Platform to launch in 2018 and will trickle down to future models.
It’s been almost a year since Roll-Royce announced it was developing a new aluminum architecture to underpin all its future models, including the brand’s upcoming SUV (or “high-bodied car” in Rolls-Royce-speak). Now, the automaker says it has prototype vehicles ready for testing.
Aside from saving weight, one goal Rolls-Royce has is to ensure that the new aluminum frame maintains the brand’s signature “magic-carpet ride.” It essentially must be quiet, smooth, and provide the tank-like solidity provided by current models like the Phantom, Wraith, and Ghost.
Rolls-Royce says the new platform will go to production in 2018. Expect the new Rolls-Royce SUV to be the first model to get the new lighter frame. Not much else is known about the future SUV, though rumors suggest it’ll be powered by a 6.6-liter, twin-turbo V-12 and could fit up to seven passengers. Expect a price tag of around $400,000 USD.
Rolls-Royce’s parent company BMW is likely providing valuable expertise with the new platform. The new BMW 7 Series, for example, employs a mix of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, steel, and aluminum, while the i3 and i8 both feature carbon-fiber shells. That said, speculation suggests the Rolls-Royce SUV platform will not be shared with any BMWs, including the upcoming X7. And with prototypes now hitting the roads, we expect to see spy photos of the Bentley Bentayga-fighting Rolls sooner rather than later.