The Rolls-Royce badge has graced everything from luxury cars to nuclear reactors, but stealth aircraft have been a miss until now... sort of. As part of its Bespoke Collection, the upmarket car maker is showing off its high-tech street cred with its Phantom Drophead Coupé "Nighthawk". The limited edition aimed at the North American Market recently had its first public drive in Phoenix, Arizona and takes its cues from cutting-edge stealth aircraft.
As part of the Super Bowl XLIX celebrations on January 29, Rolls-Royce put the first nine of its Nighthawks on the streets of Phoenix for their public debut. Though there's a V12 engine under the bonnet, the company is keener to talk about the styling rather than performance or handling.
Inspired by stealth technology, the streamlined Nighthawk sports a low profile and was built by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ Bespoke team using a hefty helping of composite materials. Though it makes a hard bash at streamlining, it's still a boxy shape with a front dominated by the classic Rolls-Royce grille – not so much a fighter plane as a B-2 bomber. Even the windscreen is based on the radar-absorbent material coating used in stealth aircraft.
The profile is all smoothing without any aggressive angles, blisters, or strong throughlines to distract from the Diamond Black Metallic paint with a Matt Diamond Black bonnet. Meanwhile, the interior is very heavy on the carbon fiber, from the dashboard panels to the coach door. These are contrasted by the Hotspur Red and Black full-grain leather running to the leather-trimmed transmission tunnel and leather-lined boot trim, as well as the incandescent orange tips on the instrument panel designed to suggest something out of the cockpit of a fighter plane.
The Phantom Drophead Coupé Nighthawk is available from Roll-Royce North American retail dealers for US$570,000.