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).