Exotic car; Built in
  • 2-door convertible
  • 2-door coupe
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $NA – $NA*

2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Front

2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Front-2

2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Rear

2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Interior

2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Profile

  • Acceleration
  • Interior materials
  • Quietness
  • Ride/handling
  • Fuel economy
  • Price
  • Rear visibility

Most people would be staggered by the cost of these cars, new or used; but for those who can afford it, the Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe and Drophead Coupe may well be worth the money. No other cars combine such opulent luxury, impressive performance, and ample room for four with a century-old name that defines automotive excellence.


Placed on sale in summer 2007, the 2008 Phantom Drophead Coupe gave Rolls-Royce a new convertible, following six years’ absence of that body style. Based on the company’s Phantom sedan, the two-door convertible was ten inches shorter and wore distinct but similar exterior styling. Seating four, the Drophead Coupe had a power soft top and featured unique rear-hinged, power-closing doors. A 453-horsepower, 6.75-liter V12 was the only engine offered. Based on the V12 that was optional for parent-company BMW’s 7-Series sedans, it mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. Safety equipment included head-and-torso side airbags, antilock braking, and an antiskid system. Rear rollover bars were designed to deploy in an impending tipover. Interiors of the hand-crafted Drophead Coupe featured wood, leather, chrome, and brushed steel. An extensive list of standard features was augmented by popular options that included chrome 21-inch wheels, a teak wood tonneau cover, and stainless-steel hood and windshield surround.

Derived from the experimental 100EX concept that had been exhibited in 2004, the production Drophead Coupe was launched at Detroit’s auto show in January 2006. An aluminum space frame provided rigidity while reducing weight. The Drophead Coupe was the second new model from Rolls-Royce since BMW became custodian of the company in 1998. Officially, Rolls-Royce split from its Bentley close-cousin at the start of 2003, the latter becoming part of the Volkswagen group.

Yearly Updates

2009 Phantom Coupe and Drophead Coupe
For 2009, Rolls-Royce added a solid-roof Phantom Coupe as a companion to the existing Drophead Coupe (convertible). Both were two-door models that were based on the larger Phantom sedan, but measured about 10-inches shorter, seated four, and had unique rear-hinged power-closing doors. The Coupe was optionally available with interior headliner lighting that imitated the look of a star-filled night sky, using 1,600 “stars.” Front side airbags and curtain side airbags were standard in the Phantom Coupe. The Drophead Coupe gained iPod integration this year.
2010 Phantom Coupe and Drophead Coupe
Side mirrors were enlarged and a new analog clock went into the 2010 Phantom Coupe and Drophead Coupe.
2011 Phantom Coupe and Drophead Coupe
There were no major changes to the 2011 Rolls-Royce Coupe and Drophead Coupe.
2012 Phantom Coupe and Drophead Coupe
Both the 2012 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe and Drophead Coupe gained new interior LED lighting for 2012.


longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

All Phantom Coupes and Drophead Coupes contains a 453-horsepower, 6.75-liter V12 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission.

dohc V12
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 6.8/412
Engine HP 453
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 531
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic 11/18

Road Test

Despite their near three-ton heft, both the Coupe and Drophead Coupe accelerate strongly from any speed. Shifts are buttery-smooth, though there’s sometimes a delay when downshifting for more power. Rolls claimed 0-60 mph acceleration in a quick 5.6 seconds, which seems about right.

We’ve had no opportunity to measure fuel economy, but the EPA estimated an average of 14 mpg. Premium-grade gasoline is required.

During our test drive, the Drophead Coupe soaked up every road imperfection encountered with impressive aplomb and was devoid of undue float or bobbing over bumps. The body structure is impressively solid for a convertible, with virtually no chassis flex or vibration over bumps. The Coupe has a slightly stiffer suspension in deference to its sportier nature, so bumps are more noticed but still not intrusive.

Considering their heft and ride qualities, handling on both the Coupe and Drophead Coupe is impressive, with good steering feel and little body lean in fast turns. Awareness of their stratospheric price might discourage pushing the cars to their limits on twisty roads, but a progressive increase in cornering speeds indicates those limits are quite high.

In the Drophead Coupe, normal conversation is possible even top down at highway speeds; top up, the Drophead Coupe is as quiet inside as a luxury sedan, as is the Coupe. The engine emits a rich purr under acceleration and is virtually noiseless at idle and cruise. Befitting its name, a Phantom can ease away from a stop in near silence.

A “Percent of Power” meter replaces a tachometer, and the gearshift lever is a light-touch column-mounted electronic “flipper.” Carried over from parent-company BMW is an iDrive-type system that governs secondary functions; the system’s console-mounted control knob and dashboard display screen both flip out of sight when not in use. Thankfully, most audio and climate controls are separate and fairly easy to reach, though climate controls are mounted quite low. Defroster controls are positioned a distance away from other climate-system switches. With more finely crafted wood and leather than a CEO’s office, the interior befits the car’s extraordinary price. The Drophead Coupe’s top is fully lined with a cashmere-blend fabric.

Supremely comfortable front seats and ample adjustments join plenty of headroom and legroom for first-class accommodations. High-mounted seat cushions aid ingress and egress, and though the rear-hinged door takes getting used to, it doesn’t impede entry or exit. In addition, the power-closing feature is an appreciated luxury. In the Drophead Coupe, the windshield header is much farther forward than in most contemporary convertibles, so dropping the top provides a true open-air experience. Thick, triangular windshield pillars and high-riding exterior mirrors impede corner vision a bit. In the Coupe and top-up in the Drophead Coupe, visibility is severely restricted straight back and to the rear corners, but front- and rear-obstacle detection has been standard.

Rear-hinged doors ease backseat ingress and egress compared to other two-door cars, but it’s still more cumbersome than in a sedan. Headroom is adequate for six-footers and legroom grows tight only behind a tall front-seater. The back seat is nicely contoured for two and is extremely comfortable and supportive. Passengers get their own climate controls, too. Whether in the Coupe or top-up in the Drophead Coupe, there’s little view to the outside world.

Interior storage is highlighted by a two-tier glovebox with a fold-down snack table. The nicely trimmed trunk is sufficiently large for a weekend’s worth of luggage, and in the Drophead Coupe, no space is sacrificed when the top is stowed. The trunk lid is in two parts: the top half opens conventionally, while a lower “tailgate” flips down to form a two-place picnic seat. A locker under the trunk floor has been available outfitted as a cool box, as an option.


Model Tested: 2009 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 8
Fuel Economy - 3
Ride Quality - 8
Steering/Handling - 7
Quietness - 10


Controls/Materials - 9
Room/Comfort Front - 10
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
Cargo Room - 3


Value - 7

Total: 71


2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
130.7 220.8 78.2 62.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
NA 21.1 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.6 37.1 NA NA
2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
133.7 220.8 78.2 62.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
11.1 26.4 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.6 37.1 40.9 36.8
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Front Passenger Injury - N/A

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Recall History

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.