Rolls Royce Begins Testing All-New Aluminum Architecture
While its vehicles are among the best in the business, Rolls-Royce isn’t the kind of automaker that comes to mind when thinking about state-of-the-art platforms. The architecture underpinning the Phantom is about 13 years old, while the, Ghost, Wraith, and Dawn use modified versions of the BMW F01 platform, which was developed in 2007 for the previous-generation 7 Series. But, that’s about to change soon, as the British company has just announced that it has begun testing a new architecture that will underpin all Rolls-Royce models starting 2018.
Dubbed the "Architecture of Pure Luxury," the new platform is built around an aluminum space-frame and, according to the company, "perfectly delivers Rolls-Royce’s trademark ‘magic-carpet ride’ on a variety of surfaces and it is resilient to extreme weather conditions." The brand added that various mules will hit public roads in various locations around the world, but declined to reveal detail other than that the first model to use the new architecture will arrive in showroom in early 2018.
"Since 2003 and the commissioning of the new Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has reset the benchmark for luxury motoring,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “Now it is time to take the next step in the luxury journey. This new architecture of pure luxury represents considerable investment in the future of our great brand."
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Why it matters
There is no doubt that this new platform will mark the beginning of a new era for Rolls-Royce. The company’s luxury products will become significantly lighter, more comfortable than ever before, and some models will be more dynamic than you’d expect from a Rolls. The new architecture could also allow the brand to develop its first performance model, which has been rumored ever since the sleek Wraith broke cover in 2012.
Of course, the fact that Rolls-Royce is working on a new platform doesn’t mean that the Brits will stop using BMW underpinnings. The upcoming SUV, likely to arrive sometime in 2017, will use the G11 architecture that underpins the new 7 Series, as will any significantly updated model that will arrive until 2018.
More importantly, the fact that Rolls-Royce’s new platform is a scalable one will also enable the luxury carmaker to reduce costs and invest the extra profit in brand-new models and hybrid drivetrains it needs to reduce its carbon footprint.
Read our full review on the next Rolls Royce Phantom here.