Eighth-generation model on course to arrive in two years; early prototypes of the future Phantom have already been photographed testing
5 July 2016

The next-generation Rolls-Royce Phantom has been confirmed for launch in 2018, with its maker revealing that the car's all-new aluminium architecture has now moved into an advanced stage of development.

To prove the point, Rolls-Royce has released a new picture of the 2018 car's structure, shown above. 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 spied, including a long-wheelbase variant.

The cars were heavily disguised, but we can see what looks to be a slightly longer body, 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 it is a test mule.

Rolls-Royce testing its all-new vehicle architecture

At the rear, the bumper seems to protrude less than the current Phantom, with a more flush design from the boot lid to the rear bumper. There are also more rounded lights, but these are temporary units rather than anything final.

No official 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 that 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.

Danni Bagnall and Sam Sheehan

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



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.



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