The entire automotive industry sits up and listens when Rolls-Royce announces a new Phantom. As the company’s flagship model, The Rolls-Royce Phantom is the pinnacle of luxury on four wheels. We’re getting our notepads out and sharpening our pencils, because the nameplate’s eighth generation in nine decades is just a few short days away from making its debut.
The final design is being kept under wraps for the time being, but teaser shots give us a good idea of what to expect. Designers have taken an evolutionary approach to reinventing the range-topping Roller. Its front end receives thinner lights, a taller grille with a thick chrome frame, and air vents in the lower bumper for a sportier look. The overall silhouette doesn’t change much, and the Phantom retains its classy suicide doors.
Don’t let the design fool you into thinking this is just a quick aesthetic update, though; what’s under the skin is entirely new. Even Rolls-Royce, whose cars haul around the world’s most important people, has to find ways to make its cars lighter and more efficient. Instead of borrowing bits and bobs from parent company BMW, the British marque started with a clean sheet of paper and designed an aluminum platform brazenly called the Architecture of Pure Luxury. Expect to find a V12 engine under the long, long hood.
The Coupe and Drophead Coupe models won’t return for the new generation. Rolls sent them off last year with a special Zenith edition limited to 50 examples of each body style. The Rolls-Royce Dawn will be the sole drop-top offering for the time being. A reason for the two-doors’ demise hasn’t been given, but we suspect two factors are to blame. First, the coupe and convertible segments are shrinking everywhere, and coupes are dropping like flies. Second, Rolls-Royce needs to free up resources and production capacity to launch the Cullinan, its very first off-roader. It, too, will benefit from the Architecture of Pure Luxury.
We’ll catch our first in-person glimpse of the new Rolls-Royce Phantom this fall at the Frankfurt Auto Show. That’s also when we’ll learn more details about it, including when the first customers will receive their car, and how much it will cost. That said, we don’t think anyone has ever walked up to a Rolls-Royce dealer and asked to see the window sticker.