Class and style be damned.
Rolls-Royce has been building cars since 1904, and power has always been part of the package. A Rolls-Royce isn't powerful because the automaker wants exciting quarter-mile times or to set a record at the Nurburgring, though. The luxury vehicles are engineered with big, torquey engines, so acceleration is quiet and effortless. However, that hasn't stopped tuners from trying to get the most out of a Roller. Tuning Rolls-Royce cars isn't common as it requires a significant initial investment, but there's enough to put together a fascinating little list.
Spofec is a division of German Novitec Group, and the name stands for SPirit OF ECstasy. The Rolls-Royce Phantom in question now features tailor-made carbon-fiber bodywork and some interesting work on the chassis and engine. Spofec developed a new unique control module for the Roller's adaptive air suspension that lowers the car by 40 millimeters at speeds of under 87 mph. Spofec also tuned the 6.75-liter V12 engine to produce 685 horsepower and 745 lb-ft of torque, and as a result, the company's Phantom will now hit 60 mph in just five seconds. It also rides on 24-inch alloy wheels developed with Vossen and each wheel features nine pairs of twin spokes.
Mansory is a German tuning house founded by an Iranian-British tuner called Kourosh Mansory. The company has a reputation for an over-the-top approach to tuning cars, and Rolls-Royce models are no exception. The Mansory Phantom brings more presence at the expense of elegance and even rides on enormous 24-inch forged wheels more suited to a sports car. Under the hood, the Phantom's twin-turbocharged V12 has been worked on to produce 602 hp with 700 lb-ft of torque, up from the factory-supplied 563 hp and 663 lb-ft.
Not all tuned Rolls-Royces require substantial investment. Corbin Goodwin made a name for himself with his "Zero Fucks Given" Mazda RX-7 build a few years back, and when he sold that glorious mess of a car, he treated himself to a 1979 Silver Shadow II. He then applied his unique but intelligent approach to tuning and gave the original 6.75-liter V8 a massive twin-scroll turbocharger, added a four-speed manual gearbox sourced from a Ford Super Duty, welded the rear differential and mounted the intercooler externally and the radiator in the trunk.
He also added King off-road coilovers and some extra ride height, while the wheels and tires are from a Porsche Panamera. According to people that have driven this beast, it has excellent power and handles well, although the interior leaves a little to be desired.
Jon Olssen was one of the best freestyle skiers in the world and is still a car nut. Amongst his collection of insane custom cars is a Rolls-Royce Wraith he calls George. Its twin-turbo V12 engine is tuned to make 810 hp and 840 lb-ft of torque, and it has a QuickSilver Sports exhaust, a carbon-fiber magnetic roof rack to hold his Jetsurf board, and rides on 24-inch Forgiato matte black wheels. We last saw the snow-rally spec Roller up for sale for $319,488.
Jonathan Ward, founder of the California customization brand Icon, doesn't always think that restoring a car to perfection is the way to go. His first Icon Derelict car was a beat-upon DeSoto Station Wagon, but our favorite is this somewhat ratty looking LS-powered 1958 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. As well as a Chevrolet LS7 V8 under the hood, the Derelict Silver Cloud also features modern independent front suspension, big Brembo brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, a navigation system, air-conditioning, and cruise control. We love that it looks like a relic of a bygone era, but drives as fast and well as a modern car.
This Rolls-Royce powered by the legendary Toyota Supra 3.0-liter straight-six 2JZ-GTE engine popped up in 2017. Its Japanese owner had been daily driving his Phantom since 2008, but just before it clocked 120,000 miles, the 6.75-liter V12 died. Rolls-Royce Japan told him it would be a two-year wait to get a replacement, so he had J and K Products rebuild a 2JZ-GTE engine for him using HKS forged internals, a GTS8555 supercharger and a GReddy T78-33D turbo. The result is a 900-hp Phantom that, as far as we know, the owner is still driving every day.
Mansory is capable of not going overboard on Rolls-Royce models, and this is one of the company's more subtle approaches. Here, there is a revised front fascia with larger air intakes, new LED daytime running lights, front fender vents, side skirts, a rear spoiler, and 22-inch wheels wrapped in Vredestein tires. It gives the dawn a sleeker and sportier look, but under the hood is something dramatic. Mansory tuned the 6.6-liter V12 turbo engine to deliver an extra 170 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, pushing it up to 740 hp and 737 lb-ft. Because it's Mansory, though, the compny will build your Wraith less subtly if you prefer.
For the final word in Rolls-Royce tuning, we're looking at the Onyx Concept Wraith. From the front carbon aero spoiler to the bespoke milled exhaust tip, it's simply exquisite. It also features 22-inch Roulette wheels with self-center caps and lowered suspension. Onyx Concept has done engine tuning in the past, but there's no mention of it here. We suspect the engineers stood back and figured 623 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque is enough with the new aero package.