September 01, 2014 By Kevin C. Limjoco

The Supreme Luxury Standard

A deep immersion into the iconic Rolls-Royce brand and its latest surreal products

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Words & Photos by: Kevin C. Limjoco – Additional Photos by: Jason Keffert, Terry Paul & Chew Chen Yang

One of the most over exploited uses of a brand to represent the epitome of any product superlative is Rolls-Royce. I’ve been guilty of casually using the trademark to make a point or swift analogy on a number of occasions. Curiously, on each occasion, the method of description came naturally. So if the name has become a noun because of its vast usage in multiple cultures and languages to describe the very best, greatest, and highest quality of any kind, how then can I possibly review their actual cars with any less respect or scrutiny? The questions in my mind echo what many people and potential buyers have in theirs: “Are the Rolls-Royce cars of today genuinely the best in their classes or are we just buying into the label,” “Why should we spend more than double the amount of money on a Roller over a fully customized Individual-spec BMW 760Li of which it is mechanically based,” “Are Rolls-Royce motorcars mainly chauffer driven and cannot be enjoyed behind the steering wheel,” “What truly distinguishes Rolls-Royce from all others,” and “If I did have the resources, would it be socially acceptable for me to reward myself with a product that defines luxury?”

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I honestly haven’t given Rolls-Royce enough keen attention in C! magazine except for the Phantom I tested in the US back in 2007. Until BMW fully took over the reins of Rolls-Royce in 2003, I felt the brand and what it stood for had become murky and mostly unattractive through the years. Sure, the heritage, craftsmanship, and luxuries were intact, but dynamic innovations and outright driving performances were eclipsed by most European flagships. I also was not fond of the duality of Bentley and Rolls-Royce producing mechanically identical cars that were distinguished mostly by grillwork and branding. Obviously, both brands now stand against each other with different parents sharing nothing in common; Bentley with the Volkswagen Group and Rolls-Royce with BMW. The fierce competition has catapulted both brands to heights they both have never experienced in their legendary histories with ever increasing sales numbers worldwide. Bentley almost outsells Rolls-Royce two to one, but that gap is closing fast. And now that both brands are officially and properly in the Philippines (I say ‘properly’ because, for a very short period, Bentley was being loosely represented by the Auto Prominence Corp., who distributed Audi, Alfa Romeo, Proton, and Volkswagen for almost a decade-they had a couple of Arnage’s and a rumored Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph tucked away, I regrettably bought an Alfa 155 2.0 16V TS from them in 1997, good car but sold by a very badly managed company) at the height of both brand’s success, we can now give them both the attention that they deserve.

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Back to the Phantom. I actually enjoyed driving the land yacht around the Bay Area which certainly caught tremendous attention wherever I went. Perhaps the general public were deathly curious about who I was chauffeuring around so spiritedly, or thought I stole it! One bewildered motorist, in fact, almost collided with me at an intersection because she was in so much awe with the gargantuan silver Phantom. At a staggering 19-foot (230 inches) overall length, the Phantom is still the longest test saloon that I have ever tested in my life, but it was almost as agile as a long-wheelbase 7-series! The Phantom Series-1 was already, without question, a quantum leap above the BMW 7-series in presence, opulence, and equipment but it is best enjoyed instinctively at the rear seats. The Phantom’s purpose is clearly defined. The idea further reinforced on my 2.5 hour ride back to the Corinthia Hotel in London from the Goodwood House of Lord March in Goodwood, Chichester, West Sussex, after his hosted dinner, in the new Phantom Series II, but I am getting ahead of myself.

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The Phantom Series II is slightly quicker but, more importantly, more fuel efficient with an even smoother and more usable power delivery with the new ZF 8-speed replacing the 6-speed automatic. The normally aspirated direct injection engine power is unchanged from the traditional displacement of 6.75 liters, a very nice Rolls-Royce detail using the largest V12 BMW-built powerplant. Other updates include: full LED lighting, a more refined yet simpler dashboard, and other less obvious upgrades in equipment. The standard Harman-Kardon audio is a carry-over that makes the Phantom the only car in the roster to not use an in-house bespoke system. The all-aluminum space frame Phantom may be built on a schematic platform derived from the BMW F01/F02 7-Series but it has its own unique parameters/architecture for the extra dimensions and load. The Rolls-Royce chassis’ across the model ranges share no dimensions and no weld-points; all the math is different compared to a BMW 7-series. To the point that it must be said clearly that BMW builds completely unique chassis’ for every Rolls-Royce as a parent. Even the suspension, drivetrain, and engine are unique to Rolls-Royce, from their tuning to setup. You cannot purchase a BMW with any of the mechanical components found in the entire model range of Rolls-Royce. Unlike the BMW S70/2 V12 engine used in the McLaren F1 supercar that that had an engine that was actually applied into the BMW V12 LM and V12 LMR racecars, the engines produced by BMW for Rolls-Royce are limited to them alone. One other similar official engine supplier exclusive arrangement would be with Pagani and Mercedes- Benz AMG who built specific V12 engines for the Zonda and now unique twin-turbo V12 engines for the Huayra. Just like with the Roll-Royce setup, the AMG-built engines are used exclusively for Pagani and cannot be used in any Mercedes-Benz car. The BMW-ness of how each Roller drives is profoundly the ethereal engineering quality of execution that each vehicle drives exceptionally well with the appropriate amount of feel and agility depending on the model.

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On my flight to Singapore to test drive the new Wraith in the city and attend the ICON exhibition where Rolls-Royce Motor Cars debuted their first touring exhibition of the brand in Asia at the incredible Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, I thought about my other experiences with the brand. My very first experience as a passenger with a Rolls-Royce was back in the early 80’s with 2 Hong Kong Peninsula Hotel Silver Shadow II’s. It was a special family trip and my folks wanted to kick off our celebration by being picked up and eventually dropped off in the tandem green Royces from and to the old Kai Tak airport. It was a very endearing memory. Then in the late 80’s, an uncle of ours had a blue Silver Spirit Mark 1 in California driven by an American professional chauffer who wore a cap and gloves when he took us around town, again a surreal experience coming from a Third World country where I knew nobody had a Roller except for the usual high-powered oligarchy. The old cars always had an aura about them, but they were not particularly fast or athletic. They were extremely comfortable, though, with glorious amounts of rich leather and real wood so you felt that you were being driven in a luxury home suspended on all four corners with pillows.

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It was in my university years in the early 90’s that I finally got to really drive a couple of Royces. One owned by a dear friend, a glorious and immaculate light beige 237 bhp Corniche II. Another was an uncle’s two-tone brown 189 bhp Silver Shadow II which I drove the most to keep it road worthy. Ideally for more regular use, it was an exercise in futility as it had several critical gremlins that could not be successfully exorcised, to the point that the family jested that the car would be scuttled and divided as family memoirs, it’s been garaged since then. Both cars used the classic 6.75-liter V8 Rolls-Royce engine that used to be described as producing “sufficient power” mated to 3-speed General Motors-sourced Turbo Hydramatic 400 transmissions. I never liked the ridiculously thin steering wheel on these cars, which only accentuated the feeling of a skipper on a boat rather than piloting a motorcar. To be fair,these cars were seasoned, the Corniche, however, can still hold its own despite its mechanical shortcomings; its exclusivity and grace linger on.

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We all know the deep history of Rolls-Royce, its motorsports successes and endeavors, its legendary craftsmanship and coachwork, tank-like strength, and even its innovations with independent and cushioned suspensions systems. The Silver Ghost, launched in 1907, was a car of legendary smoothness that completed a 14,371-mile virtually non-stop run, creating ‘the best car in the world’ legend. In the second half of the 20th century, Rolls-Royce began their long association with the Royal Family, replacing Daimler as the preferred supplier of motor cars to the British monarchy. But I reckon what really celebrated and perpetuated the legendary image most are the thousands of films and TV shows that have featured practically the entire range of Rolls-Royce cars since 1904 combined with the default association with genuine Royalty, Aristocrats, Maharajas, heads of state, celebrities, and captains of industry. One of my favorite car-themed films in my youth was the action-comedy Cannonball Run where actor Jamie Farr plays wanton Sheikh Abdul ben Falafel who races in a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. In that image alone you get a clear picture that only the wealthiest and most powerful figures owned and drove a Roller.

But wait, there is more. Before I land at the Singapore Changi Airport, I realize that there is one more very important brand reinforcement for Rolls-Royce and it was on the very plane that was taking me to the Wraith. The engines on most of the Boeing 747’s and Airbus A330/A340/A380 flights I have taken almost all my life have been powered by Rolls-Royce RB211 524G’s and Trent’s! The engineering on the old Rolls-Royce cars may not have been that spectacular prior to the BMW-era cars, but the autonomous aeronautic division of Rolls-Royce more than makes up for that with truly remarkable Merlin powerplants that helped win World War II with the Royal Air Force Spitfires, Vickers, Fairey Battle, Hawker Hurricane, Avro Lancaster bombers, and the de Havilland Mosquito planes and more. Today, Rolls-Royce also remains the second largest supplier of defense aero-engine products and services globally with 16,000 engines in the service of 160 customers in 120 countries, from transport, combat including the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II that uses the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem combined with the Rolls-Royce F136 jet engine, patrol, trainers, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Rolls-Royce aeronautical customers comprise more than 380 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces, 4,000 marine customers, 70 navies, and 1,600 energy and nuclear customers. Four Rolls-Royce/Seneca Olympus engines powered the Concorde, the first and only supersonic passenger aircraft in the world. At one time, Rolls-Royce R engines held World Speed Records in the Air, on Land, and on Water, simultaneously. Isn’t that mind-blowing?! What all of this aeronautic pedigree does for Rolls-Royce is further reinforce its solid and overwhelming reputation of being a sound investment that you can practically bet your life on, that sense of calm, security, and confidence is very valuable, it transforms perception into tangible reality. Another incredible testament to Rolls-Royce build quality is that supposedly 60% of all cars manufactured since inception are still road worthy.

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On the flight to London from Manila, I purposely requested that I was booked on our national carrier, Philippine Airlines, mostly for 3 reasons: it has its own exclusive terminal, it’s a plush and direct flight on new Boeing 777-300ER airplanes, and there is chance my buddy Captain Monchu Lozano will be flying the plane. I got the trifecta! My point: when you are not in control, you want to have the best pilot and the best airplane so you can truly enjoy the long flight. That is the sense of tradition and pedigree that I am talking about with Rolls-Royce, because that flying experience and need to know who is in charge began in the early 90’s when Monchu’s father, Capt. Jose ‘Peps’ Antonio C. Lozano, chief pilot of the Philippine Airlines B747- 400 division, used to fly the non-stop flight to and from San Francisco. Until his son, there has not been a smoother, more comfortable, and more confidence inspiring pilot that I have experienced. I just hear his name on the horn before we even leave the terminal and I instantly get an overwhelming sense of calm. Just like with a Rolls-Royce, you know exactly how amazing the ride is going to be just by name recognition.

Since it officially opened its dealership doors in the Philippines over a year ago with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chief Executive Torsten Müller-Ötvös himself and Richard Carter, director of Global Communications, actively engaging with their local partners (British Bespoke Automobiles is the official local distributer of Rolls-Royce with their general manager Ryan Watson, president Willy Tee Ten, senior vice President Mike Cua, and director Gerardo Domenico Lanuza in control) and potential customers, there already have been more car sales than anyone had predicted outside of the domestic auto industry. Keep in mind that it takes almost 500 man-hours to create a Rolls-Royce with a standard setup, and almost every single car is and should be “bespoke” or tailored for each individual owner. Domestic customers are protected by a 4-year unlimited mileage warranty combined with a 24-hour roadside assistance service package. The Fort Bonifacio dealership is presently undergoing a proper metamorphosis to accommodate and spoil their customers with the finest service and attention. By the time you read this, the new lounge, acoustically supported by Bowers & Wilkins, will be ready to serve you. Orphaned Royces imported into the Philippines before 2013 can be serviced and supported enthusiastically by the local dealer as well! If you, a family member, or friend have a Rolls-Royce, you now have a real solution for caring for your investment.

It’s imperative that, however minute, you take an active hand in crafting what should be your reward for your personal efforts/successes in order to enjoy a more intimate and emotional attachment with your car. That is a huge part of the process of ownership with the total appreciation of every aspect of the final product. Building a Rolls-Royce is very much like building a quality home, it takes time, the right people, proper direction, and of course, the finances to make the dream a reality. The very finest components must be used by the finest workforce to delivery the ultimate in results. The woodwork alone takes longer to craft than all the engineered components delivered from BMW. Rolls- Royce will build their cars in their own “just-in-time” strategy but delivery will completely be dependent on the scale of individual customization. Traditionally, you will take delivery of your car within a half years’ time, which is completely acceptable especially after you have the opportunity to observe how the cars are built, sorry, created, at the Goodwood factory.

I have physically walked through, keenly observed, toured, and studied several primary and secondary automobile manufacturing plants from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Maserati, Ferrari, Pagani, Hyundai/KIA, Porsche and more through the years. Naturally, each facility had their own proprietary standout features that separated them from their competition. What distinguishes Rolls-Royce from all others are the nuances and extent. I already had this dialogue along with sharing a keen understanding of our Philippine market with Herfried Hasenoehrl, general manager of Rolls-Royce Emerging Markets, Asia, the wonderful Rosemary Mitchell, corporate communication manager, Asia Pacific — North, and the fabulous Hal Serudin, corporate communication manager, Asia Pacific — South when I was in Singapore for my first drive of the Wraith. I got my answer months later in Goodwood. Forgive me if I needed to know first-hand, I just needed to be authentically resolved, and not be sold on perennial marketing and heritage by themselves. Thanks to our lovely expert Rolls-Royce Goodwood Plant tour guide Jane Gale, our contingent (Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop: EIC Blouin Lifestyle, Justin Harper: who also got an exclusive interview with Lord March for C!, Stone Wang and Sean Dong; journalists from Beijing China) got a day-long immersive understanding of the extent of what Rolls- Royce will go to for their customers-there is no limit as long as the selection is legal, ethical, and sustainable.

I also got a deeper appreciation for the famous Rolls-Royce veneers beginning with the process by which they are selected and procured. Wood veneers are not merely imported from large, by the head of Rolls-Royce’s Goodwoodbased woodshop in the UK. Rolls-Royce veneer specialist Jon Stanley allowed me to work on a particular interior panel while he went to explain how design engineers inspect felled trees by hand. Jon also presented the massive humidor that houses all the veneer used in every existing car from up to five years back. With matching VIN identification for each veneer set, Rolls-Royce will store the wood for 5 years from the time the car is released from the plant to insure the quality for replacement caused by accident. Apparently, the veneers, even when sealed, processed, and installed will uniformly age gracefully giving the interior of the car extended character.

I got my first taste of that discussion in Singapore with the general manager of the Bespoke division, Lars Klawitter. But at that interactive ICON event, much of what was talked about were generalities to save time. The discussions were astoundingly more immersive and lengthy at Goodwood with the extremely talented Gavin Hartley who is the overall manager of the Bespoke design team. These talks went on close to midnight. Another neat feature that I want to point out is the leather. Color selection, embroidery, and tattooing for bespoke requirements are one area, but what I didn’t know was that the standard hides are sourced from select organically-fed free-range bulls (15 to 18 hides depending on the car model and level of customization) from the Bavarian Alps where the cool climate ensure the least amount of hide imperfections and guarantee extreme quality buttery supple surfaces. The Bespoke division, of course, will offer other desired animal hides like ostrich and deer, but to be honest, for longevity and value, I would strongly suggest sticking to the bulls. The dyeing process of the leather is also very interesting, Rolls-Royce use a completely different approach for unified coloring The home of Rolls- Royce. All premium brands have their own customer customization divisions, the differences with Rolls-Royce are an even higher level of detail and hand craftsmanship with tremendous pride and commitment to supreme excellence with a barrel-dyeing process which ensures that the leathers are given a rich, uniform pigmentation while maintaining the natural feel and softness.

I have driven some of the finest flagships in the world through the years, across each of their period superlatives, the best of the best of each brand’s top model, from the now defunct Maybach (57 and 62), to Bentley’s Continental Flying Spur, BMW’s own 7-series (from 1977 to present), Mercedes-Benz’s S-class (from 1972 to present), Audi’s A8 (from 1994 to present), Maserati’s Quattroporte (from 1979 to present), Ferrari’s own unique interpretations of a flagship (400i, 412, 456, 612, and FF), and Porsche’s Panamera (from 2009 to present). ALL of these brands boast their own customer customization programs with pride and distinction to appeal to every customer’s whim. So again, what makes Rolls-Royce edge them all, even if by a small boundary? Professional delegation and emphasis; Rolls-Royce delegates the paintjob, engine, chassis, suspension, brakes, and electronics mostly to the very best at BMW so that they can apply their deepest strengths into luxury coachwork. That is it in a nutshell, and Rolls-Royce has perfected that balance and synergy like no one else in the business. So much so that for the 10th C! Awards we had to create a whole new supreme luxury category because the Rolls-Royce simply could only be challenged fairly by Bentley and no the brand at this level.

Back in Singapore, my morning road test of a brand spanking new Carrara White Wraith began with the car’s exclusive presentation by Andi Carter‐ McCann. The Wraith test car had just cleared customs the night before and got miraculously registered in time for my very privileged drive. After my road test, the Wraith would then be included as a static display for the ICON Exhibit in the afternoon. With the suicide, oops, “coach” door open for my extremely effortless entry in front of the lobby of the Marina Bay Sands hotel, I slipped into the front seat in deathly silence and toggled the remote door switch to actively close the massive door pneumatically shut. Andi’s role with Rolls-Royce is comprehensive: he is a Rolls‐Royce approved VVIP Chauffeur, a Rolls‐Royce Chauffeur and etiquette trainer, a Rolls‐Royce product expert and trainer and Rolls‐Royce Chauffeur for the Board of Directors, CEO and Chairman. And apparently, he was instructed to fly into Singapore only a couple of days before while he was on the Swiss Alps slopes vacationing, I felt honored and horrified at the same time! That is a lot of pressure for both him and me as we explore what the Wraith can do on the heavily policed and congested city streets of Singapore. We have reviewed the Wraith before when it was launched last year, but we needed more seat time to fully articulate how great the car truly is (or not!) and how far Rolls-Royce as a brand has come since BMW completely took control (which in itself is ironic, don’t you think, since RR’s Merlinengined RAF planes annihilated the BMW-engined Luftwaffe during World War II!).

Andi and I have a very animated chat before we start delving into what the Wraith is and what it can do, he is an expert at his job; I am instantly enthralled. No wonder Rolls-Royce sent him. He shares with me that, unrestricted, the Wraith can easily achieve a top speed of 320 km/h, which shouldn’t surprise me since the massive 2+2 is powered by the most powerful engine installed in a production Rolls-Royce, 624 bhp with 590 lb-ft of torque through an intelligent satellite assisted 8-speed ZF transmission! But it is still a mammoth, especially on the Singaporean roads, despite being 4.2 inches shorter than a standard Ghost together with a 7.2-inch shorter wheelbase. The Wraith is also 1.7 inches lower than the Ghost, which makes it the most aerodynamic body that Rolls-Royce has ever created with a drag coefficient of .32cd.

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The Wraith, even with all that power at my disposal, was supremely quiet and refined. It is so quiet even at a spirited pace that the standard 1,300-watt 18-speaker Bespoke audio system sounds like you are in a sound studio. The magnificent single-piece wood panels in the doors are the finest, biggest, and best executed designs I have ever seen in a car. You get used to driving the Wraith very quickly; there is a strong sense of familiarity even if there is nothing essentially shared with a BMW in the interior. The iDrive control system and the 10.25-inch high definition LCD screen is very much from BMW but at its best version. I love the exquisite menagerie of retrospective styling melded with modern characteristics like the tasteful analog clock, the push/pull vent controls, old school temperature/climate rotary controls etc. You don’t have to be told that you are driving something extremely special, it feels simultaneously extravagant and polished, powerful yet effortlessly confidence inspiring. I’m in love with it, and I have never coveted a Rolls-Royce.

I had always felt you I had to be Blue Blooded or from a very wealthy old family to be even allowed to sit in a Rolls-Royce’s hallowed environment. Even if you are a successful actor or celebrity, you had to be an accomplished artist and not just a rich one. Like when I was in Goodwood months later during the Festival of Speed weekend, Rowan Atkinson, who was in attendance as a judge at the Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ concours d’elegance, is a Rolls-Royce customer and enthusiast. He may be rich and successful as an actor/writer/ producer but he classically trained, an academic, and a genuine motorhead who is a seasoned racecar driver. There was also 7-time NASCAR AND 7-time Daytona 500 champion Richard Petty at Goodwood, first at the plant where we bumped into each other during intersecting tours, then later for dinner at the Goodwood House (along with Formula 1 stars like Jenson Button, Felipe Massa, Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart, and others), he raced his classic Plymouth Belvedere GTX on the famous hill climb. Any of these guys seen at the helm of a Rolls will leave you with a subtle gracious nod of acknowledgement. Accomplished classy people in a Rolls- Royce is very cool and acceptable. I think it is only an issue if you see crooks and dirty politicians, or newly rich in a Roller.

 

I’m not too sold on the GPS-assisted transmission feature though (the SAT system determines the appropriate gear for upcoming corners. Instead of changing up or down at an inopportune moment in a selection of bends, the system stays in the correct gear for the approaching bit of geography, depending on speed and severity) even when it did work gloriously well on the Goodwood Motor Circuit where I drove the second Wraith test car. Testing the Wraith in Singapore was a unique thrill mostly because of the privilege but I really could not realistically enjoy the driving experience. The car felt more nimble than I expected, and the suspension continuously worked to keep the ride flat and plush even under full throttle acceleration accompanied with a surreal deep rumble, mighty power with refinement with no equal in execution. There is no sport button and no steering wheel paddle shifts, the Wraith’s computers do all the calculations for you, adjusting throttle response, handling, steering feedback, and shift points depending on your driving behavior. It constantly adjusts, learns, and then predicts using the GPS system reading ahead of you so the computer knows when the next curve is coming but it won’t know if there is a pothole or speed bump, which we encountered. When we did roll over a couple near the Singapore F1 track, the computers got a little confused and reacted a little clumsily. Mind you that it still felt smoother than any other luxury car I have ever driven until the Wraith but I do recognize that it lost a touch of composure nonetheless. Instead of a tachometer, you get the cool, “only in a Rolls-Royce” Power Reserve dial first used in the Phantom and now found in all the cars in the range.

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The best overall Rolls-Royce, though, that you can also get with an extended wheelbase which adds 6.7 inches of rear legroom. You can also get the 593 bhp V-Spec Ghost, which is closer to the Wraith in athleticism but with more space and luxury. Both the Ghost and Wraith use a 6.6-liter twin turbo V12, but in the standard Ghost, power is a more modest 563 bhp with 575 lb-ft of torque which is still extremely generous. Even if you get a BMW 760Li, it will have a smaller 6.0-liter twin turbo with 535 bhp and 550 lb-ft in a smaller car. Yes, the long wheelbase &-series is shorter than a standard Ghost. I tested the standard Ghost on the Goodwood Circuit too and it felt just as accomplished but with more roll. The Ghost is the smallest model Rolls-Royce offers, yet it’s still six inches longer than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. I love the rear-hinged coach doors of the Ghost, once you get used to it, it feels more natural and it is a lot easier to get in and out of the car. You can switch off the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) if you hate money and want to disintegrate your rear tires in either the Wraith or Ghost, but you will have to find the electronic switch deep within the iDrive control menu.

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The Wraith definitely is the sportiest Roller with 0.3-inch wider rear track, a more aggressive steering, and 20% stiffer spring/shock rates compared to the Ghost. It may not be the fastest GT but that isn’t the point. It is all about having a coupé like no other that can sit 4 adults in absolute opulence with the most exclusive luxury and still have the ability to entertain and thrill when you desire. I am not fond of the headliner with 1,340 individual fiber-optic lights to simulate the starry firmament, all inserted and trimmed by hand, one of the most popular options that bespoke customers get for an extra $13,000.00. According to the Bespoke team, many customers chose the night sky of their date of birth. Forgive me, but it is the only item on the option list which I think is inconsistent with the refinement and pedigree of Rolls-Royce. It reminds me of the old disco fiber optic starburst lights that were popular as décor in the late 60’s and 70’s. I would rather have a full panoramic roof even if it will weigh more.

So should Rolls-Royce do well in the Philippines? It should. There are a lot wealthier and accomplished consumers here than most people realize. There will always be a social dilemma, especially since we are living in a Banana Republic, but keep in mind that even in the streets of London, as I rode to and from Heathrow, I got mixed looks of bewilderment, indifference, and some loathing. The better question is whether you should buy a Rolls-Royce if you do have the money and truly earned the right, honor, and privilege? It is a matter of perspective; the ultra-rich may not bother at all, skip the road altogether, and buy a helicopter. But for the folks that have worked with absolute integrity, done well for themselves, their family, and their fellow man, by all means enjoy it and reward yourself with one of the greatest material gifts that you can get while you are still breathing. It is the gold standard in supreme luxury motoring whichever you chose, but if I had my choice, it would be the Wraith. Just do yourself a favor and bespoke it exactly how you want to enjoy the car whether you are driving or riding. Unlike other flamboyant cars in the market that seem to be picked up simply to impress others without a genuine appreciation for what the cars can do and what they each represent, a Rolls-Royce is for yourself without having to explain why.

 

Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II

Engine: 60˚ V12 Location: Front, longitudinal
Displacement: 6,592 cc
Cylinder: (Block) Cast Aluminum, (Head) Cast Aluminum, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, Variable Valve Timing
Fuel Injector: Direct Fuel Injection, Intercooled Twin-Turbo
Max Power: 563 bhp @ 5,250 rpm
Max Torque: 575 lb/ft @ 1,500 – 5,500 rpm
Drag coefficient: 0.33 cd
Weight Distribution % Front/Rear: 51.8/ 48.2
Transmission: 8-Speed ZF Automatic with SAT (Satellite Assisted Transmission) GPS Control Technology, Rear-Wheel-Drive
Suspension: (Front) Independent Aluminum Double Wishbone, (Rear) Independent Aluminum Multi-link, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms with air suspension and electronic variable damping and stabilizer bar
Fuel Capacity: 83 liters (21.9 gallons)
L x W x H: 5,399 mm x 1,948 mm x 1,550 mm (Ext.
Wheelbase: L: 5,569 mm x W: 1,948 mm x H: 1,550 mm)
Wheelbase: 3, 295 mm (Ext. Wheelbase: 3,465 mm)
Brakes: (Front) 395 mm ventilated discs with 4-piston aluminum fixed calipers, (Rear) 402 mm ventilated discs with 1-piston aluminum fixed calipers, ABS, EBD, BA, Traction and Stability Control
Wheels: 8.5J x 19” Aluminum Alloy
Tires: P255/50 R19 103Y Goodyear EMT Efficient Grip RunONFlat
Weight: (kerb) 5,357 lbs. (Ext. Wheelbase: 5,489 lbs.)
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 4.9 sec.
Standing ¼-mile: 12.9 sec. @ 181 km/h
Braking (100 km/h to 0): 108 feet
Top Speed (mph): 250 km/h (155 mph) Governed
Fuel Mileage: 13 mpg (City) / 20 mpg (Highway)
Price as tested (Baseline): PhP32,000,000, PhP35,000,000 (Ext. Wheelbase)

+ THE supreme luxury Grand Saloon with verve
May take a lifetime and a half to earn the privilege to own one

Rating: 10 / 10

 

Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II

Engine: 60˚ V12 Location: Front, longitudinal
Displacement: 6,749 cc
Cylinder: (Block) Cast Aluminum, (Head) Cast Aluminum, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, Variable Valve Timing
Fuel Injector: Direct Fuel Injection
Max Power: 453 bhp @ 5,350 rpm
Max Torque: 531 lb/ft @ 3,500 rpm
Drag coefficient: 0.38 cd
Weight Distribution % Front/Rear: 49.7/ 50.3
Transmission: 8-Speed ZF Automatic, Rear-Wheel-Drive
Suspension: (Front) Independent Aluminum Double Wishbone, (Rear) Independent Aluminum Multi-link, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms with air suspension and electronic variable damping and stabilizer bar
Fuel Capacity: 100 liters (26.4 gallons)
L x W x H: 5,842 mm x 1,990 mm x 1,638 mm (Ext.
Wheelbase: L: 6,092 mm x W: 1,990 mm x H: 1,640 mm)
Wheelbase: 3,570 mm (Ext. Wheelbase: 3,820 mm)
Brakes: (Front) 374 mm, (Rear) 370 mm ventilated discs with 1-piston aluminum fixed calipers, ABS, EBD, BA, Traction and Stability Control
Wheels: (Front) 8.5J x 21”, (Rear) 9.5J x 21”, Aluminum Alloy
Tires: (Front) P255/ 50 R21 106W, (Rear) P285/ 45 R21 109W Goodyear EMT EfficientGrip RunONFlat
Weight: (kerb) 5,797 lbs. (Ext. Wheelbase: 6,039 lbs.)
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 5.8 sec. (Ext. Wheelbase: 6.1 sec.)
Standing ¼-mile: 13.8 sec @ 163 km/h
Braking (100 km/h to 0): 117 feet
Top Speed (mph): 240 km/h (150 mph) Governed
Fuel Mileage: 11 mpg (City) / 19 mpg (Highway)
Price as tested (Baseline): PhP40,000,000,PhP45,000,000 (Ext. Wheelbase)

+ THE supreme luxury Mega Saloon with no equal, one feels truly like Royalty or Simon Cowell
You’re neither Royalty nor Simon Cowell

Rating: 10 / 10

 

Rolls-Royce Wraith

Engine: 60˚ V12 Location: Front, longitudinal
Displacement: 6,592 cc
Cylinder: (Block) Cast Aluminum, (Head) Cast Aluminum, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, Variable Valve Timing
Fuel Injector: Direct Fuel Injection, Intercooled Twin-Turbo
Max Power: 624 bhp @ 5,600 rpm
Max Torque: 590 lb/ft @ 1,500 – 5,500 rpm
Drag coefficient: 0.32 cd
Weight Distribution % Front/Rear: 50.4/ 49.6
Transmission: 8-Speed ZF Automatic with SAT (Satellite Assisted Transmission) GPS Control Technology, Rear-Wheel-Drive
Suspension: (Front) Independent Aluminum Double Wishbone, (Rear) Independent Aluminum Multi-link, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms with air suspension and electronic variable damping and stabilizer bar
Fuel Capacity: 83 liters (21.9 gallons)
L x W x H: 5,269 mm x 1,947 mm x 1,507 mm
Wheelbase: 3,112 mm
Brakes: (Front) 374 mm ventilated discs with 4-piston aluminum fixed calipers, (Rear) 370 mm ventilated discs with 1-piston aluminum fixed calipers, ABS, EBD, BA, Traction and Stability Control
Wheels: (Front) 8.5J x 20”, (Rear) 9.5J x 20”, Aluminum Alloy
Tires: (Front) P255/ 45 R20 101Y, (Rear) P285/ 40 R20 104Y Goodyear EMT EfficientGrip RunONFlat
Weight: (kerb) 5,357 lbs.
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 4.6 sec.
Standing ¼-mile: 12.6 sec. @ 182 km/h
Braking (100 km/h to 0): 106 feet
Top Speed (mph): 250 km/h (155 mph) Governed
Fuel Mileage: 13 mpg (City) / 21 mpg (Highway)

Price as tested (Baseline): PhP30,000,000

+ THE supreme luxury Gran Turismo
May take a lifetime to earn the privilege of owning one but it is worth it

Rating: 10 / 10

 

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