When it comes to luxurious automotives, one name that pops into mind is Rolls Royce. After all, this brand is known for its large, luxurious, and expensive vehicles that continue to attract the rich and privileged from around the world. One such vehicle is the Rolls Royce Corniche II, a two-door convertible that was in production from 1986 to 1989. Despite being in production for only four years, the Corniche II today is a classic vehicle highly sought-after by deep-pocketed collectors.
1971-1987: Corniche I
The predecessor of the Corniche II was the Corniche I, which was a vehicle sold as a coupe and convertible. The first Corniche was equipped with an aluminum-silicon alloy V8 that was paired with cast iron wet cylinder liners and aluminum heads. Other standard equipment included a three-speed automatic transmission, a four-wheel independent suspension that used coil springs, a self-leveling system (hydraulic), and four-wheel disc brakes. Seven years after its introduction, the Corniche I received upgrades such as a rack-and-pinion steering, an aluminum radiator, oil cooler, rubber and alloy bumpers, and the addition of a bosch KE/K-Jetronic fuel injection system.
1986-1989: Corniche II
When the Corniche I entered the US market, it was renamed as Corniche II, which was sold as a two-door convertible. It also received several upgrades over the years such as anti-lock brakes for 1988 models, a new lens type for the reverse warning lights, and a distinct pattern around the license plate at the back. The interior was also redesigned in 1988, which included a restyled instrument panel and upgraded seats. By the time the Corniche II was introduced, fuel injection systems became standard equipment. During its production years, a total of 1,234 Corniche II were built.
1989-1993: Corniche III
Introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1989, the successor of the Corniche II came with color-coded bumpers, a more high-tech suspension system, new alloy wheels, and an MK-Motronic fuel injection. The interior was also modified in order to accommodate air bags, and a redesigned dashboard, seats, and console.
1992-1995: Corniche IV
The changes done for the Corniche IV included a new transmission (a four-speed GM4L80 automatic) and a glass rear window that was previously made of plastic. The top mechanism was also upgraded so it didn’t require manual latching anymore. The AC system became CFC-free and passenger airbags became standard.
2000-2002: Corniche V
Introduced in 2000, the Corniche V was the fifth and last installment under the Corniche series. It was considered as the most expensive car made by Rolls Royce at the time of its production. The Corniche was pulled out in 2002 when Rolls Royce was bought by BMW.
Today, the Corniche II and its predecessor and successors (III, IV, and V) continue to attract attention because of their unique exterior, luxurious interior, reliable performance, and iconic status.