When it comes to British heroes, they don’t come more British than Johnny English. Yes, there’s that Bond fellow, but he’s more rogue than gentleman and the Aston Martins that he drive seem to break down a lot.
Besides, when did you last hear 007 having a conversation with his car? For that’s precisely what Rowan Atkinson gets up to in his latest movie, Johnny English Reborn. In the film the car is keyed to English’s voice with sometimes hilarious results, but the Phantom can do more than just take orders – in one scene it cuts a Phantom-shaped hole in a door using a laser tucked away in the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament.
You can see for yourself in a special preview of the film recorded before the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Atkinson took time from a busy schedule to join Rolls-Royce at the Frankfurt Motor Show and talk about his co-star, ‘Royce’, the 9.0-litre V16 engined Experimental Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe which literally ‘saves the world’ in the latest Johnny English movie.
Talking with Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, the Mr. Bean star spoke of his admiration of the deep quality of Rolls-Royce cars and why he chose a Phantom Coupe to star in his latest film.
As you can see, Royce is a very special car, used by Rolls-Royce in development of the Phantom.
But whilst its 9.0-litre V16 engine is entirely in keeping with the Phantom Coupe’s demeanour, the Rolls-Royce board chose instead to use the downsized 6.75-litre V12 powerplant in the production model.
Atkinson, being a Rolls-Royce enthusiast knew that 3 or 4 of these engines had been built and Rolls-Royce were happy to fit one in a Phantom when approached by the actor.
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Rolls-Royce have refrained from revealing any details of the engine’s prowess, all we know is that it has “unbelievable power and torque”, which probably means somewhere north of 600 bhp and 800Nm of torque.
The V16 engine first appeared at the 2004 Geneva Motor Show in the Rolls-Royce 100EX ‘Experimental Car’, which went on to become the Phantom Coupe in 2008.