To many, Rolls-Royce represents the zenith of luxury motorcars but to Rolls-Royce, Zenith represents the pinnacle of the bespoke collection for its most celebrated models — the Phantom coupe and Phantom Drophead convertible.
“As we begin to write a bold new chapter in Rolls-Royce history, I am delighted to present a Bespoke Collection that so elegantly celebrates two of the world’s rarest and most celebrated luxury goods: Phantom Drophead Coupé and Phantom Coupé,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “Phantom Zenith Collection motor cars speak of the marque’s unrelenting commitment to setting and advancing the standard by which all other luxury goods are judged.”
And though the company is a constant pursuit of excellence, evidenced in recent years by the introduction of the 7th generation Phantom in 2003 (after more than a decade in hiatus, and the first BMW-era Rolls), followed by the Phantom Drophead Coupé four years later (which set a standard for 2016’s Dawn to follow) and the Phantom Coupé a year after (which paved the way for what’s regarded as the ultimate luxury grand tourer — the Wraith of 2013).
And it’s all leading up to the latest “Best Car in the World,” the 8th generation Phantom limousine (due in 2018), with its new all-aluminum construction that will pave the way for future “Best Cars in the World.”
Zenith is a bespoke collection that brings together some of the luxuries you might not expect to see in a vehicle — a serving platform that deploys from the inside of the trunk, for example, and the cooler (which holds two bottles and eight flutes) that takes up a large portion of the trunk — enhancing the beauty and luxury of what are already two of the highest examples of luxury in the world.
The fine touches are evident as soon as the doors are opened, with laser-etchings on the endcaps of the door trim armrests showing geographic locations where the cars made their global debuts. They’re unique to the two models, with the Phantom Coupé’s depicting Geneva on Lake Geneva, and the Drophead Coupé’s showing Villa d’Este on Lake Como (on the Swiss/Italian border). The production home of the Phantom, since 2003, in Goodwood, England is also depicted.
And you know how every “special edition” model has plaque commemorating the build of each model in the collection? The Zenith Collection has one of those, but it’s housed out of the way in a drawer that slides out of the instrument panel. It contains a polished aluminum case with the car’s VIN on Best English Backing. Inside is a piece of the assembly line, with the coordinates of the exact location from where it was extracted listed on the outside of the case.
Other cues include a speedometer in brushed steel, 2-tone subtle leather upholstery (lighter in front than in the rear), and the Starlight headliner with hand-woven stars (clustered over the front seats and fading to the rear). Also, aluminum cupholders add a timeless elegance, and Blood Orange tips to the instrument needles are a throw to the Rolls-Royce’s aviation applications.
The exterior colour palette draws on Rolls-Royce history, with the Madeira Red and Jubilee Silver, for example, inspired from the second generation Phantom of the 1930s, and the Midnight Blue and Arctic White of Continentals from the same era. A mirror-like shine is created through a new glass clearcoat application.
Although not part of the package, the Rolls-Royce Picnic Hamper can also be included, updated to match the bespoke qualities of the Zenith Collection and the appointments of the Phantoms to which it’s applied.
The Zenith Collection is, in effect, the send-off for the Phantom Coupé and Phantom Drophead Coupé. There are 50 examples and, sadly, they’re already spoken for, bought up by connoisseurs and destined for some of the most decadent automobile collections in the world, where they can “appreciate” the rest of their lives.