to the Windchill Grey interior. The Abachi wood veneers have also been bookmatched so that their grain evokes the wake of a speeding boat.

The droptop will be shown first at the Bluebird Garage Cafe in London on the site of the original garage, after which it will get its first wider showing at the Concorso D'Eleganza at Villa D'Este later this month. The press release below has a lot more detail on the finer detailing of the Drophead Coupe Waterspeed, and the images above are worth at least 8,000 words.

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Rolls-Royce readying Wraith convertible

05/08/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Spy Photos, Convertibles, Sports/GTs, Rolls Royce, Luxury

Rolls-Royce Wraith DHC spy shot

For seven years, Rolls-Royce got by on the Phantom line alone, expanding on the original saloon with a long-wheelbase version, a coupe and the convertible. But now that the Ghost is part of the family, Goodwood seems to be following a similar expansion.

What started with the Ghost sedan has since been joined by the extended-wheelbase model and the Wraith fastback coupe. And now we're receiving spy shots of a Wraith-based convertible undergoing testing.

Potentially to be called the Wraith Drophead Coupe like its larger Phantom-based counterpart, the cabrio is likely to borrow much from the Wraith fastback - including its 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 producing 624 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque - but with a folding cloth roof mechanism to let the wind and engine note in, although the prototype pictured here is wearing a makeshift hardtop.

Just when the Wraith DHC will join the lineup in Rolls-Royce showrooms, we don't know. But whenever it does, expect a price tag to hover around $320,000 - a good $40k more than the fastback, a substantial $150k less than the Phantom Drophead Coupe, but around $120k more than Bentley gets for the Continental GTC.

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Rolls-Royce shows bespoke Pinnacle Travel Phantom in Beijing

04/19/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, China, Rolls Royce, Beijing Motor Show, Luxury

Rolls-Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom

Rolls-Royce is exclusive. Rolls-Royce's Bespoke Collection, though, takes that exclusivity to the highest levels, representing the very finest work that the craftsmen at the company's Goodwood factory are capable of producing. With the Pinnacle Travel Phantom, set to be shown at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, Rolls-Royce may have finally outdone itself. Apparently, the puzzling name (as well as the reason it's being shown in Beijing) comes from China's second consecutive year as the largest outbound travel market in the world.

The one-off custom job wears a gorgeous two-tone paint scheme, with a section of Silver Sand and a lot of Madeira Red paint. The intricate coachline includes a few small details that just add to the exterior's specialness.

The cabin, though, is where the work has really been done. It has throw pillows, for crying out loud. Ignoring the silvery poofs on the back seats, the cabin is dominated by Morello Red and Seashell leather, the former of which is on the seats, doors and interior partition. The woodwork, is some of the most beautiful we've seen from Rolls-Royce, which is saying something.

According to Rolls-Royce, each piece of wood veneer is laser cut and then hand-assembled by a Rolls-Royce woodworker into the designs seen on this car. There are 230 pieces used throughout the car's cabin.

Take a look up top for the official gallery from Rolls-Royce, and then scroll below for a short press release.

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Ward's releases 10 Best Interiors list for 2014

04/11/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Chevrolet, Chrysler, GMC, Hyundai, Jeep, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Rolls Royce, Volkswagen

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

While we're still a ways off from the automotive awards season proper, where things like North American Car and Truck of the Year, Motor Trend's Car of the Year and Car and Driver's Ten Best are named, that doesn't mean there aren't trophies being handed out to deserving automakers. Ward's 10 Best Interiors being one of them.

As the name might imply, the magazine focuses on the very best interior treatments in the US market. Whereas some awards purposely exclude extreme, high-dollar offerings, Ward's considers them - the only requirement is that a vehicle has a "new or significantly redesigned interior."

Ward's offered up the list of winners in simple, alphabetical order, and it only seems fair to do the same:

  • 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray ($71,960)
  • 2015 Chrysler 200C ($31,470)
  • 2014 GMC Sierra Denali ($56,685)
  • 2014 Hyundai Equus Ultimate ($68,920)
  • 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited ($37,525)
  • 2014 Kia Soul+ ($24,010)
  • 2014 Mazda3 ($30,415)
  • 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550 ($122,895)
  • 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith ($372,800)
  • 2015 Volkswagen GTI (est. $30,695)
We'll admit to being surprised by a pair of these - the Kia Soul and Jeep Cherokee - while the rest make a fair amount of sense. What's most remarkable is the huge range of prices, from the $24,010 Kia to the $372,800 Rolls-Royce.

What do you think of Ward's findings? Do you agree? Are there any vehicles that should be included in this list? Post your thoughts down in Comments.

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