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Rolls-Royce - Wraith series

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About Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a BMW subsidiary, responsible for the Rolls-Royce automobiles since 1997.

History

In 1998, owners Vickers decided to sell Rolls-Royce Motors. The most likely buyer was BMW, who already supplied engines and other components for Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars, but BMW's final offer of £340m was beaten by Volkswagen's £430m.

However Rolls-Royce plc, the aero-engine maker, decided it would license certain essential trademarks (the Rolls-Royce name and logo) not to VW but to BMW, with whom it had recently had joint business ventures. VW had bought rights to the "Spirit of Ecstasy" hood ornament and the shape of the radiator grille, but it lacked rights to the Rolls-Royce name necessary to build the cars. Likewise, BMW lacked rights to the grille and mascot. BMW bought an option on the trademarks, licensing the name and "RR" logo for £40m, a deal that many commentators thought was a bargain for possibly the most valuable property in the deal. VW claimed that it had only really wanted Bentley anyway.

BMW and VW arrived at a solution. From 1998 to 2002 BMW would continue to supply engines for the cars and would allow use of the names, but this would cease on January 1, 2003. On that date, only BMW would be able to name cars "Rolls-Royce", and VW's former Rolls-Royce/Bentley division would build only cars called "Bentley". Rolls Royce's convertible, the Corniche, ceased production in 2002.

Cars

  • 2003 Phantom — Launched in January 2003 at Detroit's North American International Auto Show, this is the first model from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited, a BMW subsidiary having no technical or corporate connection with the original Rolls-Royce company apart from the trademarks mentioned above. The car has a 6.75 L V12 engine from BMW, but most other components are unique to the car. Unlike the MINI (which is 90% engineered and manufactured in the UK) most parts are made in Germany, although the assembly and finishing is done in a new factory in Goodwood, Sussex. The cars are available in normal and extended wheelbase, and prices start at about £250,000.
  • 2007 Phantom Drophead Coupé
  • 2007 - 2010 — Rolls Royce announced in September 2006 that it will develop a new 4-door model, using the next generation BMW 7 Series, positioned below the Phantom and with a price range between US$230,000 and US$330,000. It is also working to develop a production version of its 101EX concept.

Prototypes

  • Rolls-Royce 100EX
  • Rolls-Royce 101EX
  • Rolls-Royce NGS (saloon)

Rolls-Royce cars timeline

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4-door
5-seat
S6 12v 4.3L OHV M-4
              
   

Rolls-Royce Wraith (1938)

4-door 5-seater sedan (saloon), petrol (gasoline) 6-cylinder 12-valve straight (inline) engine, OHV (overhead valve, I-head), 4257 cm3 / 259.8 cu in / 259.8 cu in, manual 4-speed transmission, rear wheel drive

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