The fifth Rolls-Royce to bear the Corniche name made its debut in January 2000. At the time of its release, it was the most expensive vehicle offered by Rolls-Royce, with a base price of USD$359,900. Its production was ceased shortly thereafter, in 2001, as Bentley and Rolls-Royce became two separate companies again, with two different owners. Bentley became a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG and continued to be manufactured in the Crewe factory while Rolls-Royce was owned solely by BMW and produced in an entirely new factory built by BMW.
The Corniche was the only new Rolls-Royce developed under Volkswagen’s ownership, before the marque was passed to BMW in 2003. All Corniches were completely hand-built. The car was considered a slightly softer, and even more exclusive, version of the Bentley Azure.
The very last Rolls-Royce Corniche rolled off the assembly line on August 30, 2002. This was the very last Rolls-Royce to be made at the Crewe plant before it was turned over entirely to the production of Bentley models. Only 374 fifth-generation Corniches were ever built.
The Corniche came outfitted with every luxury and refinement characteristic of a Rolls-Royce, such as a Connolly leather interior, Wilton wool carpets, chrome gauges and a wide choice of exotic wood trims. Dual automatic temperature control, a six-disc CD changer, automatic headlamps and automatic ride control are standard.
Presented in a stunning shade of champagne metallic with a contrasting blue convertible roof, and cream leather, and showing a mere 29,000 kilometres from new, this is a truly wonderful example of a modern classic.