Ceiling is star of Phantom Coupe interior

  • 03-Jul-2008 06:07 EDT

Fiber optics fill the Phantom Coupe interior with starlight.

Because it is so different, the starlight headliner in the Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe gets lots of attention. But a passenger need not look skyward to find other luxurious interior touches, according to Rolls Royce Chief Designer Ian Cameron.

Producing the illusion of a starry night did not require a technological breakthrough. Hundreds of tiny holes are cut into the headliner material, and fiber-optic lighting fills them with “starlight.” The overhead lighting level is adjustable and can be made bright enough to read by.

At a reveal of the car in February prior to the Geneva Motor Show (the venue for its official unveiling), Cameron did not make much of the headliner—or of the car’s styling in general. “The highlight is when you drive it, not when you look at it,” he said. Asked about engineering challenges associated with the design, he answered by saying the Phantom Coupe is a “driver’s car” with a larger fuel tank for cross-continental journeys. With the Phantom Coupe, he noted, “the drive becomes the focal point and not the destination.”

Cameron took pains to note the distinction between the Phantom Drophead convertible and the Coupe. A fine driving machine in its own right, the Coupe is even better, he said, with recalibration of the gearbox and other minor chassis changes.

Other interior highlights include directional reading lights embedded in the C-pillars, a rounded-off rear seat sofa, slim-line front seats, and Lexicon LOGIC7 sound system. Also available is iPod connectivity.

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