Rolls-Royce Phantoms driven

* Coupe and Drophead driven * Price from £297,000 * Five-star cars...

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What Car? Staff
2 Sep 2009 17:16 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

Hit the jackpot? Then chances are a Learjet will top your transportation wish list but when you touch down, nothing will announce your arrival quite like a Rolls-Royce.

Of course, if you intend to let someone else do the driving, then the stretched Phantom saloon is the default choice, but for those who prefer to drive themselves, a Coupe or Drophead Coupe (convertible) will create an equally sensational impression.

Both cars exude elegance from every panel and each has a pair of forward-opening coach doors that enable you to make a swaggering entrance with a casual swivel of the hips.

With those doors ajar, your adoring public can catch a glimpse of the hand-finished interior that's built to the highest standards from the finest-quality materials.

You can also make an equally nonchalant departure by sliding behind the big, thin-rimmed steering wheel, pressing the dash-mounted button and reclining as the doors seamlessly close by themselves.

Not that everything is as hassle-free. The electric seat controls are awkwardly located in the centre armrest and rear visibility is extremely limited due to that swooping roof line, a pillar-box slot of a rear window and tiny rear-view mirrors.

Still, if you're determined to keep a watchful eye on the paparazzi, then dropping the electric hood in the convertible will give you a panoramic view out and allow a gentle breeze to ruffle around the cabin.

Should you wish to bask in the heat of attention, however, you can park up, drop the rear split tailgate, repose on your own private posing perch and breathe in the sweet smell of success.

Everything else is as near perfect as you could wish for, provided you bear in mind that parking bays and narrow country roads were not designed with cars of this magnitude in mind.

The air suspension-controlled ride is hushed and sublimely comfortable, while the Rolls's sheer size and weight dictates that a suitably special engine is required. That's no problem, thanks to the 459bhp 6.75-lire V12.

Whether you're wafting around town or effortlessly accelerating up to motorway speeds, the engine remains unobtrusive, with just the merest burble from under the bonnet and the swing of the power reserve gauge's needle indicating the engine flexing its muscles.

Of course, the swing of the fuel gauge needle will be a more conspicuous indicator, as you'll average just 17.9mpg on a good day.

Still, next to a Learjet, a Roller looks positively frugal.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé and DropheadPrice From £297,000
On sale Now
You'll like Refinement; ride; image
You won't Parking; narrow country roads