Rolls-Royce announces surprising end for Phantom line with launch of the Zenith

Article by Christian A., on February 25, 2016

Luxury car manufacturer Rolls-Royce Motor Cars recently announced that 2016 will be the last production year for the company’s highly-successful Phantom models. The announcement was made by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes and comes after news that Rolls-Royce has started testing an all-new aluminum architecture, which will be utilized by newer cars slated to be available by 2018.

In the same announcement, Mueller-Oetvoes added that the Phantom Coupe and Drophead Coupe models will no longer be produced in the future. A special collection run consisting of a limited 50 cars will be produced to mark the end of production for these highly desirable models which will be aptly-named the Phantom Zenith.

The seventh generation Phantom started a renaissance for Roll-Royce Motor Cars having entered into production 13 years ago in Goodwood. It defined what a super luxury car should be and reinforced the marque’s claim in this category with its subdued power, grace and unrivaled magnificence.

Rolls-Royce to build the last Phantom VII limousines

It has been one glorious ride for the famed Phantom VII when it was first launched in 2003. Its unparalleled elegance could not be overlooked as it quickly set itself as the new benchmark for luxury cars, a title that it retained for the last 13 years.

This fact speaks highly of the car’s ability to capture and mesmerize generations of adoring motorists with its stunning beauty and unmistakable luxury. However, everything has its time. In its place, a new Phantom is on the way -- one that is even more beautiful and luxurious than the outgoing Phantom VII.

Torsten Muller-Otvoes is proud to announce that the new Rolls-Royce will come with enhanced cutting-edge technologies and design innovations that would surely reflect and further enhance the almost impossible reputation and standard set by the Phantom VII.

The Unusual Exit of Phantom VII

Most manufacturers would just announce the retirement of its existing models and watch idly as customer interest eventually wanes. But this is not the case for this highly respected luxury car. Indeed, as if expected from this one-of-a-kind ultra luxurious car, the Phantom VII continuous to set the benchmark in luxury driving with a limited collector’s run for its Phantom models – the last of its kind for this highly venerated line.

To honor the exit of the Phantom models, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ Bespoke department decided to produce the ultimate expression for each of the Phantom models – Coupe, Drophead Coupe and Limousine.

At the other end of the line, the highly-skilled craftsmen responsible for the painstaking final touches that define the distinct brand of Rolls-Royce luxury are preparing themselves for the ultimate art and skill needed to give the final cars the ultimate mark of luxury that they deserve.

The Appropriately Named Zenith

Rolls-Royce does not take its car model naming lightly. The last and best of the Phantom Coupe and Drophead Coupe will be named Zenith, with all that the name implies. Giles Taylor, Director of Design, explains that as the name suggests, the Zenith model will be the pinnacle, offering the best of its kind and the highest standard there is.

Taylor added that the Zenith model will offer the best features found in the Phantom Coupe and the Drophead Coupe with a little more extra added. For these reasons, Taylor expects a high demand for these limited edition models. Bespoke instrument dials and a special Spirit of Ecstasy figurine will adorn the Zenith models.

A tailgate Hosting Area, a laser etched armrest showing the locations where the 100EX was launched in Villa D’Este, and the 101EX in Geneva are some of the surprise features of this final model as well. In addition, each new owner will be given a portable memento of his or her car purchase while the cars are available in a memorable colour combination reminiscent of Rolls-Royce legacy.

A brief summary of the ultimate luxury car that was the Phantom VII

When the seventh generation Roll-Royce Phantom was launched on January 1, 2003, it coincided with the renaissance of one of the world’s most famous luxury car makera, the Rolls-Royce brand. With the ease and grace of its driving, the Phantom VII gracefully and easily established itself as the new benchmark and pinnacle of luxury cars.

From then on, other luxury cars in the market simply have no choice but to measure themselves against this almost impossible standard set by the Phantom VII. This amazing feat is especially significant given the fact that the Phantom VII was created in the preceding five years prior to its launch by a team of dedicated designers, engineers and craftspeople; each doing his or her own role without any publicity to create this thing of beauty and magnificence.

From its ultra-modern production facility located in Goodwood Estate, Southern England, the Phantom VII soon proved itself to be worthy of the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy, with the car’s bold yet elegant styling apparent even from all angles which clearly states this car is definitely a Rolls-Royce. The car’s road presence and magnificence is second to none.

New variants were then introduced to the Phantom VII which started with the Phantom Extended Wheelbase in 2005, followed by the Phantom Drophead Coupe in 2007 and lastly the Phantom Coupe in 2008 which is Rolls-Royce sophisticated grand tourer.

These cars represent the true Rolls-Royce spirit with their timeless appeal and are considered works of art themselves which is why these are entered into private collections around the world. Every Phantom has Bespoke features such as ‘Waterspeed’, ‘Aviator’, ‘Metropolitan’, ‘Maharajah’ and ‘Serenity’ represents a few of the names belonging to the Iconic Bespoke Phantom collection.

Press Release


Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chief Executive Officer, Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, has announced that the current Phantom will enter the last stages of its celebrated life in 2016. This announcement follows the recent news that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has begun testing its all-new aluminium architecture, which will underpin every future Rolls-Royce arriving in-market from early 2018. He also announced that Phantom Coupé and Drophead Coupé models will not be renewed in the future. These two magnificent Phantom models will end their lives with a special collection of only 50 highly desirable cars to be called Phantom Zenith.

The current seventh generation of Phantom started production in Goodwood over 13 years ago and quickly became the foundation upon which the renaissance of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars was built. A magnificent, graceful and powerful statement of the marque’s claim to the very pinnacle of super luxury, Phantom VII is now approaching the end of its production.

During November this year, the build of the very last Phantom Coupé and Drophead Coupé at Goodwood will be completed. These models will not be replaced. Collectors around the world will be excited to learn that a spectacular collection of 50 unique Coupé’s and Drophead Coupés, called Phantom Zenith, will be built to celebrate the end of production of these truly exceptional cars.

Rolls-Royce will also build the last Phantom VII limousines this year.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, said, “I am proud and excited to announce that a new Phantom is on the way – a contemporary and beautiful Phantom enhanced with cutting-edge technologies and design innovations. Any new Phantom is an historic and important moment in automotive history and we are working hard on perfecting the Phantom VIII.”

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars reset the benchmark for luxury motor cars in 2003 when it launched Phantom VII, a motor car that has remained the pinnacle of pure luxury for the last 13 years. Over those years Rolls-Royce created many fantastic Phantoms that stunned the world with their beauty and redefined the notion of pure luxury motoring.

Now it is time to take the next step in the luxury journey.

Phantom VII – Continuing to set the luxury benchmark even as it prepares to leave the world stage

Even as it prepares to leave the world stage, Phantom VII will continue to set the benchmark for luxury motoring with a number of limited-run collector’s pieces, each of which will be the last of their line.

To mark their exit, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ Bespoke design department will create the most highly Bespoke examples of each Phantom model to date – Coupé, Drophead Coupé and Limousine. At the same time the craftspeople who build each Rolls-Royce motor car to roll down the line at the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood are already preparing themselves for the painstaking work that will go into these very special final motor cars.

Zenith – The very pinnacle of automotive excellence

The first of these special collections will be named Zenith, and will be the last ever Phantom Coupé and Drophead Coupé models available to commission from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

“As the name promises, Zenith will be the pinnacle; the best of its kind; the highest standard achievable by which everything else is judged,” comments Director of Design, Giles Taylor. “Zenith will be the sum of all the best features of Phantom Coupé and Drophead Coupé, with a few surprises added. We expect huge demand for these 50 fine motor cars as we shall not look upon their like again.”

Such surprise features will include a Tailgate Hosting Area; laser etched armrests depicting the original launch locations of 100EX in Villa D’Este and 101EX in Geneva; Bespoke instrument dials and a special treatment of the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy figurine. Each customer will also receive a ‘money cannot buy’ portable memento of his or her purchase, whilst the motor cars will be offered to clients in a palate of memorable colour combinations from Rolls-Royce’s history.

Phantom VII – The return of the pinnacle of automotive excellence

The launch of the seventh generation Rolls-Royce Phantom, on 1 January 2003, was much more than the reveal of a new super-luxury car; it signalled the 21st Century renaissance of the world’s most famous luxury automobile brand and the first glimpse of a masterpiece that quickly established itself at the pinnacle of automotive excellence, leading where others could only try to follow.

For the preceding five years, and in the absence of publicity, designers, engineers and craftspeople had overseen the birth of a flagship Rolls-Royce motor car and state-of-the-art production facility on the Goodwood Estate in Southern England. Without parallel in the car industry, the achievement was all the more astonishing for a brand which shouldered the weight of automotive history and for which expectations for the future were rightly very high.

From launch, the Rolls-Royce Phantom proved itself a worthy recipient of the famous Spirit of Ecstasy figurine. From its Pantheon grille to long rear overhang, the design was clearly a Rolls-Royce. Every angle revealed a bold yet elegant car with road presence that was second to none.

From 2005, new variants of Phantom VII were added. First was the Phantom Extended Wheelbase, followed by the ultimate in luxurious open-top motoring, the Phantom Drophead Coupé in 2007 and, in 2008, the Phantom Coupé, Rolls-Royce’s sophisticated grand tourer.

All these beautiful cars are timeless in their appeal, and have been the cornerstone of Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke offering to its clients’ sophisticated requirements, allowing them to create individual works of art with their superlative cars. Today, every Phantom that leaves the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood has Bespoke features. ‘Waterspeed’, ‘Aviator’, ‘Metropolitan’, ‘Maharajah’ and ‘Serenity’ are a few of the names of Iconic Bespoke Phantoms which have entered private collections around the world and will live down the years as some of the most beloved Rolls-Royces ever.

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