Rolls-Royce is hard at work developing an all-new aluminum platform that will eventually underpin its entire portfolio of cars, including a new SUV. The first model to be spawned from the platform will hit the market in early 2018 and will either be the SUV or a replacement for the Phantom.
Crucially, Rolls-Royce has confirmed that the current Phantom will end production this year and that the two-door versions of the car, the Phantom Coupe and Phantom Drophead Coupe, won’t be replaced. It means that going forward buyers looking for a two-door Rolls-Royce will have to settle for either the Wraith coupe or Dawn convertible.
The current Phantom arrived in 2003 and was Rolls-Royce’s first model introduced under the stewardship of BMW. It represents the seventh generation of the Phantom nameplate (the original entered production as far back as 1925) and to this day remains a powerful statement of Rolls-Royce’s prominence in the ultra-luxury segment.
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While an eighth-generation Phantom has been confirmed, it will be offered as a sedan only.
It means the current Phantom Coupe and Phantom Drophead Coupe will be great cars for collectors. Rolls-Royce will even build some final editions, 50 in total, to be called the Zenith Collection. They will roll off the line at Rolls-Royce’s plant in Goodwood, England this November. There will also be special versions of the current Phantom sedan, which will be announced at a later date.
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“As the name promises, Zenith will be the pinnacle; the best of its kind; the highest standard achievable by which everything else is judged,” Rolls-Royce design boss Giles Taylor said of the special edition cars. “Zenith will be the sum of all the best features of Phantom Coupe and Drophead Coupe, with a few surprises added."
Some of the special touches will include “hosting” features for the trunk, laser etching in the armrests, and bespoke treatments for the instrument dials and even the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy figurine. There will also be special color combinations.
As for the next Phantom, Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said we can expect a “contemporary and beautiful” car packing “cutting-edge technologies and design innovations.” The car is expected to be even bigger than the current Phantom and should offer a plug-in hybrid option in addition to a standard V-12 mill.