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1999 Rolls Royce Silver Seraph Review
A top ride at top dollar.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The Rolls Royce Silver Seraph is the father of the Phantom line, which is known for supreme luxury and is arguably unchallenged. The cabin is a sight to behold with lush Connolly leather seats and buried woodwork with intricate brushed inlays. It is arranged with rounded stage presenting a half-moon layout of the console. Under the hood is another sight of beauty, with a powerful V-12 needed to haul its all-steel frame. This is this first Rolls Royce to use a BMW-made engine.
Engines: 5.4-liter V-12
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Rolls Royce Silver Seraph
Additions to the 1996 Rolls Royce Silver Seraph include an electronically-controlled five-speed automatic transmission and an enhanced sound system that adds two speakers, a tweeter, and a six-disc changer in the trunk. The cabin design now allows for larger front headroom and legroom. New seats utilize foams of varying density, which allow for proper support to the back, shoulders, and the base of the spine. Front seats now feature four-direction adjustability and have seat heaters. This system allows for four separate memory positions for different drivers, aligned the seat position, as well as steering wheel and exterior mirrors. Climate control now offers four position independent settings, including rear passengers and lower cabin temperature. The new system also includes a dehumidifier and a pollution control sensor.
The 1996 Silver Seraph’s design is a slimmed down version of the Silver Cloud, though it most often associated with the Bentley Arnage, which shares its base and platform. The body shell of high-strength steel makes for a heavy ride. This allows for better safety, but severely compromises fuel economy. The undercarriage is designed to prevent any damage from road debris such as stones. The exterior is available in both one and two-tone paint schemes.
Special, deep, plush carpets are exclusive to the Silver Seraph line and feature hand stitching. The sound system is exclusively commissioned by Alpine with a six-CD changer and six speakers. Headroom is increased for all passengers and legroom is extended up front. A navigation system built into the dash comes standard on all models. Four will seat comfortably, while the maximum capacity is five. The rear passengers each have a fold down picnic table of walnut veneer attached to the back of the front seats. A removable smoked glass divider is standard.
Performance & Handling
The amazing V-12 engine produces 322 horsepower, which is capable of zero to 60 mph in just 6.9 seconds. The front and rear independent suspension system allows for considerable reduction in vibration and overall engine noise. Torque produced is 322 lb-ft at 5000 rpm. The manufacturer recommends only using premium gasoline in the 20.7 gallon fuel tank. The Seraph has a top speed of 140 mph. A five-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard.
Rolls Royce’s longstanding practice is to essentially build a driver’s cage capable of withstanding most scenarios, such as side impacts or rolling over. This model’s body is 65-percent stiffer than the previous year following a 10-stage pre-treatment including anti-corrosion. The key system allows for master and limited control for valet and other use. The alarm is a duel volumetric and perimeter system with an engine-disabling inertia sensor. Courtesy approach headlamps dim at adjustable time lengths. Its high-strength steel is used throughout the body, not just surrounding the cabin. Driver side and passenger side airbags are actually two units: one for the head and another for the torso. There is also a side impact airbag for both front passengers.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Exacting detail
- Amazing audio system
- Internal navigation system
You Won't Like
- Awkward cabin design
- Heavy doors and trunk
- Fuel economy
A top ride at top dollar.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Bentley Arnage
- Jaguar XJ Sedan
- Mercedes-Benz S-Class