The Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé Is a Great Car in Every Way

rollsroyce phantom coupe
Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé: One of the Great CarsIllustration by samantha muljat
rollsroyce phantom coupe
At more than 18 feet long, the Phantom Coupé is a stately pleasure craft of exceptional splendor.Illustration by samantha muljat

Wait, what? Isn’t this Road & Track? Why is an automatic-shifting 5771-pound car on this list? And why is the neo-vintage-sports-car guy with “clutch” and “gas” tattooed on his calves putting it up? We are talking about a nearly three-ton two-­door coupe that’s nine inches longer than a current Cadillac Escalade.

This story originally appeared in Volume 22 of Road & Track.

Well, I don’t just like cars. I also like yachts. I’ve been sailing them my whole life, and with no disrespect to the Drophead or sedan variants, helming the Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé is the closest I’ve come to driving a yacht down the road.


From its suspension, which glides above the tarmac with imperious disregard for a road’s imperfections, to the long view over the bow to the two-fingered upward pinch used to grip the thin-rimmed wheel properly, it’s all yacht. And fittingly, the Phantom Coupé is spec’d with leather, chrome, and a load of fine wood. It even accelerates like a powerful yacht, its nose rising like a Hatteras when you push the throttle.

It is extremely rare to spot a Phantom Coupé in the wild. Rolls doesn’t disclose exact production numbers, but it likely made only around 100–200 Coupés during each of the eight years they were on sale. The press car I drove in 2010 is the only one I’ve seen in person.

That Phantom Coupé drive is one of the most memorable of my life. The car’s opulence and chest-forward comportment might be grotesque in a lesser vehicle, but not here. This is a genuinely great car in every sense of the word.

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