Don’t expect to see a new Rolls-Royce model smaller than the Ghost in the future, either.
Last week was dominated by the reveal of the new Rolls-Royce Phantom, a car so obscenely opulent it practically redefines luxury. Not that we expected anything less from Rolls-Royce’s new flagship model, of course. Underpinning the new Phantom is what Rolls-Royce's new “Architecture of Luxury,” which will also underpin the upcoming Cullinan SUV. In an interview with Autocar, company boss Torsten Müller-Ötvös hinted that this could underpin future models as Rolls-Royce is “searching to broaden the brand” beyond its current line-up.
However, unlike other automakers, Rolls-Royce wants to keep sale volumes low because “customers don’t want to see other Rolls-Royces” and there’s “no pressure to grow.” After all, part of the appeal of owning a plush Rolls-Royce is the exclusivity – going against this would be “detrimental” to luxury according to Müller-Ötvös. Over 4,000 Rolls-Royce cars were sold last year, and that number is expected to rise to 5,000 when the Cullinan SUV launches in 2019, which “will bring new buyers to the brand”. Müller-Ötvös wants to keep sales below this limit, which is why the Coupe and Drophead Coupe variants of the Phantom won’t be replaced.
Instead, their roles will be taken by the smaller Dawn and Wraith models. Don’t expect to see a new Rolls-Royce model smaller than the Ghost in the future, either. Müller-Ötvös now faces the challenging of expanding the current Rolls-Royce range within existing volumes. It seems likely, then, that Rolls-Royce will release more one-offs and special editions based on existing models like the sportier Black Badge variants of the Ghost, Wraith and Dawn, and the one-off $13 million Sweptail. Before that, we can expect the Cullinan SUV to debut some time next year, possibly at the Geneva Motor Show in March.