The Hyperion was unveiled in a sombre atmosphere on August 16, 2008. Andrea Pininfarina, grandson of the legendary Batista `Pinin’ Farina, had been tragically killed in a car accident just a few days before he was due to wow the crowds with his latest custom car at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the prestigious US annual show. His ‘romantic and noble’ Hyperion, named after one of the Titans of Greek mythology, was dedicated to his memory.
Built at the request of a wealthy private collector who wanted a bespoke version of a Phantom drophead coupe, the Hyperion is a consummate variation of the production model. It is the archetypal Rolls Royce of post-modern dreams: a retro art-deco roadster engineered from cutting-edge materials incorporating every conceivable nod to high-tech luxury.
Money was no object and Pininfarina’s design team was given free rein to express itself. Inspired by marine architecture, Pininfarina revamped the Phantom drophead coupe to produce a car that evokes the heyday of French Riviera style.
The rear seats have been removed and the windscreen moved back by 40 cm (15.7 in) to exaggerate the bonnet length, the soft roof has been redesigned, the sides sculpted, the rear shortened and the radiator grille inclined, all of which combine to give the car a more boat-like, ‘surging’ look than the production model. Instead of aluminium, the Hyperion has carbon-fibre coachwork with handcrafted doors of solid wood.
The Hyperion has been inspired by the legacy of previous Pininfarina Rolls-Royces, particularly the 1951 Silver Dawn saloon and Camargue coupe of 1975.The result is a magnificent work of art that reflects all that is best in both the Pininfarina and Rolls-Royce names. It is a fitting tribute to Andrea Pininfarina’s life’s work.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
6,749 cc V12
Top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h); 0-60 mph (97km/h) in 5.6 secs
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Among the many extra-special touches in the Hyperion are two stowing compartments in front of the windscreen, one of which has been designed to fit a pair of hunting rifles, and a white-gold watch designed specifically for Pininfarina by Girard-Perregaux, which can be removed from the dash and attached to a wrist bracelet.