A slew of images purporting to be the long-awaited next-generation Autohome.com.cn.surfaced on the internet today, allegedly having been leaked from an online brochure that was sent to Chinese car site
Rolls-Royce representatives have declined to confirm the authenticity of the photos to Roadshow, but even if they do show the real-deal eight-generation Roller, they're not particularly flattering images. They appear somewhat one-dimensional and lifeless, as if they are scans of screencaps that came from an online configurator.
Perhaps that lack of dimension is to be expected, as the car shown in pictures doesn't stray too far from the outgoing Phantom's rectilinear aesthetic. In person, light, shadow and, in particular, scale have always done the now-dead seventh-generation Phantom singular favors that studio photography has never managed. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if exactly the same factor is at work here.
If this is the 2018 Phantom, we're clearly looking at an evolution of Rolls' now-iconic bank-vault-with-suicide-doors school of design. New, more modern headlamps lend the nose a fresher, gimlet-eyed stare, especially now that the lower secondary round lamps have been deleted. The lower fascia looks more sophisticated, too, and appears ready to ingest significantly more air.
Even if the Phantom VIII doesn't end up being revolutionary on its face, it figures to be exactly that under the skin. Goodwood's finest is expected to be built with the same aluminum-intensive architecture that will form the basis of Rolls' forthcoming. Given how long the Spirit of Ecstasy tends to hold onto platforms, it's safe to assume that the new chassis will support not only all-wheel drive, but eventual electrification and increasing levels of autonomous tech, as well.
Either way, the world won't have to wait long for the real McCoy. The eighth-generation Rolls-Royce Phantom is scheduled to be revealed in all its poshness on Thursday, July 27, at 4 p.m. ET (9 p.m. BST) in London. Naturally, Roadshow will be on hand to give you the full story, so stay tuned.