By on October 30, 2018

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. (Read More…)

By on August 31, 2018

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.

(Read More…)

By on June 27, 2018

Rolls Royce Cullinan

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. (Read More…)

By on June 8, 2018

Rolls Royce Cullinan

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. (Read More…)

By on May 15, 2018

Müller-Ötvös and Rolls-Royce Phantom

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. (Read More…)

By on May 10, 2018

Rolls Royce Cullinan

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.

(Read More…)

By on April 5, 2018

It’s time to check out the flagship of a flagship. What happens when an S-Class is cross-pollinated with the largest V8 engine Mercedes-Benz can offer, then loaded up with cutting-edge automotive tech?

Why, it’s the 6.9.

(Read More…)

By on March 8, 2018

Image: Aston Martin

Aston Martin is pretty damn pleased with itself, having just debuted a futuristic and luxurious electric car concept in Geneva — one it says will attract the next generation of ultra-well-heeled motorcar buyers.

The Lagonda Vision Concept previews a real-world car scheduled for production in 2021, with another to follow by 2023. Bearing a re-launched brand name long associated with the Aston marque, this Lagonda coddles its passengers in a Blade Runner-esque shell that’s outfitted like one of those sexy, Roger Moore-era James Bond escape pods. There’s cashmere and silk. Savile Row tailors were brought in to handle the upholstery. Quite simply, it’s the future of motoring, Aston Martin claims, so you’d better get used to it.

Filled with unbridled enthusiasm over his new creation, Aston design chief Marek Reichman got a little personal during an interview with Britain’s Autocar. Let’s just say his target, now aghast, is having none of this nonsense. (Read More…)

By on February 14, 2018

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. (Read More…)

By on February 13, 2018

Rolls Royce Cullinan

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*

(Read More…)

By on August 11, 2017

Image: 1990 Bentley Hooper Empress II, via Craigslist

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?

(Read More…)

By on August 6, 2017

Müller-Ötvös and Rolls-Royce Phantom

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited is on track to become the highest volume automaker in the world someday. Management is keeping it under wraps but volume has been exploding over the last few years. For 2014, the brand delivered a record 4,063 cars, up 12 percent on its volume for 2013 — closing the gap with Toyota’s 10.23 million global sales.

Unfortunately, Rolls’ five year volume streak didn’t last but it is creeping back up after some minor setbacks. For 2016, the brand announced its second highest ever annual sales result in the marquee’s 113-year history, up 6 percent on its 2015 results, for a total of 4,011 global sales. While it looks like the premium automaker has — once again — placed Toyota’s volume back in its sights, Rolls-Royce doesn’t want to get too cocky and has implemented a strategy that should keep the customers pouring in.  (Read More…)

By on June 15, 2017

Image: 2017 Rolls-Royce Sweptail, image via Rolls-Royce

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.

(Read More…)

By on April 4, 2017

sothebys-trump-ferrari

While Donald Trump seems to take a keen interest in the current state of the automotive industry, he doesn’t exactly come across as an car enthusiast. However, he is very rich and has had his share of obligatory Rolls, Benz, and Bentley-built vehicles over the years. And, like any exceptionally wealthy American male, he purchased a tomato red Ferrari, drove it infrequently, and then sold it off.

That car — a 2007 Ferrari F430 F1 Coupe — was auctioned by Sotheby’s over the weekend for a little less than one might expect. You would assume having the opportunity to say you owned “the president’s Ferrari” would add a substantial premium to the final sale price, but you’d be wrong. (Read More…)

By on June 16, 2016

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? (Read More…)

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