I’m pretty sure the new small Rolls, codenamed RR4 and soon to be foreshadowed at Geneva by a millimetre-perfect concept called 200EX, is going to be a very pleasant surprise to most people.

1929941650320356x236 Why? Because its shape and character are instantly convincing.

Though constantly labelled a “baby” Rolls, the 200EX actually as big as the old Silver Seraph, which wasn’t small. It has a lot of presence, but it lacks the out-and-out stateliness of the 40cm-longer Phantom, which means it’ll be much better at ordinary business motoring.

Rolls says day-to-day motoring is the new car’s major function. The fact that, at £170,000, it’s going to be about £130k cheaper than its big brother, should never position it as “the cheap one”.

192994590960356x236The BMW 7-series bits beneath imply no reduction in Phantom-level quality, they say, and when you see the RR4 in the flesh, you believe it.

I was one of a small group allowed to see the car at Goodwood, ahead of its official reveal, and it struck me as a near-ideal meeting of relatively sporty lines (lower roof, raked screen, wide track, jet-intake grille) with cues the Phantom introduced to signify the modern Roller (long, high bonnet, huge wheels, short rail, etc).

Rolls won’t say exactly what the RR4 engine is, but we’re betting that it’ll be a modular, normally aspirated 6.0-litre V12, closely related in design to the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 with which BMW has been impressing people a lot lately.

1929945845991356x236 This may not be the perfect time to sell luxury cars, but there’s still a feeling of contained confidence at Goodwood, and when you see the car you can understand why.