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Car of the Month Selection

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 Rolls-Royce and Bentley

Car of the Month - April 2006
Rolls-Royce Touring Limousine, 1991, #MCX33147


Rolls-Royce Touring Limousine

Essential in Rolls-Royce’ company philosophy was to monitor market developments carefully and by acting accordingly to avoid being ‘trapped’ by short-lived fashion trends. Hence they took their time before recognising the market-segment for stretch-limos not to be limited solely to the North-American market. 1984 the manufacturer started to offer Silver Spur limousines with considerably extended wheelbase; Robert Jankel had been commissioned to build the first two prototypes – these had six doors. Over the years that followed in excess of 100 examples were sold, 16 were extended by 36in (ca. 914mm), a further 84 even by 41in (ca. 100,41mm). In September 1991 the launch of the Rolls-Royce Touring Limousine at the Frankfurt Fair showed that Rolls-Royce had developed the theme by offering a car with more pleasing proportions. The result had been achieved by not only adding length but increasing the coachwork’s height, too.

Rolls-Royce Touring Limousine

With an overall length of 5,980mm a wheelbase of 3,772mm the car that was weighing in at ca. 2,700kg had an impressive presence. By comparison to the previously available stretch-variations the 24in (ca. 610mm) extension had been limited slightly and the roofline was 2in (ca 50mm) higher. Styling features like the 4-door 6-light configuration and a wide C-post enhanced outward appearance considerably whereas the predecessors had suffered from a lack in elegance. The technical layout was identical to that of the Rolls-Royce Silver Spur II. Outstanding was the Automatic Ride Control, a system that changes damper settings in 1/100th of a second thanks to a microprocessor responding to acceleration, deceleration, steering changes and road surface condition. Inevitably any conventional single setting damper system represents but a compromise between the stiffness needed to limit roll when cornering and the softness required for comfortable ride quality. The electronically controlled system eliminated the need to compromise damper settings by unobtrusively changing modes and thus handling characteristics were achieved that otherwise would have been impossible in a large, softly sprung limousine.

 

The interior of the front compartment in all but detail, e.g. devices to operate division or intercom, was unchanged from that of the mainstream model. The area that was important was the passenger compartment aft of the division. The electrically operated glass-division had a built in privacy blind. A centre console cabinet did contain “in car entertainment” in the form of remote controlled TV/Video combination, radio/cassette player and CD player. Three crystal decanters with silver tops and four crystal tumblers were in a cocktail cabinet with storage space, too, for four mixer bottles (enhanced by a fold-down veneered tray revealing a small refrigerator chilling two champagne bottles; this unit was positioned between the rear seat squabs). The individual rear seats were electrically adjustable, sported in-built seat heaters and a pneumatic lumbar support adjustment. Comfort was increased by the side armrests being recessed into the bodyside rather than protruding into the passenger space. – But then it is only fair to state no description could be complete because each interior of cars from this model series was designed individually to offer the equipment that a customer had opted for. Rolls-Royce were keen to state that every option could be fitted to the Rolls-Royce Touring Limousine “as long as it didn’t compromise the car’s safety standard”.

Rolls-Royce Touring Limousine


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