The world's rich weep.
It's a sad day for fans of the Rolls-Royce Phantom. The luxury automaker announced that it will discontinue the Phantom VII (aka the current generation) at the end of 2016. What's more is that when the Phantom VIII returns in 2018, the Coupe and Drophead will be out of the lineup. When the car does return it will sit on a new aluminum architecture, as will every Rolls-Royce. The last Phantom Coupe and Phantom Dropheads will be built in November but the models are going out with a bang.
The Phantom Zenith will be limited to only 50 cars. Rolls-Royce director of design Giles Taylor seems excited about Zenith. "As the name promises, Zenith will be the pinnacle; the best of its kind; the highest standard achievable by which everything else is judged. Zenith will be the sum of all the best features of Phantom Coupé and Drophead Coupé, with a few surprises added. We expect huge demand for these 50 fine motor cars as we shall not look upon their like again." Special features of the Zenith models include something called a Tailgate Hosting Area, laser etched armrests depicting the original launch locations of 100EX in Villa D'Este and 101EX in Geneva, bespoke instrument dials and a custom Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament.
Buyers will also get to choose from a range of colors from Rolls past and will get a special "money cannot buy" portable memento. All that sounds great, but we are really bummed to be losing the Phantom Coupe and Drophead. How badly were the Coupe and Drophead selling in order to get the axe? Rolls-Royce sold 4,063 cars in 2014, a record, but didn't report sales per model. However, it did mention strong sales of the Ghost II and Wraith (a coupe). Maybe there was only room for one two-door in the lineup? The Phantom Drophead seems to have been undone by the Dawn, the new RR convertible. Hopefully Rolls-Royce says screw it and tunes the 6.8-liter V12 that sits under the hood of the Zenith models because why not?