The Silver Seraph sedan is a corporate twin to the Bentley Arnage, differing only in exterior details and interior trim. Rolls-Royce also offers a Park Ward limousine version of the Silver Seraph, adding 10 inches to the length and $40,000 to the Silver Seraphs $220,000 base price.
Rolls and fellow British luxury marque Bentley have long been part of the same company, but the two will be under new ownership starting on Jan. 1, 2003. In a bidding war over Rolls-Royce a couple years ago, Volkswagen thought it had beat German rival BMW for control of this luxury icon. However, what VW got was the aged Rolls-Royce factory and the Bentley name. BMW outflanked VW and acquired rights to the Rolls-Royce name. Until 2003, Rolls-Royce and Bentley will produce, sell and service both marques worldwide.
As a corporate twin to the Bentley Arnage, the rear-drive Silver Seraph has the same 122.7-inch wheelbase and 212-inch overall length a few inches shorter than the Lincoln Town Car. The Park Ward is 10 inches longer in both dimensions, and both the front and rear doors are wider. A selection of 27 exterior colors is available.
Rear passengers can lounge in power rear seats that automatically move rearward when a door is opened and the transmission is in park, to make exiting easier. Rolls says crafting the interior woodwork alone takes 150 hours in these hand-built cars.
A standard navigation system uses global positioning satellites to help drivers find their way with voice commands and a 6.5-inch display screen that pops out of the dashboard.
Under the Hood
The Silver Seraph and Park Ward use a BMW 5.4-liter V-12 engine with 322 horsepower, which is also used in BMWs 750iL sedan. Rolls says both cars reach 60 mph in 7 seconds and top out at 140 mph. BMW also supplies the five-speed automatic transmission and traction control.