Illustration for article titled Why didnt Mr. Bean start the amazing 9-liter V-16 Rolls-Royce Phantom?

It's an old playwriting trope that if you show a gun in the first act, it has to go off by the end. Note to Rolls-Royce: If you show off a 9-liter V-16 at an auto show, you have to let "Mr. Bean" turn it over. At least once.


Built for car fan Rowan Atkinson's "Johnny English Reborn" movie, the massive Phantom stayed still throughout its reveal in Frankfurt, while Atkinson went on about how Rolls had built three or four copies before regaining their British sense of resolve. The company has not said how much power the V16 produces; given that it appears to be a simple graft of four extra cylinders onto the 6.75-liter V12 used in regular Phantoms, there should be roughly 600 hp and enough torque to make Sir Topham Hatt envious.

This will of course never be seen outside of a movie theater. Only Bugatti has had the gumption to play with 16 cylinders in recent years, and every engineering and political trend in automaking points to fewer pistons per engine. Of course, every Bugatti built is spoken for, and the engine made an otherwise ungainly car a worldwide object of desire. Just putting that notion on the mantle; maybe someone will pick it up and pull the trigger.


Photo Credit, Top: Martin Oeser / AP

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