Forget about the endless rumors and speculation; Rolls-Royce has officially confirmed the arrival of a new model by mid-2016. The announcement came by the tried-and-tested method of a press release, which is about as direct and clear-cut as you can get. The British automaker didn’t dive into the specifics of the model with Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös opting only to say that the new model will be an "exciting and thoroughly contemporary interpretation of a pinnacle drophead tourer."

Based on that statement, you can rule out the rumored Rolls-Royce SUV as the model Müller-Ötvös is describing. Our best bet is that this model will be the Wraith Drophead, which not only fits the description, but has also been spotted in recent months doing some test runs while dressed in heavy camouflage.

The press release also said that the new car is undergoing prototype testing as it "enters its next stage of development."

It’s hard not to get excited about this announcement because we’ve been waiting for Rolls-Royce to expand its lineup for years, and the arrival of the Wraith in 2013 began that process. Hopefully, this new car will continue this trend.

Click past the jump to read more about Rolls-Royce’s future model.

Why It Matters

Bentley’s not the only luxury brand that’s thinking expansion these days. Rolls-Royce’s confirmation that a new car will arrive by 2016 gives it a more versatile lineup to offer to its niche client base.

More importantly, this announcement is a clear message from Rolls-Royce. It’s not going to sit idly by and watch the competition release one new model after another, proving that the company is ready to push the action when called upon.

2016 Rolls-Royce Wraith Drophead

2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn Exterior Spyshots
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If this new model is, in fact, the Wraith Drophead, we expect it to carry the same 6.6-liter V-12 engine as the Coupe version.

It’s too bad that Rolls-Royce stopped short of actually confirming the arrival of the Wraith Drophead even if that seems like the direction the company is going.

If this new model is, in fact, the Wraith Drophead, we expect it to carry the same 6.6-liter V-12 engine as the Coupe version. That powertrain produces 624 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, good enough to achieve a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.4 seconds to go with a top speed of 186 mph.

Should the Wraith Drophead does come to fruition, expect it to come with a sticker price of somewhere around $300,000.

Rolls-Royce SUV

2010 Rolls Royce Ghost
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It helps that BMW's aggressive development of new architecture can be used for top-range models like Rolls-Royce.

Rolls-Royce has yet to confirm production plans for its SUV. At this point, the SUV is still in its embryonic stage, which pretty much means that there’s still nothing there to talk about other than to point out that there have been "discussions" about it.

There is optimism that an SUV could move past the "discussions" stage into a concrete development plan. It helps that BMW’s aggressive development of new architecture can be used for top-range models like Rolls-Royce. That could make it easier for Rolls to justify building an SUV without having to worry about the costs that come with it.

But that’s all there is at this point.

Eventually, our guess is that there will be serious talks within the company on the feasibility of a future Rolls-Royce SUV in the near future. When that will be is the important question to ask.

Press Release

The manufacturer of the world’s pinnacle super-luxury automobiles today confirmed the development programme for a new Rolls-Royce. The new car will reach the market by mid-2016.

The car will build on the success of Phantom, Ghost and Wraith by continuing to boldly shape the future of the marque with contemporary, graceful and sensuous styling. It will deliver effortless, open-top touring through the perfect marriage of modern Rolls-Royce luxury, style and elegance with an engaging and exhilarating driving experience.

Speaking from the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood, West Sussex, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “I am truly delighted to confirm today the development of our new model which will open an exciting new chapter in the great story of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. We are currently developing an exciting and thoroughly contemporary interpretation of a pinnacle drophead tourer which will introduce even more discerning men and women to Rolls-Royce ownership.”

Peter Schwarzenbauer, Chairman of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, welcomed the announcement, saying, “The announcement of a new Rolls-Royce model is always a seminal moment in the automobile industry. When it arrives in 2016, this elegant and sensuous new car will build on the success of our current models and will play a key part in fulfilling Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ commitment to long-term sustainable growth.”

The new car is currently undergoing a rigorous process of prototype testing as it enters its next stage of development.

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