Rolls-Royce Motor Cars will unveil its new Phantom Drophead Coupe at the 2007 Detroit Motor Show (NAIAS) beginning Sunday 7 January 2007. Production of the new car will start at Goodwood in the summer of 2007. A few features from the previous Rolls-Royce 100EX concept convertible has been adopted for the new Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe. The two most apparent aesthetics design features include the brushed steel bonnet and A-pillar and the teak decking for the rear hood cover. The brushed steel is machine finished to give a uniform grain before undergoing extensive hand polishing to achieve a perfect sheen. At the rear, the teak decking is treated with a mix of oils to preserve a natural finish.

The doors are front opening, rear hinged coach doors designed for ease of access to the rear seats. A split tail compartment gives access to a 315 litre boot, not too shabby in actual storage space and very usable but it seems a small number in relative to the size of the car. Bootspace is unaffected even if the soft top is down. The fabric hood is the largest of any modern convertible car. The hood is made of 5 layers of material and is lined with cashmere. The hood was designed for maximum acoustic insulation for cloth top standards.

Of course with every convertible car, the chassis is very important as you’re missing some of the rigidity provided by a hard roof. The chassis is an advanced all aluminum chassis with a 50:50 weight balance, hand made at BMW’s centre for aluminium competence in Dingolfing, Germany with over 140 meters of welding, 20 meters more than the standard Phantom sedan. The entire windscreen surround was designed to be an integral part of the roll-over protection system. The A-pillar struts run right down to the floor of the car. Interestingly, a 20-year old Delorean (that cult classic car of Back to the Future fame) was used in the development process. It was manufactured with stainless steel exterior panels and provided an interesting case study into the long-term durability of using aluminium and brushed steel in proximity with each other, something that might cause steel to corrode because of the aluminium.

The 2620kg car wafts along thanks to a 6.75 litre, naturally aspirated V12 engine with gasoline direct injection and variable valve timing, developing 453hp at 5,350rpm and 720 Nm of torque at 3,500 rpm mated to a six-speed ZF automatic shift-by-wire gearbox. 75% of engine power available at just 1000 rpm, progress from a standstill is easy and remains so throughout the rev range. 0-100km/h acceleration is under 6 seconds, and goes on to a top speed of 240km/h.

More photos after the jump…