I recently had the chance to drive a 2013 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, which is an amazing automobile that’s probably the most imposing, excessive, opulent convertible in the modern era. Rolls-Royce has a newer convertible model, the Dawn, but that’s based on the entry-level Rolls-Royce Ghost sedan. The Phantom is the mack daddy.
I borrowed this Drophead Coupe from CNC Motors, which is basically the premier exotic car dealership in Southern California — a land of amazing vehicles, with a showroom that exceeds basically every car show I’ve ever been to in my entire life. The Drophead Coupe isn’t brand-new, but that’s because Rolls-Royce recently redesigned the Phantom sedan, and the latest convertible variant isn’t out yet — so, for now, this is the most opulent Rolls you can get.
And, indeed, the Drophead Coupe is a land of luxury and excess. The main thing that gets me is the size: it’s about as long as a Chevrolet Suburban, and it’s two feet longer than a Land Rover Range Rover. That’s not all that insane, until you consider the fact that this is a 2-door vehicle. So you have more surface area than full-size SUVs … in a 2-door convertible. And the height is crazy, too: in the video above, I placed it next to a Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and you can see that the Phantom Drophead towers over normal cars like an SUV.
But, of course, the driving experience also plays a roll in the Drophead’s notorious opulence. It’s incredibly quiet inside, though the one I drove was a little louder than usual thanks to aftermarket wheels and tires. But in general, the Drophead has a soft ride and an incredible ability to cancel out the noise of the outside world — even though it’s a convertible. It’s really a thing of beauty, basically gliding down the street and sitting on those soft, comfortable seats, looking out over the long hood and the Spirit of Ecstasy emblem, basking in the assurance that you own the world.
Things get a little more challenging when you ask the Phantom Drophead to do basically anything besides waft down the road, however. It’s not fast: it does 0-to-60 in around 5.7 seconds, which is decent considering its size, but not sports car fast by any measure. And it certainly is no handler, as the soft suspension is designed to provide a luxury ride, and certainly not a thrilling cornering experience. The steering, too, is ridiculously light and over-assisted, though I’d argue that’s precisely what you’d expect from a vehicle like the Phantom Drophead.
Overall, this car is fantastic if you’re looking for a vehicle that can coddle you, while simultaneously asserting its presence literally everywhere it goes. It’s also a bit of a bargain: even though it’s currently listed for more than $250,000, it was around $500,000 when it was new just five years ago, so its massive price tag is actually half of its original and massive price tag. Of course, it still has a long way to depreciate from here, but it’s not like the presence or the opulence has diminished along with the asking price.
Instead, if anything, the Phantom Drophead has just continued along, untouched by time, showing off its presence wherever it goes, providing a cocoon for wealthy owners to relax as they drive down the street. It’s a fantastic experience, and it’s hard to imagine a more soothing way to spend time on the road.