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."

Continue reading for the full story.

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.

Rolls Royce Phantom

2013 Rolls Royce Phantom Series II Exterior AutoShow
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Read our full review on the next Rolls Royce Phantom here.

Press Release

In February 2015, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars announced the development of an all-new aluminium space-frame architecture that will underpin all future Rolls-Royce models arriving in market from early 2018. The company today announced that it has begun the testing phase of this new architecture, with early preparatory activity seeing new engineering mules tested in public around the world.

The Architecture of Pure Luxury

The future of pure luxury motoring is already taking shape as Rolls-Royce Motor Cars begins testing its new aluminium space-frame architecture which will underpin all future Rolls-Royce model lines. The architecture will arrive in market from early 2018.

Engineering mules will be assessed on public roads in various locations around the world. The current testing phase aims to ensure that the new space-frame structure perfectly delivers

Rolls-Royce’s trademark ‘magic-carpet ride’ on a variety of surfaces and that it is resilient to extreme weather conditions. The assessment of the new proprietary architecture is the first stage of a development programme that will see a new generation of Rolls-Royce motor cars become available from 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,” comments 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 is why I am announcing today that on-road testing of our all-new proprietary architecture is beginning. This new architecture of pure luxury represents considerable investment in the future of our great brand.”

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