We've got revealing photos of Goodwood's forthcoming £175k 'baby Rolls'

The most important new Rolls-Royce in a decade is coming closer to a road-going reality, and these are the pictures that prove it. According to Autocar’s information, you’re looking at one of the first full-bodied prototypes for the car known internally at Rolls' Goodwood HQ as ‘RR4’ - the firm's all-new smaller saloon model due to go on sale in 2010.

A Phantom that will fit on your driveway

Our spies have exposed the new smallest Rolls-Royce in its entirety for the first time. These shots, snapped recently in Munich, show how faithfully the new car will adopt the Phantom’s design language (reference the car’s thick C-pillar and suicide rear doors). However, it’s also significantly lower and shorter than a Phantom, has a shorter bonnet, and a much less upright grille, than its bigger sibling.Rolls-Royce’s plans to build RR4 have been public knowledge since the Paris motor show in 2006, when CEO Ian Robertson announced them on the eve of first press day. Construction is already underway at the firm’s Goodwood factory to expand production facilities and increase capacity in preparation for the new car. RR4 should be in showrooms by the end of the decade and, priced from around £175,000, will make entry to one of the most prestigious owners’ clubs in the motoring world almost £50,000 cheaper.

BMW mechanicals; special engines

Unlike the Phantom, which has its own extruded aluminium monocoque skeleton, RR4 will have a steel body structure shared, in many respects, with the new BMW 7-series. As Autocar understands it, the new BMW’s platform is a hybrid of aluminium and steel, and is flexible enough to allow Rolls-Royce to give RR4 a wheelbase, roof height, bonnet height and track widths all of its own.Various chassis, cabin, drivetrain and electrics components will also be shared with the new Seven, but according to one RR source, they’ll be confined wherever possible to those components the owner can’t see.One area where Rolls won’t look to save costs is under RR4’s bonnet. The car will have at least one, and possibly two multicylinder powerplants that, like the Phantom’s 6.75-litre V12, will be exclusive to Rolls-Royce. Developments of the 407bhp 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 from the BMW X6, or the 441bhp 6.0-litre V12 from the current 760i, are possibilities. Neither would be allowed to eclipse the Phantom’s 453bhp and generous 531lb ft of torque though, in order to maintain the brand’s model hierarchy.One company source told us that Rolls-Royce high-ups are even warming towards the idea of a diesel-engined Rolls-Royce. “It would have all the important characteristics of the Rolls-Royce driving experience,” he said – “i.e. plenty of low-range torque and ‘waftability’.”“What’s more, the old-money buyers who might have been put off by the idea of a diesel engine are becoming a much less important part of our customer base.”

Matt Saunders

Join the debate

Comments
17

29 January 2008

A diesel Roller?

F*ck off.

29 January 2008

I still can't get over this.

This is so wrong on every level - this aggression cannot stand.

A line must be drawn in the sand.

Far out.

29 January 2008

The whole point of a Rolls is that they are so opulent and have a power from a large capacity whisper quiet petrol engine. You can just imagine being dropped off by a driver at some posh hotel to disembark to a background of diesel clatter.

Don't get me wrong - diesel has its place (in my Iveco truck for example) but it is pure evil to suggest one in a Rolls of all things.

29 January 2008

Gentlemen do not use diesel engined carriages.

So whoever came up with this idea can foxtrot oscar.

30 January 2008

There seems to be some sort of diesel related mass hysteria in the German automotive industry what with plans for diesel Rolls Royces and diesel supercars.

It'll be diesel motorbikes from BMW next - imagine the fuel economy!

An electric or fuel cell powered Rolls Royce would be something far more interesting I think - how refined and forward thinking would that be?

30 January 2008

Wouldn't it just make sense to use a hydrogen fuel cell as the Rolls Royce establishment can afford this and its a future green technology which diesel is not.

30 January 2008

[quote Jaggie]Wouldn't it just make sense to use a hydrogen fuel cell as the Rolls Royce establishment can afford this and its a future green technology which diesel is not.[/quote]

Not sure it would Jaggie.

If my tongue was firmly in my cheek - I would opine that the average Rolls Royce owner is not too concerned with leaving a carbon footprint the size of Guinea-Bissau in his or her trail.

In fact - the larger the footprint - the better they like it.

These are not cars for shrinking violets and they are all about conspicuous consumption - no more - no less.

No-one with any class or a social conscience actually buys a Roller these days do they?

30 January 2008

Whats the problem?

Given the technology available, sufficient work can be done on an existing large capacity diesel engine to make it quieter and smoother in take up than they currently are.

It's the perfect solution to being wafted along on a wave of torque.

30 January 2008

Hey Wingman!!

The question begs to be asked though.

Why? Lot's of petrol flavoured V's do it perfectly well now.

SP

30 January 2008

[quote scummyplum]

The question begs to be asked though.

Why? Lot's of petrol flavored V's do it perfectly well now.

[/quote]

Having driven both, large petrol engines do not create that same sense of waftability that a large torquey diesel does. it's more serene in it's execution than a fire spitting, high revving petrol.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Porsche Panamera 4S Diesel
    First Drive
    23 August 2016
    Its predecessor may have been a bit limp, but the Porsche Panamera 4S Diesel is crushingly rapid and suitably luxurious
  • Car review
    23 August 2016
    Can the best sports coupé of the decade absorb a contentious new engine?
  • Porsche Panamera Turbo
    First Drive
    22 August 2016
    Porsche has striven to make its Panamera even more luxurious this time around, but the four-seater retains the grip and pace to go with its increased refinement
  • Tesla Model S 60D
    First Drive
    22 August 2016
    Updated Tesla Model S gets tweaked styling and a new entry-level 60kWh powertrain. Could this new version be the pick of the range?
  • Car review
    22 August 2016
    New platform, fresh looks and a better cabin raise its game. Is it now a front runner?