‘Phantasm’ renderings envision a radically different future for Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce is one of the most traditional car builders in the business, but even a company that’s been around for over 100 years needs to change things up sometimes.

Rolls is currently looking to attract a broader range of customers with some less-traditional products, but  the bigwigs probably don’t have anything like this in mind.

Known as “Phantasm,” this futuristic coupe was created by transportation designer Aldo Schurmann (via World Car Fans), and its’ safe to say it doesn’t look like anything that’s ever come out of the Rolls-Royce factory.

The trademark grille is replaced by something that’s more Nissan GT-R than British luxury car, while the rear looks a bit Porsche 918 Spyder-esuqe. Big air intakes and scalloped sides strongly suggest performance, typically not the first priority of Rolls buyers.

Judging by the high belt line – necessitating mirrors mounted nearly halfway up the A-pillars – the Phantasm’s cockpit probably doesn’t have the expansive, airy feel you get in today’s Rolls coupes.

Related: 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith first drive

In fact, the only thing the Phantasm seems to have in common with today’s Rolls models is the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament on its nose, and a name that has something to do with spirits. Oh, and the random leather hood strap.

It is possible that future Rolls designs will bridge the gap between current models and these outlandish renderings. While they probably won’t go to the lengths Schurmann has, Rolls designers are trying to push the brand in new directions.

The Wraith coupe is a dramatic example of that. Designers took a big risk with the fastback roof, while engineers even decided to make it somewhat sporty (gasp!).

An even more radical change for Rolls will be a long-rumored SUV. While customers are demanding it, Rolls itself is apparently a little hesitant, and it’s reportedly having trouble imbuing an off-road capable truck with the brand’s distinctive character.

That Rolls will need to keep up with the times is not in doubt, but hopefully it will find a way to maintain the characteristics car fans and the world’s hedge-fund managers know and love.