Skip to main content

Stealth aircraft inspiration aside, the Rolls-Royce ‘Nighthawk’ is here to be noticed

How do you make one the most extravagant specimens of British luxury more American? Rolls Royce, with its limited ‘Nighthawk’ edition of the Phantom Drophead Coupé, looks to answer that very question.

No, there isn’t an LS3 or HEMI in the engine compartment, and you won’t find American flag livery draped throughout the cabin. The Nighthawk was created exclusively for North American customers though, and the alterations are noteworthy.

Rolls-Royce says that the bespoke model, of which only nine will be built, is “inspired by stealth technology in modern aerospace development.” As such, the Nighthawk wears Diamond Black Metallic paint with a Matt Diamond Black hood. The lines are sleek and smooth, and there’s even radar-absorbent material surrounding the windshield.

Furthering its clandestine design, the Phantom is accented with carbon fiber throughout the Hotspur Red and Black interior. The naked weave is prominently featured on the dash, highlighted with brilliant red textiles throughout.

Clearly, this isn’t your average Rolls-Royce Phantom, if there is such a thing. The cabin looks more like a tuner car than an opulent luxury mobile, and we’re not sure what that says about the automaker’s opinion of Americans.

According to Rolls-Royce, the normal Phantom is “inspired by the J-class racing yachts of 1930s” with the result being a car that “epitomizes romantic, performance motoring.”

Is that ethos present here? We’re not so sure, but perhaps that’s the point.

Under the hood, the 6.75-liter V12 from the standard Drophead produces 454 horsepower and 541 pound-feet of torque. That’s good for a sprint to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, with a combover-ruffling top speed of 150 mph.

How much will the Nighthawk cost? The automaker didn’t say, but the regular Phantom Drophead Coupé runs an exorbitant $464,600. As the saying goes, if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it.

Editors' Recommendations

Andrew Hard
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Andrew first started writing in middle school and hasn't put the pen down since. Whether it's technology, music, sports, or…
Follow along as Rolls-Royce puts the final touches on its stately Cullinan SUV
Rolls-Royce's Cullinan SUV packs 563 horsepower and an 'Everywhere' button
Rolls-Royce Cullinan



Read more
Rolls-Royce thinks autonomy could take us back to the good ol’ days of design
Rolls-Royce Sweptail

There is hardly a limit to how much well-heeled buyers will spend on a car when it's entirely custom-made. Rolls-Royce perfectly illustrated that trend last year by introducing the Sweptail (pictured), a one-of-a-kind model designed to an anonymous enthusiast's exact specifications. It cost $13 million. You would think such a car rarely comes around, but the company confirmed it's working on a second bespoke project.

Rolls-Royce design chief Giles Taylor told British magazine Autocar that the yet-unnamed model will be revealed in the "near future." While the Sweptail is a one-of-one car, Taylor hinted the upcoming project won't be quite as exclusive. The brand will cap production in the low single-digits. Each one will be unique.

Read more
Rolls-Royce hopes its first SUV will be as solid as a diamond, and as desirable
Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Rolls-Royce confirmed that its first SUV will be named Cullinan. Rolls has been using Cullinan as a code name to refer to the SUV since the project was first announced three years ago, but waffled over whether that name would be carried over to production. Rolls' decision to lock in the name indicates that the Cullinan is almost ready for its unveiling, but we don't have a firm date yet.

The name comes from the Cullinan Diamond, the largest flawless diamond ever found. The 3,106-carat gem was dug up in South Africa's Magaliesberg Mountains in 1905, and named after Thomas Cullinan, who owned the mine where it was found. The diamond was later cut into nine pieces. The two larges of those pieces became part of the British Imperial Crown and Scepter.

Read more