The Rolls Royce brand is one of the most exclusive luxury auto vehicles ever made. For most people, the mention of a Rolls Royce triggers thoughts of a red carpet event involving VIPs or entertainment and sports superstars. The shock expressed all round by the news that Rolls Royce had produced its last of the Rolls Royce Phantom limos is therefore understandable. The Phantom has come to be recognized as the official red carpet event automobile and now we are looking to understand the why and what brought about the end of its production.
The curtain comes down on the Phantom after 14 years of production under BMW which took over the brand in 2003. As you would expect, the final rites of the Phantom were as elaborate as the vehicle is reputed to be. There was a dramatic wake like ceremony meant to say good bye to the beloved Phantom.
As we see off the Phantom’s seventh generation, we now prepare to usher in the next generation of Phantom which is Phantom VIII that is expected to be ready sometime in between the last quarter of 2018 and the second quarter of 2019. The most radical shift that comes with the Rolls Royce Phantom VIII is the SUV version of the vehicle that is being developed under the tag, “Project Cullinan”.
Rolls Royce plans to have the Phantom VIII (Cullinan) retain all the luxury, class and finesse of the brand in a new 4×4 package that takes the exceptional Rolls Royce experience off the road. The vehicle is being built on a modern aluminum spaceframe and is touted to be capable of performing at up to 90% when compared to the Range Rover under off road conditions. The vehicle will be powered by the N74 V12 engine coupled to an automatic 8 speed transmission.
The exact price of the Phantom VIII SUV is not yet established but sources from the auto maker intimated that it is definitely going to be above the $300,000 mark. The shift to SUV production is going to be an interesting development in the luxury 4×4 market and while there are no plans to have production exceeding 7000 units annually, it will be quite a feat to see a Rolls Royce cutting through terrain that was previously un-Rolls worthy!