Rolls-Royce embraces the dark with Nighthawk special edition

Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Nighthawk

Rolls-Royce has unveiled a dark new special edition of its Phantom Drophead Coupe convertible for the US market, called Nighthawk.

Decked out in black, the new model takes design inspiration from stealth aircraft. It was unveiled in Phoenix, Arizona, ahead of the Superbowl fixture last Sunday.

The latest in a series of special editions from the iconic Goodwood marque, the Nighthawk is aimed at attracting a younger (though obviously no less affluent) client base to a brand which has traditionally been associated with 'old money'.

In keeping with the aircraft theme, the windscreen surrounds and other trim elements are daubed in a colour designed to evoke the radar absorbing materials used on helicopters and fighter jets.

Even more of a departure for Rolls is the interior. The acres of polished wood that once adorned the huge dashboard have been replaced with racecar-style carbon fibre. While this sort of trim is now the norm on everything from fast Fords to Ferraris, we can't help feel the sheer quantity of carbon on the Nighthawk's interior gives it a slightly tacky air. But then again, we Brits have a different sense of style to our cousins across the pond.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Nighthawk

Rolls-Royce Phantom Nighthawk

The predominantly black cabin is lifted by scarlet armrests, with matching piping for the car's vast armchairs. Even the dials have been altered, with a carbon fascia and bright orange needles, again reminiscent of those found in military aircraft.

Under the bonnet, the Nighthawk is fitted with the same 6.75-litre V12 motor found in the rest of the Phantom range. Developing 453bhp, it is strong enough to whisk this near three tonne car from 0-62mph in an impressive 5.6 seconds, before reaching a top speed of 149mph.

Just nine Nighthawk special editions are to be made, and are available to order through Rolls-Royce's US dealer network.

What do you think of the Phantom Nighthawk? Tasteful design or a step too far? Let us know in the comments section below.