2002 Rolls-Royce Pre-Production Phantom Prototype
This Phantom prototype was used during the last phases of testing prior to going into production and is nearly identical — with subtle changes — to the production car currently available. It is 19-feet long, has 22- inch alloy wheels and weighs in at 5,478 pounds; the Rolls-Royce marque is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and while always perceived to be very up-scale and conservative, the new Phantom incorporates state-of-the-art design and engineering technologies with several handcrafted traditions of the coachbuilder’s art. An aluminum space frame provides the structure for the composite and aluminum body panels; this technology, coupled with the BMW-engineered 6.75-litre V-12 that puts out 453 horsepower and 531 lb-ft of torque, provides the Phantom with the surprising performance of 0-to-60 mph in 5.7 seconds, and a top speed of 149 mph (governed). The Phantom is the first new Rolls-Royce model since BMW acquired what is arguably the most famous brand name in the automobile world in July 1998; it is the result of a four-year design and engineering project that has produced a totally new car, in a totally new manufacturing plant in Goodwood, West Sussex, England, near where co-founder Sir Henry Royce once lived. The wood and leather trim are made by craftsmen from scratch at the Goodwood plant, and the bodies are delivered where they are painted and assembled by about 350 additional craftsmen; Goodwood can build 1,000 cars a year. The Rolls-Royce Phantom was formally introduced in the United States in January 2003 at the Detroit International Auto Show; BMW took over Rolls-Royce production from Volkswagen; Volkswagen built its last Rolls- Royce in August 2002, ending nearly sixty years of Rolls-Royce manufacturing tradition at the Crewe, England facility.