Rolls-Royce, unlike most of the rest of the motoring world, rises above market pressures to provide cars not demanded, but desired. As a result, the brand’s model mix tends to be rather stable, and rather limited, changing only gradually and after great deliberation. So the announcement of a new model is cause for interest—and perhaps celebration.
Today, Rolls-Royce did exactly that, confirming a new drophead, or convertible, model. “I am truly delighted to confirm today the development of our new model which will open an exciting new chapter in the great story of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars,” said CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös in a statement. “We are currently developing an exciting and thoroughly contemporary interpretation of a pinnacle drophead tourer which will introduce even more discerning men and women to Rolls-Royce ownership.”
That new “pinnacle drophead tourer” may well be the 2016 Rolls-Royce Wraith Drophead Coupé
spies photographed in testing back in May. Details discerned in the spy photos suggest a possible folding hard top for the Wraith, unlike the Phantom Drophead Coupé’s folding cloth top. Other details of the Wraith Drophead Coupé are expected to be shared with the standard Wraith hardtop, including the 624-horsepower, 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged V-12 engine. Revised exterior styling cues—in addition to the folding roof—include a lower rear deck lid, a somewhat shorter trunk lid, and other minor tweaks to the rear end.
Timing for the new drophead tourer roughly coincides with the expected timeline of the Wraith Drophead Coupé. Rolls-Royce Chairman Peter Schwarzenbauer said, “The announcement of a new Rolls-Royce model is always a seminal moment in the automobile industry. When it arrives in 2016, this elegant and sensuous new car will build on the success of our current models and will play a key part in fulfilling Rolls-Royce Motor Car’s commitment to long-term sustainable growth.”
Rolls-Royce says the upcoming car—whatever it will be—is currently undergoing prototype testing before entering the next stage of its development.