Eighth-generation model on course to arrive in under two years; early prototypes of future Phantom have already been seen testing
7 November 2016

The next-generation Rolls-Royce Phantom has been spotted testing, ahead of its confirmed launch in 2018. 

The BMW Group's luxury car maker recently revealed that the model's all-new aluminium architecture is in its advanced development stage. 

The production headlights of the Rolls-Royce flagship are visible through the disguised car pictured here and appear to be slimmer than those of the current car. A design similar to that of the headlights on the Rolls-Royce Ghost, with a step in the lower edge of the light making way for the indicator strip, appears to have been chosen.

A full-width grille with a design extending into the bumper is also revealed. Aside from these differences, a similar design to that of the previous car is suggested.

Rolls-Royce recently released a new picture of the 2018 car's structure. Earlier images shown in our gallery are of development mules being subjected to cold-weather testing.

Two prototypes of the next-generation Rolls-Royce Phantom were also spied, including a long-wheelbase variant.

The cars were heavily disguised but we what looks like a slightly longer body can be seen, as well as a new front bumper design featuring wider air vents that extend further out towards the car’s sides.

The Spirit of Ecstasy is also missing, although this is likely to be because the car is a test mule.

Rolls-Royce testing its all-new vehicle architecture

At the rear, the bumper appears to protrude less than that of the current Phantom, with a more flush design from the boot lid to the rear bumper. There are also more rounded tail-lights, but these are temporary units rather than final production parts.

No technical details have been revealed, but insiders expect the new car to feature one of two possible engines: a more powerful version of the current Phantom’s 6.75-litre V12 unit, or a boosted version of the 6.6-litre V12 unit featured in the new Dawn.

Rolls-Royce says demand for the current Phantom is so high that orders have pushed into 2017. The car maker also says that all 50 of the final Phantom Coupé and Drophead Coupé Zenith Collection cars have been sold.

Our Verdict

Rolls-Royce Phantom
The Phantom Series II receives a number of useful tweaks over the original car

The Rolls-Royce Phantom comes with opulence befitting its huge price tag. It is the benchmark for ride quality

Join the debate

Comments
5

wmb

5 July 2016

With BMW being one of the automakers who are pioneering the use of carbon fiber into passenger vehicles, and their new architecture for Rolls-Royce is a clean sheet, ground up re-do, why would they only go all aluminium? Maybe there will be some carbon bits here and there, but here is an opportunity on a relatively small volume of vehicles,to move the tech forward and really showcase their advances with the material! It would seem that even if the cost was high, with the amount they charge for these vehicles and the ability to spread that cost across their future SUV and four other product lines, could take much of the bite out of that investment. With Audi and JLR already using aluminium extensively, Ford using if in specific programs and applications, and with more automakers using it more fully across their vehicle range, it just seems that BMW/Rolls-Royce took the SAFE route in following suit. As much as I love all things BMW and by extention Rolls-Royce, IMHO, I would have thought they would have wanted to have taken a position of leadership, especially with R&R, and really showed the industry where they were with advance materials within their manufacturing.

5 July 2016

Well that doesn't look like an aluminium centre pillar in the picture. It looks like carbon composite to me.

5 July 2016

You can buy an old knackered RR for £10k, in brown and mustard. Severe depreciation.

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

7 November 2016
kcrally wrote:

You can buy an old knackered RR for £10k, in brown and mustard. Severe depreciation.

If it's old and knackered then 10k seems a fair price and the depreciation isn't all that severe in the example you give. Try thinking before you press the button...

8 November 2016

I am totally excited to learn that the rear bumper may protrude less than the one on the current model.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week