Rolls-Royce releases two sketches of its new RR4 car.
Wayne CunninghamManaging Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Two sketches of the next Rolls-Royce model, code-named RR4, were released today, showing a car with a meaty body and squashed cab. Of the new car, chief designer Ian Cameron said "The RR4 has a more informal presence than the Phantom models with a greater emphasis on driving. In design terms this is expressed through its slightly smaller dimensions and more organic form, yet with powerful, purposeful proportions." From the sketches, it looks as if the RR4 will be a four-door sedan with a less blocky grille than the current Phantom model, but will still sport the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament. The wheels look particularly large, but that is often a trait of sketches.
Although the brand built its reputation on luxury, the acquisition by BMW has led to a new emphasis on engineering, and the new car will feature an engine developed in-house, rather than the BMW-sourced V-12 in the current Phantom. Rolls-Royce showed off a shorter, coupe version of the Phantom at this year's Geneva auto show, but the new RR4 will be a wholly different car. The company, which does emphasize quality over quantity, will expand its Goodwood-based plant by adding an additional assembly line and associated leather and wood shops. Rolls-Royce promises more details on the car throughout 2009, with a 2010 launch date.