The Rolls-Royce Corniche S, a flagship model of the British luxury car manufacturer, is a rare luxury classic car. Rolls Royce created the Corniche S out of the Corniche IV, i.e., in the Corniche S lineup, you'll find the last 25 units of the Corniche IV (each Corniche S is numbered between 1 to 25). Under the bonnet resides a powerful engine with an impressive 6.75-liter V8 engine churning out 385 horsepower and 530 lb-ft of torque. The Corniche S had factory-installed turbochargers that boosted and gave it more power than the Corniche IVs. It's been over two decades since the Corniche S made its debut, but its rarity and uniqueness have made it a coveted possession among car enthusiasts and collectors alike. Used Rolls-Royce Corniche S models maintain a premium price tag in the automobile market, so you should expect to part with an amount north of $200,000, that's if you find anyone willing to sell. Here's our in-depth Rolls-Royce Corniche S review, starting with its history.
The Rolls-Royce Corniche S has a history that is intertwined with the Corniche IV, which was unveiled in 1992. Rolls-Royce made 219 Corniche IV models, and the last 25 of those were equipped with turbochargers that gave it a boost in power and made it more powerful. Because the Corniche S is limited to 25 units, it's very rare to find one. More so, all the 25 Corniche S are left-hand drives and were sold in the US. If you find a Corniche S in the car lot, chances are that you may not recognize it at first until you have a closer look. The Corniche S was offered in a single, supremely luxurious model. There were no other trims or versions available.
The Rolls-Royce Corniche S's hood is home to a 6.75-liter V8 engine that produces 385 horsepower and 530 lb-ft of torque. The Corniche S has a single-engine configuration and is equipped with a Garrett T3 turbocharger, Bosch Motronic fuel injection, and a 4-speed General Motors Turbo Hydramatic 400 automatic transmission. This engine, with an aluminum-silicon alloy block and aluminum cylinder heads with cast iron liners, is undoubtedly powerful. It propels the 6,031-lb Corniche S from 0 to 60 mph in a brisk 7.2 seconds and onto a top speed of 150 mph. The four-speed automatic transmission shifts seamlessly, too. The Corniche S falls short in fuel economy; its estimated EPA of 12 mpg/city and 18 mpg/highway is respectable for a car of its size and performance. As mentioned, the Corniche S has only one engine option, making comparisons within its lineup moot. However, it's worth noting that the engine was shared with the Bentley Continental Turbo, its close cousin. Both cars offered similar performance and driving dynamics. The Corniche S competes against other luxury grand tourers of the era, such as the Bentley Continental R, the Mercedes-Benz 560SL, and the Ferrari Testarossa. While not the most powerful engine in its category, the Rolls-Royce Corniche S ensures you get the right amount of torque, refined power delivery, and unmatched smoothness.
Inside the Corniche S's interior, you're treated to an interior that is elegant and plush. The first outstanding piece of the interior that greets you is the beautifully crafted, wood-rimmed steering wheel. This thin-rimmed beauty houses the horn button and cruise control. Its retro design may not look as plush as the steering wheels in modern Rolls Royce cars, but it fits in nicely in the interior of the Corniche S. Behind the wheel are your analog gauges housed in polished bezels. They display essential information like speed, fuel level, and engine temperature. A central clock adds a touch of time to the dashboard and sits pretty flush with the car's air conditioning vents. The dashboard is covered in rich wood veneers sourced from exotic sources. It flows across the expanse of the dashboard, accentuated by chrome accents and leather-bound instrument panels. There's no denying that a lot of attention to detail was given to getting these dashboard pieces together. The center console houses an array of controls for the doors and trunk, power windows,power-operated soft top, and heated seats. A Blaupunkt cassette player sits nicely in the center console to dispense tunes while you drive. The Corniche S's seats are made of thick Connolly leather and are available in a sumptuous palette of colors. You'll get lots of electric adjustments for seat position, backrest angle, and lumbar support so you can find a perfect driving posture. The seats are also heated for those cold days. The Corniche S's cabin is quiet, thanks to the double-glazed windows and extensive sound insulation. However, the engine's purr is slightly noticeable.
As mentioned at the beginning of this review, the Corniche S has a striking resemblance with the Corniche IV. Frankly, the one thing that distinguishes both series is the red Corniche S badging on the boot of the Corniche S. The rear of the Corniche S is elegant. Expectedly, there are the familiar rectangular tail lights adorned with chrome surrounds as well as dual exhaust pipes just beneath the bumper. The elegance and royal design of the rear also reflects in the front of the car. The iconic Rolls-Royce grille, a vertical waterfall of chrome bars, dominates the scene. Atop it is the legendary Spirit of Ecstasy in a graceful form poised for flight. To both sides of the grille are the rectangular xenon headlights that are nestled beneath chrome brows. As you step back and walk to the side of the Corniche S, you'll notice how the long, graceful hood stretches towards the windshield. The gently sloping roofline flows seamlessly from the front to the trunk, culminating in an elegant silhouette whether you have the powered soft top up or down. There are chrome trim accents on the windows and door handles to make the sides sparkle. The doors are solid, wide, and somewhat long, and they allow for graceful entry and exit into the car. The Corniche S sits proudly on large alloy wheels ranging from 16 to 18 inches in diameter. The tires, wide and low-profile, provide excellent grip while adding a touch of sporty elegance to the overall design.
While the Corniche S might not have lots of tech features, it did have all that it needed to make riding in and driving the car pleasurable. Rolls Royce fitted the Corniche S with a Garrett T3 turbocharger and Bosch Motronic fuel injection system to improve the horsepower and torque, and it didn't disappoint. For smooth gear changes, a four-speed General Motors Turbo Hydramatic 400 automatic transmission with electronic shift control provided smooth and precise gear changes. There was also independent suspension with anti-roll bars and hydraulic self-leveling to ensure a comfortable and controlled ride. Electronic traction control and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS provided ample braking power. A climate control system, electrically adjustable seats, a Blaupunkt cassette player, and cruise control all make driving pleasurable.
The Rolls-Royce Corniche S is undeniably a convertible masterpiece that is elegant and luxurious. But for those considering making this dream a reality, the question of price looms large, and honestly, pinpointing a single price for a used Corniche S is an elusive task. Cars in pristine condition with lower mileage naturally command higher prices. A well-kept Corniche S can set you back by $200,000. Finding a used Corniche S requires patience and careful searching. You can find one via the Exotic Car Trader's listing page, or you can even list yours for sale on our site.
In conclusion, the Rolls-Royce Corniche S is a timeless treasure crafted for those who appreciate the finer things in life. From its breathtaking exterior to its opulent interior, every detail whispers of luxury and refinement. You can find the best deals on the Corniche Series and other cars on Exotic Car Trader. Our streamlined online platform simplifies the buying and selling process, connecting you with a global network of discerning car enthusiasts. If you want a rare Rolls Royce that fits the criteria as a symbol of elegance, performance, and refinement, you should consider the Corniche S. Its meticulously crafted exterior, luxurious interior, comfort, and refined ride quality make it a nice addition to a collectors garage.
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