People buying in-demand cars and flipping them for profit have become a significant issue in the enthusiast car world, as it’s nearly impossible to buy some models without paying someone a premium for the privilege of owning one. Automakers have been resistant to stepping in, as dealer laws in the U.S. prevent them from interfering with pricing to a large degree. Rolls-Royce isn’t having any of that, and its CEO vowed to blacklist anyone caught flipping one of the brand’s new electric coupes, the Spectre.
It isn’t every day that Cadillac and Rolls-Royce release – within hours of each other – vehicles which may very well be going toe-to-toe for the same moneyed customer. If you’re a one percenter with designs on placing an enormous EV in yer fleet (one that is decidedly not an SUV), then there soon will be a brace of new options.
Before we get to this list of “best luxury cars”, I feel like you might be wondering about that headline. Why $90,060? I chose that number because the ceiling for my “ best cheap cars” post was based on half the average selling price of a new car (more or less), and arbitrarily decided to keep going with that theme and set the floor for this list at approximately twice the current average.
As for the list, itself, I’ll try to answer it the same way you’d probably answer your rich friends if they asked you for help picking a new car: With a question of my own.
No, it’s not anything as pedestrian as, “What do you plan on using it for?” That kind of stuff is for the poors. For the rich people, the real question is: Who are you trying to impress with it?
The Rare Rides series has featured five Rolls– Royce premium vehicles in past editions, yet none of them had more than two doors. We remedy this oversight today with a four-door Rolls commissioned and owned by the king of Saudi Arabia.
It’s not what you’d call subtle.
Sweeping lines and a beautiful coupe silhouette, penned by one of the finest Italian design firms and built with care and attention to detail. Yes, the Rolls-Royce Camargue had one of those features. Let’s check out what happened in the Seventies when Rolls stepped outside their typical conservative mold.
I didn’t choose the Rolls-Royce lifestyle, the Rolls-Royce lifestyle chose me.
A while back, I was just minding my own business when the brand’s PR team emailed me and asked if I’d come to a small, COVID-safe meeting at my local RR dealer to talk about the all-new Ghost. I figured it would be the standard thing we used to do pre-pandemic – show up for a bit, check out a new model, talk specs, and get some pics. Maybe I’d get a post out of it. If not, I’d learn useful info on background.
Color me surprised, then, when my local fleet soon emailed me, asking if I’d like a brief loan to sample the Ghost.
Yes, please, I said. Now, where’s that damn Grey Poupon?
We’ve featured exactly two Rolls-Royce creations previously at Rare Rides. The first was the completely bespoke mega-buck Sweptail in 2017, and more recently the Silver Spectre, a shooting brake based upon the Wraith coupe.
Today’s Rare Ride falls somewhere between those two on the cost spectrum. It’s a one-off creation from famed design house Pininfarina.
There’s a running joke among automotive journalists that suggests the ideal car is a brown wagon with a manual transmission.
It’s a joke grounded in reality – many journos would actually love a brown wagon, preferably with a manual. The only reason most automotive scribes aren’t buying the few wagons on the market – in brown or any color, regardless of gearbox – is because very few of us can afford any of the offerings on the market.
Scratch that. It’s not an all-new car. You see, the second-generation Rolls-Royce Ghost carries over the original model’s Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament and rear-seat umbrellas.
The non-umbrella hardware is changed, however, and likely that’s more of interest to those of you reading. You Rolls-loving TTAC readers, you.
What’s new with the brand’s most affordable model? Read on.
The next time you don your best wool and tweed garb and grab the Holland & Holland for a day of upland game hunting on the moors, you might want to leave the largest of Rolls-Royces in your heated garage. That’s because the next-generation Ghost, the most affordable of Rolls’ cars, will send power to all four wheels.
Retailing for a mere $314,400 (2020 model), the now decade-old Ghost is a suicide-doored alternative to the gauche, look-at-me Phantom, Wraith, and Dawn, to say nothing of the Cullinan SUV. Due for a full revamp this fall, the Ghost stands to gain some of the features modern drivers can’t do without.
We’ve covered how mainstream automakers rose to the coronavirus challenge ad nauseum, but what about companies whose customers dream of rich mahogany and yachting off Cannes all night?
Well, just like a Silicon Valley tech mogul, Rolls-Royce spent these past few months reflecting, peering deep within its soul, all to learn how to become a better friend to its clients. Apparently, “post-opulence” is now a thing.
For nearly five decades, Rolls-Royce and Bentley shared the same bed, then lived amicably under the same roof for another 18 years, becoming ever closer to each other due to dwindling shared finances. Then two Germans showed up and they parted ways, forever.
While still representing the richly browned upper crust of British motoring, the two brands have maintained fairly similar development paths, launching sedans, coupes, and now SUVs in quick succession of each other. Now, because green types look down on ornate, porky, roadgoing behemoths powered by gas-swilling eight- and twelve-cylinder engines, both brands have decided to embrace the environmental movement.
Naturally, news of these tentative electric product plans hit the presses almost simultaneously.
Are you tired of commoners gawking at you through the windows of your Rolls? Is your chauffeur too much of a peon with which to share time? Do you want to combine your desire for solitude with your love of spending house-sized money on a car? Well, fret no more.
Rolls-Royce has announced the introduction of a “Privacy Suite” for its Extended Wheelbase Phantom, a car exquisitely capable of delivering a crushing commentary on the inferiority of your neighbor’s bank statement.
As connoisseurs of fine gemstones all know, the world’s largest fine-cut colorless diamond is the Cullinan, otherwise known as the Star of Africa. It was only natural that Rolls-Royce chose the name of the largest of the Crown Jewels for its high-sided car (or whatever term it uses for its new SUV).
Also contained in that vast London collection is a lesser stone, the Cullinan II, but don’t expect Rolls-Royce to bend to industry norms and craft a second, smaller SUV for lesser-monied buyers. That’s just not in the cards, the automaker’s boss claims. Unless, of course, it is.
Gotta go with the flow, you know.
Don’t ask Corey Lewis about the new Rolls-Royce Phantom, as you’ll get a rundown of all the things wrong with it. Mainly, that it lacks grace and its flanks appear too tall.
Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, but Giles Taylor, the design chief behind the revamped ultra-lux sedan and recently introduced “ high-bodied car” (Cullinan SUV) isn’t sticking around to craft another vehicle. Taylor’s leaving the company, placing the brand’s design future in limbo.
Few automakers clutch tradition with the same vise-like grip as Rolls-Royce. The British motor car builder, which recently debuted a high-bodied car (known in plebian circles as an “SUV”), isn’t planning on following in its rivals’ electrified footsteps just yet.
Oh sure, there’ll be electric cars, even in the coming decade, but the brand’s attachment to 12-cylinder engines — and the upper-crust clout those motors carry — can’t be shaken just because Jaguar and Germany have their sights set on a green stable.
This attitude mirrors Porsche’s devotion to the steering wheel. That said, the brand does have a date in mind for the full electrification of its products.
Egg spoons fell to the tabletop and kippers went uneaten as noblemen across the land gazed in slack-jawed silence at the new Cullinan
SUV high-bodied car unveiled by Rolls-Royce this morning.
It’s a vehicle so excessive in its dimensions and interior trappings, even long-deceased kings might find it gauche. Or, perhaps, just the right thing with which to ferry their corpulence from one sherry-stained dinner function to another. Polarizing, to say the least. One internet wag remarked that the Cullinan resembled a hearse with a backseat.
Regardless of how you feel about it, no one’s going to deny that Rolls-Royce now stands regally atop the luxury SUV hill, gazing down upon its lesser rivals with contempt. Clearly, the thought of the century-old British automaker pulling this off must have ground Lagonda’s gears, as the recently revived British luxury marque sought to get out in front of the introduction with an announcement of its own.
It seems the rivalry didn’t end after a testy spat earlier this year.
Those in the market for a brand new Roller are not apt to inquire about trivialities such as price or fuel economy. That’s why I highly doubt news of oil reaching its highest price in 3.5 years will give any Cullinan prospect a moment’s pause before they sign on the dotted line with a solid-gold Montblanc pen.
Rolls-Royce refuses to describe the Cullinan as an SUV. In every reference, it’s called an “all-terrain high-bodied car.” Company marketers were surely sequestered in a windowless conference room for ages before they settled on that term.
Thanks to automakers and their stable of marketing and PR folks, the English language is feeling used and abused these days. Don’t worry, this isn’t a rant about overused industry buzzwords like synergy and dynamism, the popularity of which show no signs of waning. You’ll be hearing those forward-thinking — and intentionally confusing — descriptors for years to come.
Right until cooler, non-lame words like panache and gravitas come into vogue, this author hopes.
Lately, and with increasing frequency, a new language is emerging on the automotive scene. High-minded, plummy, and completely shameless, this new language flings misleading titles at a certain product: utility vehicles, specifically those appealing to buyers known for good breeding, tennis, and summers at the cape.
The rumor of an SUV from one of luxury’s mightiest brands has been kicking around for about three years now. Today, the folks at Rolls-Royce confirmed they will be calling it the Cullinan. Hey, at least it’s better than Urus.
In the spirit of not playing by any rules whatsoever, Rolls is referring to the Cullinan as a “high-bodied car.” Well, then. *adjusts monocle*
Back in June, Rare Rides profiled a different blue British beauty in the form of the Aston Martin Lagonda. Down in the comments section, TTAC reader Heino requested coverage of a Hooper-bodied Bentley.
Frankly, I forgot about the request in short order. But it sprang back to mind as soon as I saw the awkward visage of what would become today’s Rare Ride: a Bentley Hooper Empress II. Ready for a history lesson?
Sweeping fender flares sculpted by hand, luggage trunks affixed to the rear by the help, and huge headlamps housed in metal spheres. These details come to mind when considering the old era of coachbuilding. Grand vehicles reflected personal touches and design cues requested by the customer, which the coachbuilder was all too happy to include in the vehicle in exchange for large sums of money.
This tradition is alive and well today at Rolls-Royce, which recently debuted a one-off bespoke coupe for an unnamed customer of taste and subtlety in design.
I present to you the Sweptail.
Well, this is something I told myself I would never do: Report on a car without being completely certain of its lineage.
It’s a Rolls-Royce, of course. The triple lights at the front and twin side intake flaps indicate it’s a 25/30, one of the brand’s most iconic (and popular) models. The open roof over the driver’s seat indicates the Sedanca de Ville style, named for a Spanish count and Rolls-Royce distributor, Carlos de Salamanca. But the identity of the coachbuilder took me a while.
The thing about really old car companies is that they seem to enjoy taking the gulf of time they’ve been in existence and projecting it into the future.
Rolls-Royce, the 110-year-old purveyor of rolling boutique enclaves for the horses and mahogany set, just looked ahead and saw something…intergalactic?
Like a Dreadnought-class battleship, the current generation of the hulking and insanely lavish Rolls-Royce Phantom is being mothballed, but it gets one final hurrah.
The folks behind the Spirit of Ecstasy are busy building — sorry, “crafting” — the ultimate Drophead Coupé and Phantom Coupé vehicles before those models slip the surly bonds of earth.
Just 50 will be made, and Rolls is naming the bespoke collection after those big 1970s televisions you saw in the back pages of National Geographic.
Rolls-Royce took the cover off its new Dawn convertible (see what we did there?) Tuesday in an online reveal ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
The car, which is powered by a 6.6-liter V-12 that produces 563 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque married to a ZF 8-speed transmission, is Rolls-Royce’s answer to what we’ve all been asking: How can I be even more noticeable in my Roller?
Here’s your answer: A 22-second folding “silent ballet” droptop with open-pore wood tonneau, hand-stitched leather everywhere, 16 speakers and self-closing doors.
The latest creation as part of Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke Collections might as well have come from the Fox-body-loving garage of our own
Sanjeev Sajeev Mehta. Showered in a svelte shade of heavy-metal brown, this Wraith ‘Inspired by Music’ model is just as inspired by the Brown Car Appreciation Society as it is Rock & Roll.
If one were so inclined to visit Macau for a bit of gambling, they could hitch a ride to their hotel through one of the many cabs running throughout the city. However, those who will stay at entrepreneur Stephen Hung’s Louis XIII hotel upon its opening in 2016 will be able to paint the town red in a red Rolls-Royce.
As part of TTAC’s reboot, we promised you, the readers, many things. One of them was “no more luxury car puff pieces”. Jack and I had every intention of adhering to this rule as well, until our staff email inbox received a message from Rolls Royce Motorcars, asking us to come drive the all-new Wraith.
“Go on the program,” said Jack, “and imagine that you are reviewing a Camry”.
When the call came in, I had shit on my hands. I’m speaking literally here, standing atop Quarry Rock in North Vancouver, tomato-faced and lathered with sweat after a hurried hike. My sleeping infant daughter had somehow just managed to relieve herself on the outside of her diaper – real assassination-of-JFK stuff, a second pooper on the grassy knoll.
Would I like to spend a day squiring a Rolls about town? Would I ever: a few short days later and I’m peering through the steering wheel spokes of a vehicle that is as quintessentially British as Queen Victoria herself.
Which is to say, a big fat German with a limited sense of humour.
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