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ROLLS-ROYCE’S NEWEST MODEL WILL BLOW DOORS OFF SPORTS CARS

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If you want to get something special for that special someone this Christmas, don't drag your feet. Rolls-Royce has just announced a new model, the Flying Spur, and only 35 will be available for the upcoming yule season.

Priced at $225,000, the Flying Spur is just that, over two tons of luxury that will zoom from zero to 60 miles an hour in less than seven seconds. To use an enthusiast phrase, it will blow the doors off most sports cars.Traditionally Rolls-Royce has made Bentley the performance car in the family. However, Robert Wharen, managing director for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in North and South America, says customers asked for a high performance Rolls, and now they can have one.

In the past, Wharen says, the Rolls has been the passenger's car and Bentley the driver's car. Today, more often than not, the chauffeur brings the car to the door and then rides in the back.

The introduction of the Flying Spur is just one of several new models to be introduced by Rolls-Royce in the coming months. Wharen says while the United States and Japan, two of the companies largest markets, are still lagging some in sales, he feels the worst of the recession is well behind us.

Wharen say Rolls-Royce has been able to survive by downsizing, while still maintaining the highest standards of quality. In addition, two new markets have begun to show on the sales charts - mainland China and Russia.

An agreement was signed with the Chinese on the Great Wall. In Russia a dealership was opened in Moscow by Peter Terian, an American of Russian descent, who is also owner of one of the largest Rolls-Royce franchises, Rallye Motors, in New York.

In the 90 years that Rolls-Royce has been building cars, fewer than 125,000 total have been produced. An estimated 90 percent are either on the road or in museums and capable of being driven.

Wharen says company sales increased significantly with the introduction of the Bentley Brook-lands. It carries a price tag of $147,000. The least expensive Rolls is the Silver Spur, priced at $189,900.

The Flying Spur is essentially a Silver Spur with a turbo-charged V8 engine. The suspension and drive train have been tuned to the higher power output. Wharen says because it is a limited production model, he expects most will be sold even before they reach the show-room.

Rolls-Royce does not announce horsepower figures except to say "adequate." All Rolls-Royce and Bentley motor cars come fully equipped with such features as dual air bags and anti-lock brakes.