Retrospect: Rolls Royce Silver Seraph

The last Rolls Royce of the 20th century

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For $220,695 you could have put a brand new Rolls Royce Silver Seraph in your garage. (that’s GAIR-aj) This was the last Rolls Royce to be hand-built at the historic Crewe facility in the UK. The Silver Seraph is the Rolls Royce that no one has really written anything about. It was built from 1998 until 2002 with only 1,570 made.

Its trim, flowing lines formed elegantly understated architecture. This beauty is the last Rolls Royce of the 20th century; and the last Rolls Royce to be built under Vickers ownership. The Silver Seraph is a sumptuous saloon built in the royal Rolls Royce heritage. This sophisticated motorcar is powered by the formidable BMW 5.4 litre, 24-valve V12 engine.

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2000 Rolls Royce Silver Seraph

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The Silver Seraph was the contemporary rendition of the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy. It is the perfect culmination of classic and contemporary design. It isn’t easy to improve the best car in the world. A Rolls Royce is a legend…and a lifestyle – the Silver Seraph is a hand-crafted masterpiece from the master craftsmen. It embodies everything that makes a Rolls Royce…a Rolls Royce –

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A Silver Seraph is eminently suited for both formal business use or for the owner who prefers to take the wheel of this magnificent motorcar. Why waste this saloon’s exhilarating performance on a chauffeur?  The Silver Seraph established new standards of refinement, elegance, and sophistication. Driver and passengers are ensconced in a different world. A Rolls Royce cossets its passengers in the lap of luxury. As a symbol of prestige there is no more impressive introduction to your company or your lifestyle –

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No Rolls Royce model ever springs forth from a blinding flash of inspiration. It evolves over a number of years through a process of meticulous engineering and impeccable craftsmanship. Development for the Silver Seraph began in the late 1980s. It took 10 years of research and refinement before it became a Rolls Royce.

The Silver Seraph inherits the tradition of exemplary hand-crafting and painstaking attention to detail. Most important, is the fact that a new Rolls Royce model is never designed to render the previous model redundant out of courtesy to their respective owners. A Rolls Royce never becomes a “used car” it becomes a classic. A Rolls Royce mellows with age…as your Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1956 – 

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The Silver Seraph is a motorcar distinguished by aerodynamic styling designed for efficiency as well as elegance. The “nose up” design is augmented by the classic radiator grille and Spirit of Ecstasy, is reassurance to the fact this is no ordinary motorcar.  The sleek fluidity of its design and the absence of unnecessary ornamentation gives it an understated luxury.

The brand relentlessly strives for perfection through evolution. The result is a strikingly individual motorcar for today’s world. Its timeless beauty will challenge the years. With its contemporary understatement, the Silver Seraph looks as good today as it did when it was introduced. A Rolls Royce is a quality of excellence and the true Spirit of Ecstasy.

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Its glassy mirror-like reflection comes from multiple coats of primer, base coats, and clear top coats. Before the paint is ever applied, the bodyshell clocked many hours from hand-sanding, filing, and numerous hours of cleaning. This is why the Silver Seraph shines with such luminance. Unlike average automobiles, a Rolls Royce’s body & paintwork are executed completely by hand.

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The luxurious ambience of the cabin reflects the formal aspects. Rich Connolly leather hand-crafted to perfection upholsters the seats, dash, and door panels. Mirror-matched wood veneers accent the dash and door garnish rails. No two veneer designs are ever alike, which is what makes a Rolls Royce unique. The carpet is hand-tufted and is made of 100% wool. It lines the cabin and the floor of the boot. There are carpeted foot rests for rear seat passengers.

The pleasure of driving the Silver Seraph is enhanced with its comfort and convenience features. The power assisted steering, cruise control, and silky smooth automatic transmission adds to the effortless operation. The Silver Seraph’s standard equipment includes power windows, power door locks with centralized locking feature, power front seats with manually adjustable head restraints, and courtesy lighting.

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This is the Silver Seraph’s Information system with GPS

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The unique Rolls Royce dual-zone air conditioning has two separate controls one for the upper and another for the lower zones in the cabin. Once set, further intervention isn’t needed. In order to prevent misting of the cabin windows, incoming air is frozen to zero degrees centigrade to remove moisture, then it is heated or cooled as required. This is one of the most advanced systems in the world.

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The Silver Seraph is the first V12 powered Rolls Royce since the classic Phantom III. The engine is made by BMW and is an alloy, fuel injected 5.4 litre with overhead cam and 24-valves. It produces 322 hp @ 5,000 rpm with 490 Nm of peak torque @ 3,900 rpm.

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Every Rolls Royce motorcar has two braking systems. The unique hydraulic master cylinder has two individual chambers and pistons with dedicated hardware, including hydraulic brake lines. This feature facilitates independent front and rear systems. In the event one system should fail, all four wheels will still be halted independently.

The Silver Seraph is equipped with power assisted four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with anti-lock feature. Electronic traction control maintains stability and enhances overall handling characteristics. These two systems combined with its independent suspension makes this very large saloon handle with luxurious precision. The independent four-wheel suspension uses wishbones and helical coil springs for both front and rear with electronic damping. It is augmented by a sophisticated self-leveling system that is so sensitive it compensates for fuel used from the tank.

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The parking brake is foot operated with an automatic vacuum release when the transmission is shifted into a drive gear. Since it will not lock with the engine running and the vehicle is in gear, it may be operated as an emergency brake.

To ensure each part of the two braking systems fulfill their function, all components are assembled in a paraffin bath to ensure there is no contamination. The hydraulic lines are cleaned inside and out before being capped to prevent accidental contamination during delivery to the assembly hall. This is just one of the many ways the engineers and craftsmen at Rolls Royce exceed above and beyond the call of excellence. Exemplary fit & finish combined with the legendary Rolls Royce heritage makes the Silver Seraph another successful chapter in the history of the brand.

The Rolls Royce Silver Seraph is built as monocoque construction. It uses a stiffer bodyshell to accommodate the additional torque from the V12 engine. This type of construction eliminates squeaks and rattles offering increased torsional rigidity. The Silver Seraph is an impressive 212.2” in length and rides upon a long 122.7” wheelbase.

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The Silver Seraph is an elegant example of British hand-crafting at its finest. It is the first Rolls Royce to use a 12 cylinder engine since the Phantom III. The Silver Seraph, as with all Rolls Royce motorcars, maintains the poised dignity which is the hallmark of the brand. This is the last Rolls Royce to be built by Vickers and the first ever to be built by Volkswagen.

The Silver Seraph is a most luxurious hand-built saloon crafted in the legendary Rolls Royce tradition. This, historically, is the last Rolls Royce to be built at the Crewe facility. With the vicious  battle between Volkswagen AG and BMW AG, the Rolls Royce Silver Seraph will go down in history as the “Hatfield and McCoy Edition” of the Spirit of Ecstasy. The Silver Seraph is the finale to an impressive legend…

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The Silver Spur and Silver Dawn were the predecessors of the Silver Seraph

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Good taste never goes out of style

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The Silver Cloud series

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