Wednesday, March 17, 2010

2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Review

The beautiful Contessa Sofia di Vincenzo disembarks rather elegantly from the Flying Lady, your regal yacht that has docked in Monaco after a three-week cruise from Miami and through the Mediterranean. Her ebony hair falls upon her tanned shoulders, her flouncy azure dress dancing in the soft sea breeze.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe is a four-seat ultraluxury convertible with two rear-hinged doors. Everything you'd expect from a luxury car is standard, along with 21-inch wheels, run-flat tires, an adjustable air suspension, power-closing doors, bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, a two-piece "picnic" trunk lid, a five-layer convertible soft top, parking sensors, front and rear heated seats, power front seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, memory functions and multizone climate control. Electronic features includes Rolls-Royce emergency telematics, keyless ignition/entry, voice commands, Bluetooth, a navigation system and a 15-speaker Lexicon surround-sound stereo with an in-dash single-CD player, in-glovebox six-CD changer, an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio with a lifetime subscription.

If that list seems incomplete, rest assured that Rolls-Royces can be customized to your heart's content. Besides the infinite color palette available, other optional features include different wheel designs, front and rear camera systems, visible exhaust tips, a brushed stainless-steel hood and such frivolities as champagne fridges and humidors. Individual requests are likely to be accommodated.

Powertrains and Performance

The Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe is powered by a 6.7-liter V12 that produces 453 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission sends that massive power to the rear wheels. Rolls-Royce estimates that the Drophead will go from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. Fuel economy is likely to be better than your yacht's.


Safety equipment includes run-flat tires, antilock brakes, traction and stability control, a pop-up rollover protection system, active front head restraints, front knee airbags, front side airbags and Rolls-Royce emergency telematics. Front and rear parking cameras are optional.

Interior Design and Special Features

Believe it or not, the 2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe has a pretty nice interior. Almost every surface is adorned in beautifully crafted veneer, shiny chrome, soft cashmere or the sumptuous hides of Bavarian cattle. The dashboard has so much wood on it that you might mistake it for a clothes bureau. The driver is greeted by classically simple gauges and a minimalist control panel. The climate controls are mounted a little low on the dash, however, and consist of strange thumb wheels instead of dials or buttons with a digital display. More complex functions like the navigation system are managed by an interface similar to BMW's iDrive system, with the trademark mouselike controller hiding inside the center console when not in use and the LCD screen disappearing behind the classic analog clock.

Thanks to the rear-hinged "coach" doors, ingress and egress are far easier than in traditional coupes. The doors are impressively large and quite heavy, though one doesn't have to yank them shut, as they are power-operated. Although not nearly as spacious as the Phantom sedan's enormous rear quarters, the Coupe's backseat still provides plenty of adult-sized comfort for hours of high-class travel.

Driving Impressions

Big. That's the best word to describe the 2010 Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe, a vehicle that is enormous in every dimension despite being 10 inches shorter than its sedan comrade. As such, piloting it through tighter streets can be daunting, with its wide body and huge front end perched in the distance like the bow of a ship (the Spirit of Ecstasy perched atop the grille may start to look like Leo DiCaprio yelling, "I'm king of the world!"). Thankfully, the optional split-view front camera provides a left-right side view of crossroads ahead.

Given its size, the Drophead is definitely happiest out on the open road, dominating high-speed thoroughfares like a road-going ocean liner. The ride is smooth but not floaty, absorbing broken pavement with nothing but muted thumps, and the open-roof structure feels impressively rigid. You could probably hit a land mine and barely notice. Unlike with other convertibles -- especially large ones -- there is no body flex or creaking, which perpetuates the feeling of spectacular, indestructible quality.

Monday, March 8, 2010

BMW 5-Series GT by AC Schnitzer Debuts in Geneva

AC Schnitzer has unveiled their tuning program for the BMW 5-Series GT at the Geneva Motor Show. In an effort to make the 'wagden' (half wagon, half sedan) look more appealing, Schnitzer added front and rear spoilers, a ventilated hood, aggressive side skirts, a redesigned rear fascia, chrome exhaust tips, and new wheels (available in a number of different styles, in sizes ranging from 19- to 22-inches). Inside, the company installed aluminum pedals, velour footmats, and a new cover for the i-Drive controller.

On the performance side, the engine in the 530d has been tuned to produce 286 HP (213 kW / 289 PS) - an increase of 41 HP (31 kW / 42 PS). Schnitzer also added a twin rear silencer and a specially tuned sports suspension.

Toyota Auris 2010 HSD, or Hybrid Synergy Drive

Toyota Auris 2010 HSD, or Hybrid Synergy Drive, will officially go on sale in Europe later this spring. The car uses a 1.8-liter petrol engine and electric motor to provide nearly 62 mpg (US), consuming 3.8 liters of petrol per 100 km.

Featured in the car is a four-cylinder 1.8-liter VVT-i petrol engine producing 98 PS (72 kW) and up to 142 Nm (105 lb-ft) of torque. The engine is coupled with a 60 kW electric motor kicking out up to 207 Nm (153 lb-ft) torque. Surprisingly, maximum combined output is kept at 136 PS (100 kW), which seems low considering the strength of the motor.

Still, the hybrid's direct emissions is reduced to about 89 grams of CO2 per kilometer. The car is kept more efficient by a 0.283 drag coefficient, down from 0.290 on the other Auris models. This is due to aerodynamic changes seen only on the HSD, including longer bumpers, and a better designed grille that improves air flow over the top and reduces resistance underneath. Different lamps can also be seen.

The setup lets the car run on all-electric for up to two kilometers, and at speeds up to 50 km/h (31 mph). Regenerative braking is also a part of the package. The car features four driving modes, like EV, Eco, and Power. The fourth was not mentioned.

The Auris HSD is available in three different trim levels, with the base level including 15-inch V-design alloys, stability control, push-button start, hill assist, and a rear spoiler. One level up adds 17-inch rims, six-speaker CD radio, and Bluetooth. The last step up adds on Alcantara trim. Several options are also on offer.
Automotive car. Design by News Cars Info. Converted To Blogger Template By Best Car Automotive