Make us your home page
Instagram

The Daily Drivers: Grandeur fills 2014 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé

We interrupt this Daily Drivers column to present a car that's decidedly not a daily driver — unless you're a member of the 1 percent class. For the rest of us curious about what a half-million dollars on wheels is like, we present the 2014 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé — an apotheosis of luxury.

Why so much? First, the cars are hand-crafted in Goodwood, England. Buying a Rolls-Royce is like going to a Savile Row tailor — it's a custom, or "bespoke," experience limited only by what you want to spend. For example, our $568,900 tester — the most expensive car we've ever driven — had almost $20,000 in teak-wood decking and brushed-steel on the hood and door pillars. Then there were the 21-inch, fully polished seven-spoke wheels for almost $11,000. The Silver Haze finish is $9,500. And those are just the standard dealer options. Add some Bespoke features like piping ($3,200), personalized clock face ($9,500), white instrument dials ($7,700), and the price jumps drastically

How luxurious? The appointments fittingly recall that of a luxury yacht, with even Rolls-Royce making the comparison. Inside, the cabin is tasteful, even minimalist, especially for anyone who has driven some of the tech-laden German luxury cars. There's little to detract from the buttery leather interior made of preshrunk hides, lamb's wool floor mats (you'll want to run your bare feet through them), coach doors (please don't call them "suicide") and stainless-steel pinstripes. As Lyra, says: "You also pay for what you don't get." In this case, noise. The droptop's cabin is as quiet as a Zen garden. One surprise, the key fob felt plasticky and unsubstantial. "You'd expect it to be Tiffany with a price like that," one colleague said.

How does it drive? I'm not sure we've ever experienced an engine so quiet at idle, even with the bonnet (hood) raised. And the engine in question is a massive 453-horsepower 6.75-liter V-12. Lyra had a colleague eager for a ride tell her: "Okay, let's crank it up!" But the engine had been idling all along. As for the ride, it's as if you've been born aloft by cherubs. We kid. The off-white leather seats with red piping are living-room-couch comfortable, and the almost 6,000-pound land-yacht floats softly down the road — even on rough brick streets — courtesy of the suspension features that include self-leveling air springs and continuous electronic damping control. Unlike other cars, you hardly feel the bumps as much as you register them ("Oh, was that a speed bump?")

Other unique features:

• Two umbrellas are tucked into the front fenders, accessible when you open the door.

• Each coach door can be closed electronically with buttons on the dash.

• The five-layer electronically retractable soft-top roof has a cashmere-blend headlining

The bottom line: Is it worth it? To most of us, no. But to the few who can afford to own a Rolls-Royce, then the Phantom is one of the ultimate four-wheel status symbols. Peter took our CEO for a spin with the top down. When they stopped at a light, the driver in the car next to them said admiringly: "You guys have made it."

2014

Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé

Price: $474,600 start, $568,900 as tested

Powertrain: 6.75-liter V-12, 8-speed automatic, RWD

Horsepower: 453 at 5,350 rpm

Torque: 531 pound-feet at 3,500 rpm

0-60: 5.6 seconds

Curb weight: 5,995 pounds

Dimensions

in inches:

Wheelbase, 130.7

Length, 220.9

Width, 78.2

Height, 61.7

Seats: 4

Fuel economy:

11 miles per gallon city, 19 mpg highway

Fuel type:

Premium unleaded

Safety features: Side-, rear and top-view backup camera; ABS; airbags; park distance control; dynamic controls for brake, stability, traction and cornering brake.

Website: rolls-

roycemotorcars.com/phantom-

family/

The Daily Drivers: Grandeur fills 2014 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé 03/27/14 [Last modified: Thursday, March 27, 2014 1:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members

    News

    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  3. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion

    Markets

    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  4. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]
  5. Trigaux: Tampa Bay health care leaders wary of getting too far ahead in disruptive times

    Business

    Are attempts to repeal Obamacare dead for the foreseeable future? Might the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now in dire limbo, be revived? Will Medicaid coverage for the most in need be gutted? Can Republicans now in charge of the White House, Senate and House ever agree to deliver a substitute health care plan that people …

    Natalia Ricabal of Lutz, 12 years old, joined other pediatric cancer patients in Washington in July to urge Congress to protect Medicaid coverage that helped patients like Ricabal fight cancer. She was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in 2013 and has undergone extensive treatments at BayCare's St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa. [Courtesy of BayCare]