Rolls Royce is currently developing a new entry-level model for launch in 2010 with an estimated sales price of between $250,000 and $300,000. Automotive News reports that the car’s design work was completed and approved last month and the project is now in its engineering phase. RR’s CEO Ian Robertson stated that the company will add a second shift to its Goodwood, UK, plant to build the new car, with an expected output of roughly 800 cars annually.

Last year, RR sold 805 cars world-wide, so the new model would effectively double the luxury carmaker’s sales. The car will share much in common with parent company BMW’s long-wheelbase 7-series and will be roughly the same size as the German limo. However, the platform and engine for the car would be unique to Rolls-Royce. Most of the shared parts will include various electronic components but the car “will have the attributes and behavior of a Rolls-Royce." The company still hasn’t decided whether to use its 6.75-liter powerplant or a new engine.

There is a gap between cars like BMW’s 7-series and the mega-expensive Phantom that could be filled by an all new segment of “budget” luxury cars. Key features of the new model will be a tall seating position, instant acceleration and a whisper quiet interior.

We're glad that BMW has decided to allow RR to build cars "the right way," unlike rival carmaker Volkswagen, which has taken the Bentley brand downmarket through parts-sharing and less exclusivity.