Given the fact that automakers worldwide are faced with ever-tightening fuel economy and emission regulations, upsizing a new engine hardly seems like a prudent thing to do. Rolls-Royce, however, hasn’t earned its sterling reputation by being prudent; it’s earned it by being exceptional.
Rolls-Royce is reportedly unhappy that both its point-of-entry Ghost and range-topping Phantom models use V12 engines. A 9.0-litre V16 was shown in the 2004 100EX concept, but the plus-sized engine never made it to production. As Car Magazine tells us, Rolls-Royce may be working on a plan to change that.
Rumour has it that the Goodwood brand is working on a new roadster, to be powered by an all-new V16 engine. The car would likely be based on the next-generation Phantom’s aluminium spaceframe platform, and won’t be market-ready before 2017 (at the earliest), as the next Phantom isn’t expected until 2016.
Expect the new Rolls-Royce roadster to carry a traditional long-hood and short-rear-deck design. Unlike the current Phantom Drophead Coupe convertible, the new open-air model will be sportier in nature, accommodating two passengers (in utmost luxury, of course) instead of four.
To justify production of the V16 engine, we’d be surprised if it didn’t find its way into the next-generation Phantom models as well. That would help Rolls-Royce further differentiate Ghost models (including the upcoming Wraith) from higher-end Phantom models.
Rolls Royce is reportedly considering an SUV as well, to counter the on-again, off-again (and now on-again) SUV from rival luxury brand Bentley. Expect Rolls-Royce to take a wait-and-see approach here; if Bentley is successful with its own off-roader, expect to see a similar offering from Goodwood in the not-too-distant future.