To mention the name Rolls Royce is to evoke images of true class. Since its inception in 1914, the company has consistently been a brand associated with true grit and elegance. Its owners' list reads like a true who's who of the ultra-glamorous-Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, to name a few. Now, if an automobile manufacturer can do background and status checks, and even deny you the chance to buy one of their automobiles, there must be some precedent to it.
Reaching for the sky
From the get-go, Rolls Royce was already gaining a lot of fame for its automobiles. The more stylish look, the decidedly genteel curves, and an aura that screamed first class certainly set it apart from all the other manufacturers of that day. The outbreak of war in Europe opened a new field that Rolls Royce could enter that would forever set it apart from other auto manufacturers.
Enter the Rolls Royce Merlin. This liquid-cooled V-12 piston engine was developed in the latter days of the First World War when aviation was still a largely experimental enterprise. Its G-variant could churn out an impressive 1030 of horsepower-a step up from the weaker radial engines of the era. This was the engine of the iconic Spitfire-the plane that trounced the Luftwaffe and kept England independent in the darkest days of the Second World War.
Feet firmly on the ground
The Spitfire was so successful in its role as a fighter, as well as a showpiece for Rolls Royce's engine-manufacturing prowess, that one wonder whether this would translate to innovations in the field that the company set out to master. The short answer is "yes!" In fact, the V-12 engine housed under the hood of the 2003 Phantom is near to an exact replica as that which powered England's aerial warrior.
Naturally, some loss of power output is to be expected-a direct installation would be powerful enough to rip the Phantom apart! At 438 horsepower, roughly a third of that in the Spit, it still gives the same amazing performance, speed, and reliability. It proves that Rolls Royce is one of those rare companies that manage to translate innovations between fields into performance and success.
Excited yet? Well, if you have the money and the reputation for it, then you have over a hundred years of true class in any Rolls Royce automobile.