Rolls-Royce / Phantom / sedan
TRADITIONALISTS may lament the fact Rolls-Royce is now owned by BMW, which became custodian of the marque in July, 1998.
But the fact is that without German influence the famous British automotive nameplate would likely have slipped into automotive irrelevance and the title of "world’s best car" would probably belong to yet another German saloon.
Almost one hundred years after Englishman Charles Rolls and engineer Henry Royce hatched a plan to produce the world’s finest motor cars (on May 4, 1904), Rolls-Royce is still the epitome of automotive luxury and engineering excellence.
For proof, one need look no further than the million-dollar 2004 Phantom saloon, just two of which call Australia home.
Model release date: January 2003
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It took Rolls Royce 18 years to replace the Silver Spirit with the 1998 Silver Seraph, but it was only available locally for under five years.
Developed to use many BMW drivetrain and mechanical components by its former owners Vickers before BMW's takeover, the Silver Seraph was powered by a modified BMW 5.4-litre V12 engine allied to a five-speed automatic transmission producing 240kW/490Nm.
Only two Silver Seraph models were ever officially imported to Australia - the "regular" model and the "Last Of The Line Series" of July 2001.
Discontinued in December 2002, it marked the final Crewe-built Rolls Royce.
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