Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Nighthawk: How to Ruin a Splendid Ultra-Luxury Cruiser

The ultra-luxury vehicle segment is going a bit mad these days. A prime example of what I’m on about is Bentley Motors' upcoming sport utility vehicle - the Bentayga. As stupid as a Bentley SUV sounds to proper petrolheads, we're not questioning why the VW-owned British marque got more than 4,000 preorders for the atrocity known as Bentayga.
Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Nighthawk 3 photos
Photo: Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe NighthawkRolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Nighthawk
Ever wondered what was the inspiration behind that nameplate? Ben stands for Bentley, while Tayga doesn’t come from tiger, but Taiga - the world’s largest transcontinental snow forest, and the Roque Bentayga, a mountain peak in the Canary Islands. As if the naming wasn’t wrong enough, prepare for more...

When Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer declared that Bentayga is a byword for the best automotive luxury with outstanding performance, Porche’s Wolfgang Hatz (R&D boss) replied with a tongue-in-cheek “Our Cayenne is always very, very quick. It is doing 300 km/h [186 mph]. I think if [Durheimer] is doing 2 to 3 km/h more, then why not? He’s doing that with a 12-cylinder. Our car will be much quicker on the road.”

Sorry Bentley, but the Bentayga is compromised way before its launch, slated to take place later this year. Moving on to an even more ritzy ultra-luxury marque, Rolls-Royce made the worst thing possible to the otherwise uber special Drophead Coupe. What you see in the two-picture gallery below is dubbed the Nighthawk. That’s a rather nice moniker and the glossy black paint contrasts beautifully with the grille.

But then you open the door and an Apocalypse Now line comes to mind - The horror... the horror... Either someone at Rolls has smoked a bowl before deciding to go with a carbon fiber dash or we’re not getting the point of having such a composite material in the most luxurious soft-top cruiser currently in production. By all means carbon fiber is fine for cars such as a BMW M4, but in this Rolls-Royce... what’s the point of it?

To boot, that black & red high-quality leather upholstery isn’t something to die for either. Thank God the double R brand will only make 9 examples of this grotesque machine, all for the North American market.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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