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Rolls-Royce Ponders A V-16 Roadster: Report


The Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament, now available in four materials

The Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament, now available in four materials

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Given the fact that automakers worldwide are faced with ever-tightening fuel economy and emission regulations, upsizing a new engine hardly seems like a prudent thing to do. Rolls-Royce, however, hasn’t earned its sterling reputation by being prudent; it’s earned it by being exceptional.

Rolls-Royce is reportedly unhappy that both its point-of-entry Ghost and range-topping Phantom models use V-12 engines. A 9.0-liter V-16 was shown in the 2004 100EX concept, but the plus-sized engine never made it to production. As Car Magazine tells us, Rolls-Royce may be working on a plan to change that.

Rumor has it that the Goodwood brand is working on a new roadster, to be powered by an all-new V-16 engine. The car would likely be based on the next-generation Phantom’s aluminum spaceframe platform, and won’t be market-ready before 2017 (at the earliest), as the next Phantom isn’t expected until 2016.

Expect the new Rolls-Royce roadster to carry a traditional long-hood and short-rear-deck design. Unlike the current Phantom Drophead Coupe convertible, the new open-air model will be sportier in nature, accommodating two passengers (in utmost luxury, of course) instead of four.

To justify production of the V-16 engine, we’d be surprised if it didn’t find its way into the next-generation Phantom models as well. That would help Rolls-Royce further differentiate Ghost models (including the upcoming Wraith) from higher-end Phantom models.

Rolls Royce is reportedly considering an SUV as well, to counter the on-again, off-again (and now on-again) SUV from rival luxury brand Bentley. Expect Rolls-Royce to take a wait-and-see approach here; if Bentley is successful with its own off-roader, expect to see a similar offering from Goodwood in the not-too-distant future.
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