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Rolls-Royce Corniche

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Rolls-Royce Corniche
Rolls-Royce
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The Corniche was Rolls-Royce's coupé and convertible version of the Silver Shadow produced between 1971 and 1996.

The model was assembled and finished in London at Mulliner Park Ward as continuation of the 1965 Silver Shadow coupe and 1967 drophead, with the Corniche name applied in 1971. The Corniche was also sold as a Bentley, though that model became known as the Continental in 1984. The first car to wear the Corniche name was a 1939 prototype based on the Bentley Mark V which was never produced because of the onset of World War II.

The Corniche was available both as a coupé and convertible, with the former discontinued in 1982.

The car used the standard Rolls-Royce V8 engine. It had an aluminium-silicon alloy block and aluminum cylinder heads with cast iron wet cylinder liners. The bore was 4.1 in (104.1 mm) and the stroke was 3.9 in (99.1 mm) for a total of 6.8 L (6750 cc/411 in³). Twin SU carburettors were initially fitted with a single Solex 4-barrel carburettor introduced in 1975. Export models retained the twin SU's until 1980, when Bosch fuel injection was added.

A 3-speed automatic transmission (a Turbo Hydramatic 400 sourced from General Motors) was standard. A four-wheel independent suspension with coil springs was augmented with a hydraulic self-levelling system in the rear. Four wheel disc brakes were specified, with ventilated discs added for 1972.

The car originally used a 119.75 in (3042 mm) wheelbase. This was extended to 120 in (3048 mm) in 1974 and 120.5 in (3061 mm) in 1979.

See Wikicars' comprehensive Rolls-Royce Corniche Review.

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Fifth generation (YYYY–YYYY)

Corniche (V)

100-rolls-royce-corniche.jpg
Rolls-Royce Corniche V
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The 2000 Rolls-Royce Corniche was a two-door, four-passenger automobile. Rolls-Royce's flagship car, it was the fifth car to bear the Corniche name on its debut in January 2000. At the time of its release, it was the most expensive vehicle offered by Rolls-Royce, with a base price of US$359,900. Styling cues were taken from the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph sedan, but it shares little mechanically with that BMW-engined car. Instead, the Corniche's body was set onto the older platform used for the similarly-styled Bentley Azure, making it the first and last Rolls-Royce descended from a Bentley rather than the other way around.

The 2000-2002 Corniche is powered by a 325 hp (240 kW) 6.75 L turbocharged V8. The Corniche's engine is capable of enormous torque, providing 738 N·m (544 ft·lbf) at 2,100 rpm. The car is operated via a four-speed automatic transmission. It has a top speed of 135 mph (215 km/h) and a 0-60 mph acceleration time of eight seconds. The convertible, weighing 6,836 lb (3,101 kg), was built more for comfort than for speed.

The Corniche came outfitted with every luxury and refinement characteristic of a Rolls-Royce. The car has a Connolly leather interior, Wilton wool carpets, chrome gauges and a wide choice of exotic wood trims. Dual automatic temperature control, a six-disc CD changer, automatic headlamps and automatic ride control are standard.

Part of the Corniche's desirability is the fact that it was the last car developed by Rolls-Royce before the marque came under BMW ownership. All Corniches were completely hand-built. The car was considered a slightly cushier version of the already luxurious Bentley Azure.

The very last Rolls-Royce Corniche rolled off the assembly line on August 30, 2002. This was the very last Rolls-Royce to roll off the line at the Crewe plant before it was entirely dedicated to the production of Bentley cars in 2002. Only 374 fifth-generation Corniches were ever built.

Production

  • Rolls-Royce Corniche: 4347
    • Saloon (1971-1982): 1108
    • Convertible (1971-1987): 3239
  • Bentley Corniche: 140
    • Saloon (1971-1982): 63
    • Convertible (1971-1984): 77
  • Rolls-Royce Corniche II: 1226
  • Rolls-Royce Corniche III: 452
  • Rolls-Royce Corniche IV: 244
    • Corniche IV (1993-1996): 219
    • Corniche S (1995-1996): 25
  • Bentley Continental (1984-1994): 421
    • Bentley Continental Turbo (1992-1995): 8

Fourth generation (YYYY–YYYY)

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Rolls-Royce Corniche IV
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The car was reworked in 1993 as the Corniche IV. By this time production had moved to Crewe after the closure of Mulliner Park Ward. A glass rear window was now used, a major upgrade from the old plastic one. The rest of the top mechanism was improved as well, and now required no manual latching. CFC-free air conditioning was specified, as was driver and passenger airbags.


Third generation (YYYY–YYYY)

Cor3.jpg
Rolls-Royce Corniche III
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The Corniche III was introduced at the 1989 Frankfurt Motor Show as a continuation of the Corniche line. Anti-lock brakes were now standard on the 4-wheel discs. A 3-speed automatic transmission was also specified. The standard Rolls-Royce V8 engine continued. Bosch K-motronic fuel injection was used on the 1990-model Corniche and Continental. Bumpers were painted in the some colour as the body on the Mk 3.


Second generation (YYYY–YYYY)

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Rolls-Royce Corniche II
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The car was mildly reworked in 1977 as the Corniche II. Alloy and rubber bumpers replaced earlier chrome ones. An aluminum radiator was substituted and an oil cooler was added. A drivers' side airbag was fitted for North America, while cars for other markets got anti-lock brakes.

The Bentley version was updated in 1984 with a new name, the Continental. The Bentley model had lost its closed coupe option in 1982, and all Corniche II's of the era were convertibles.


First Generation/Origins (YYYY–YYYY)

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See Also


Spitiire.jpg
ROLLS-ROYCE

The BMW Group


BMW | Rolls-Royce | Mini


Current Models: Phantom (VII) · Drophead · Phantom Coupe · Ghost

Historic Models: Silver Seraph · Silver Spur / Flying Spur · Silver Spirit · Silver Shadow · Silver Cloud · Silver Wraith · Silver Dawn · Silver Ghost · 10 HP · 15 HP · 20 HP · 20/25 · 30 HP · 25/30 Wraith · Camargue · Corniche · Phantom I · Phantom II · Phantom III · Phantom IV · Phantom V · Phantom VI · Armoured Car · Legalimit

Concept Cars: 1EX · 100EX · 101EX · 200EX Concept

Specials: FAB 1 · Cloudesque · Silver Ghost Boat Tail Speedster · Silver Spur Hooper Landaulette · Phantom II Star of India


Spirit of Ecstasy


Sir Henry Royce and Charles Rolls Corporate website A brand of BMW AG



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