2009 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe

2009 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe

When one thinks about the ultimate luxury automobile, it’s hard to argue that any short list doesn’t include the Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe.

On any Rolls-Royce car, its always been apparent that craftsmanship is the key. The company refused to build a custom, all-chrome Phantom Coupe for a famous rap artist because the chrome couldn’t be finished to the company’s exacting specifications. Now that is setting the bar high.

Exterior paint of the new Rolls-Royce Phantom is hand-finished between each paint layer and then polished for five hours. Incredibly there are more than 44,000 different hues to choose from.

The Phantom Coupe’s hand-crafted interior combines a bit of bling and a lot of grace. For example, the rear curved sofa is flanked with hand-crafted wooden fold-down trays. The ceiling has 1,600 stars (boulevard lights) that can be adjusted for brightness.

The seat leather also receives much TLC. The Phantom comes with R-R hides that are barrel-dyed to ensure uniform color. The leather is then checked by hand and eye for any kinds of blemishes.

Additional interior features include: new front and rear door cappings, bi-directional double reading lights in the C-pillar and repositioned electric window switches

Rolls-Royce’s new model showcases a stretched-out front end and beefy 21 inch wheels. The engine is a 6.75-liter V12 and produces 453 hp and 0-60 in 5.6 seconds.

It was recently announced that the 2009 Rolls Royce Phantom will offer a brand new front bumper design and a more shallow stainless steel grille.

These changes are targeted to merge the models with the front appearance of the Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe and Phantom Coupe.

2009 Bentley Azure T – A Pure Luxury Ride

2009 Bentley Azure T

The Azure T is the latest member to join the Bentley family. This 2009 model is a more powerful and exclusive version of the drop-top Azure.

Bentley’s flagship convertible, the Azure T, offers speed, style, superior craftsmanship and high-end acoustics. Too many awesome featires, so where do we begin?

First, let’s talk about Speed: Boy does this luxury Bentley Azure T have speed. This four-seat convertible has a twin-turbocharged V8 engine that produces 500 hp with a top speed of 179 mph and a 0-60 mph of 5.2 seconds.

Even the roof is fast: Touch-button and hydraulic-powered, the three-layer canvas roof stows beneath the rear parcel shelf in 25 seconds. The roof stows in a separate well area; boot space is designed to hold two sets of golf clubs and hand luggage.

Bentley’s Azure T includes standard features that were previously unavailable or only available as extras.

Inside, the Azure T embodies a range of standard features that were previously unavailable or available as cost options on the standard model such as the diamond-quilted seats and door panels, the aluminum finish on the dashboard that is supposed to remind the 1920s racing Bentleys and the instrument faces which are finished in Black rather than Parchment.

The seats and door panels have Diamond Quilting, the fascia features an “engine-turned” aluminum finish and the instrument faces are finished in black.

All Azure T models come with an iPod interface linked to the Infotainment system. Optional Naim for Bentley premium audio system features 10 speakers, a dual-channel sub-woofer and an 1100 watt amplifier.

Top 10 Luxury Cars

What luxury car we drive often tells the world more about us than we think. Do you sit behind the wheel of a fast, sporty vehicle or ride in comfort in a timeless classic car? As 2008 begins zooming forward, let’s take a look at what are the top 10 luxury cars from ForbesAutos.com.

As people shopped for luxury cars on ForbesAutos.com during 2007, they looked into the future for a taste of what they desire. During the fourth quarter, three vehicles not even on sale yet were among the top 10 most researched luxury vehicles on the site.

Two of the future models, the 2009 BMW M3 and 2009 Jaguar XF , were ranked No. 1 and No. 3, respectively. The third ’09 model, Audi’s upcoming remake of its best-selling A4 Sedan, earned sixth place in the popularity contest for October, November, and December, despite not going on sale until the fall.

The remaining entries on the Forbes’ latest list of vehicles most researched on ForbesAutos.com were consistent with those choices from prior periods.  Full article

Top Fuel Efficient Luxury Cars

It’s no surprise that the most fuel-efficient luxury cars sold in the United States aren’t homegrown. They are imported.

Europe and Japan lead the fuel-economy crusade for the luxury sector. A major reason is because economic conditions in those regions, have given local automakers major incentives to develop cars that conserve fuel while still providing amenities that luxury shoppers crave.

“European automakers have had to be conscious of fuel economy for decades,” says Mike Omotoso, senior manager of global powertrain forecasting for J.D. Power and Associates in Westlake Village, Calif. “In Europe, high-tech includes good performance coupled with good fuel economy.”  Full article

Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano

Ferrari’s 599 GTB Fiorano was an all-new model for 2007, and only about 250 will be made per year by hand. Its engine is the same 6.0L V12 screaming beast that is found in the Enzo. Putting out 612 horsepower and redlining at 8,400 rpm, it also does 448 pound-feet of torque, almost all of which is available at only 3,500 rpm. Mash it, and all 12 cylinders let out a roaring melody, pushing you toward 60 mph in three and a half seconds. Take your foot off the pedal, and the motor unwinds in a series of sweet backfire pops, reminding you just how closely related this engine is to its racing parentage.

The drivetrain is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive setup, with the engine and transmission mounted very close in-board-so much so, Ferrari calls the 599 a front-mid engine design. The “SuperFast” paddle-controlled transmission is a new six-speed clutchless manual. It’s faster than ever, changing gears in about 100 milliseconds. Stopping the car are big vented discs all around. Opt for the race-derived carbon-ceramic disc brakes, and the Fiorano gets six-piston calipers up front, the ability to stop from 60 mph in 105 feet, and a loss of 30 pounds. All for the price of a Honda Civic.

Supporting the car is a new magnetic-fluid suspension system. Developed in cooperation with Delphi, the fluid can change viscosity when electric charge is passed through it. This system allows minute adjustments in suspension firmness many times a second, resulting in virtually no body lean and endless grip on just about every kind of paved road. This type of suspension also allows for more user control.

A steering wheel-mounted “manettino” knob allows the driver to literally dial in how much driving help he or she wants. The suspension can be set more or less firm, the engine redline can be altered, the throttle response can be increased, and the shift speed made faster. The Fiorano includes a very intelligent race car-derived traction and stability control system that is adept enough to actually improve lap times. The responsiveness of these systems can also be altered according to the driver’s preferences.

Going fast is important in any Ferrari, but in the Fiorano, it means going fast very comfortably. Inside, the power-adjustable seats have high bolsters and are trimmed in supple leather. A leather-wrapped dashboard, leather covered console, and a leather steering wheel accompany the seats, and even the door trim and headliner are leather. Ferrari will outfit this leather interior in as many as 14 colors. And despite the preponderance of Ferraris painted Corsa red, there are 15 other colors to choose from. If that’s not enough, for just under $6,000, Ferrari will paint your Fiorano in a color of your choice.

If you prefer carbon fiber over leather, choose a carbon fiber package, and the doors, shifter, dash and steering wheel’s leather are replaced with the lightweight material. Front and rear parking sensors are available for $2,069, and a navigation system can be had for $2,361.