2012 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead review
The front bumper has been restyled, there are new adaptive LED headlights and the front grille frame is now in one piece for a tidier look.
Meanwhile, the biggest mechanical change is to the automatic transmission; it now has eight speeds instead of six, which helps improve fuel consumption by 10% and cut CO2 emissions from 385g/km to 347g/km.
Performance is unchanged, so the Series II Drophead powers from 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds. However, buyers who want more can now order a dynamic pack to extract more performance.
For the interior, the biggest change is a much-needed update of the BMW iDrive-derived infotainment system. The bigger screen now provides 3D maps, guided tours and improved route planning, as well as front-, rear- and top-view cameras.
The Drophead cannot yet park itself, however, nor does it provide blindspot detection, lane-keeping or radar-controlled braking.
What's the 2012 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe like to drive?
With the roof down on a sunny day, this Rolls-Royce feels gloriously indulgent; its scale, comfort and silently delivered power making a treat of every trip.
The eight-speed transmission's shifts are barely detectable, and it always finds the right gear when brisk acceleration is required.
Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead now with eight-speed auto gearbox
Despite its size, the Drophead is easy to handle because you sit high and the steering is surprisingly accurate.
It's a more agile car than it looks, too, cornering briskly despite some roll.
The ride is, for the most part, pillowy, although the huge 21-inch alloys sometimes send tremors through the seats and steering wheel.
Large wheels can upset the serene ride
What's the 2012 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe like inside?
The cabin is as sumptuous as you'd expect, while the dashboard is a deep-lacquered homage to the carpenter's art.
Hand-crafted, sumptuous interior
The cabin's abundance of leather and rich detailing make the Drophead a pleasure to step into, even if the rear seats are a bit confined and the hood takes time to rise or fall. That's forgivable when you consider the volume of fabric to be folded beneath its teak deck-lid.
There's no wind deflector, so you get some air-swirl in the cabin, but it's far from uncomfortable.
Should I buy one?
If you're one of the few people lucky enough to be able to spend more than £350,000 on a car, then absolutely. The Phantom Drophead Coupe feels incredibly special and remains the ultimate four-seater cabriolet.
That its tranquil progress is matched to unexpectedly potent acceleration and surprising dynamic powers only adds to its appeal.
There isn't a more imposing drop-top than the Rolls-Royce Phantom
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