New Rolls-Royce Phantom teased ahead of July reveal

All-new eighth-generation Rolls-Royce Phantom luxury saloon will make its debut next month at a special gathering of Phantoms from the past

Rolls-Royce has announced plans to host an exhibition in July that will see eight of the rarest and most iconic versions of its long living Phantom gather together, to mark the debut of the all-new eighth generation version, which will go on sale in 2018.

Called ‘The Eight Great Phantoms”, the exhibition will take place on July 27 and will welcome the arrival of the new model, which has been subtly teased ahead of its full undressing.

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Rolls-Royce has delivered two sneak peeks at its new model. The first is of what’s likely the grille of the new car, which now boasts a curved top compared to the ‘pitched roof’ style of the current model. Our other glimpse at the car is inside the cabin, revealing an intricate wooden fascia.

In the run up to the exhibition, which will take place in Mayfair, London, the firm will be detailing all the classic models set to join the new Phantom at the exhibition, so more teasers could be heading our way over the coming weeks.

The current Rolls-Royce Phantom has been sold largely unchanged since 2003, with the range later expanding to include Extended Wheelbase, Coupe and Drophead Coupe models. The new Phantom will arrive alongside the new Cullinan, which the brand hopes will capitalise on the luxury SUV sector and rival the likes of Bentley’s Bentayga.

A previous teaser image – taken from the home of Rolls-Royce, in Goodwood West Sussex – shows the all-new aluminium architecture, which will underpin the Phantom and Cullinan, as well as all other future Rolls-Royces. The Phantom will bring advanced entertainment and safety features from the latest BMW 7 Series, while retaining Rolls-Royces unmatched interior quality.

There has still been no announcement as to whether the Phantom will follow the industry’s trend of downsized turbocharged engines – though we expect the traditional V12 engine layout to be utilised in some form or another. Engineers have previously hinted a plug-in hybrid powertrain would be offered, too.

In the meantime, demand for the current Phantom models remains strong. With all fifty of the final Phantom Coupe, and Drophead Coupe ‘Zenith Collection’ cars being snapped up.

Rolls-Royce dealers and customers from around the world are requesting further bespoke collections and one-off examples of the Phantom Extended Wheelbase before the line closes at the end of December.

After the luxury brand announced it would be testing its new car platform on the road, our snappers caught the next-generation Phantom saloon being put through its paces in disguise. Even though this is a very early production mule, it’s clear to see the evolution of the Phantom’s classic shape.

It’s unmistakably Rolls at the front, with the bluff nose, iconic grille design and LED headlamps. The bonnet is vast, appearing even longer than the current car, while the windscreen is a bit more steeply raked.

Side-on, it looks taller than you might expect, while the rear-hinged back doors remain. Look closely at the roof and you’ll see the shark-fin antenna from the BMW 7 Series, while the rear window shape and bootlid profile is more sloping than ever.

The MEB modular platform under the skin is an aluminium space-frame architecture, set to be shortened from this LWB Phantom for use in the SUV. BMW‘s expertise will likely bring carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) to help keep weight down further.