Rolls Royce Corniche

Few cars say luxury and privilege like the Rolls Royce Corniche. For its high class pedigree, though, it has a bit of a checkered past. Rolls Royce made the first Corniche in 1939 as a prototype based on the Bentley Mark V. World War II interrupted the company's plans, though, so the original Corniche never saw full production.

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Rolls Royce Corniche Origins

The Corniche name went into hiding for a few decades before emerging in 1971 as the coupe and convertible versions of Rolls Royce's Silver Shadow. The first generation remained in production until 1977. Four more generations followed, the final generation including 2000 to 2002 models. At times, it also picks up the Bentley Continental moniker. When BMW purchased Rolls Royce, it decided to discontinue the car.

Rolls Royce never intended to sell a large number of Corniche cars. In its later years, only about 200 cars sold annually. For buyers interested in this type of luxury vehicle, though, the exclusive price tag makes it even more appealing. The fewer Corniches on the road, the more they stand out from the crowd.

About the Rolls Royce Corniche

The Rolls Royce Corniche is known for several things, including its high price tag. The average car enthusiast won't have enough cash on hand to buy this vehicle, which costs more than most houses.

Some find the Rolls Royce distasteful because of its high price tag. At the same time, no one can deny its classy looks and history. While you could certainly spend your money more wisely, some find it appealing to go all-in for this luxury car.

Rolls Royce Corniche Features

The 2002 Rolls Royce Corniche shows little change from the 2001 version. Since the manufacturer makes each car customized to the buyer's specifications, each vehicle has its own unique features. Yet, the 2002 Corniche automatically comes with some standard features.

The 2002 Rolls Royce Corniche contains a 6.75-liter V-8 turbocharged engine that offers 325 hp and 544 lb-ft of torque delivered through a four-speed automatic transmission. At 6030 pounds (not including the weight of passengers, of course), it takes a lot for the Corniche to go from zero to 60 mph in eight seconds. Still, it offers a lot of power once you get rolling.

The 2002 Corniche also comes with four-channel anti-lock brakes, which you will probably need considering how much the car weighs. A 6000-pound vehicle cruising along at 70 mph needs a lot of braking power for abrupt stops. You also get a rather sophisticated Automatic Ride Control feature that adjusts the suspension to give you a comfortable ride and easy handling.

The high-priced Rolls Royce gives you some excellent features for entertainment, comfort, and style. Some of the most notable features include an eight-speaker stereo system with a six-CD changer, front seat armrest controls, and even a remote control for the back seat. This would almost certainly cause problems in a less expensive car (imagine road trips where the kids can remotely control the music), but anyone buying the Rolls Royce Corniche will certainly have cultivated friends who know how to relinquish audio control before fights break out.

As one might expect the 2002 Rolls Royce Corniche has excellent aesthetics customized to each buyer's preferences. Hand-finished wood veneer, hand-stitched leather upholstery, and wool carpets make this a one-of-a-kind vehicle for even the most pampered driver.

Rolls Royce Corniche Evolution

The Rolls Royce Corniche has five generations. Although the car manufacturer makes numerous changes to the car, it has always focuses on customized features set by the buyer.

The first generation, manufactured from 1971 to 1977, uses a three-speed automatic transmission with a 6.75-liter engine. At 4816 pounds, it weighs considerably less than recent versions.

The second generation (1977-1989) came with an updated version of the 6.75-liter engine, an improved rear suspension, and rack-and-pinion steering. These changes offer a little more power and a more comfortable ride.

The third generation (1989-1993) doesn’t show many updates. Other than the addition of alloy wheels and airbags, the car only receives minor changes.

The fourth generation Rolls Royce Corniche (1992-1995) includes several notable updates. A four-speed transmission replaces the three-speed automatic. The new version also includes adaptive suspension, rear airbags, and a CFC-free air-conditioner. Despite these changes, the fourth generation Rolls Royce looks nearly identical to the previous generation.

Rolls Royce took a break from the Corniche in 1995 and did not release another until 2000. The 2000, fifth generation Rolls Royce Corniche looks nearly identical to the 2002 version.

Select a Rolls Royce Corniche Year

2002 Rolls Royce Corniche

Convertible, Luxury, Sedan

Rolls Royce is a name that is synonymous with luxury, and every car is hand built to order.