Goodwood, West Sussex - With just a week to go before the world debut of the all-new Phantom VIII at Bonhams in London on the evening of 27 July, Rolls-Royce has released this teaser image of the new car’s front treatment.

While the styling is clearly evolutionary rather than revolutionary, and rightly so for the company’s flagship limousine, it’s clear that the rectangular headlight clusters are narrower than those of the outgoing model (probably LED or laser-powered) and, if the picture’s details are accurate, the protruding driving lights of the outgoing model have been done away with.

In all, the styling seems considerably, and commendably, cleaner than that of recent efforts from Goodwood (with the honourable exception of the Sweptail), although as blunt and uncompromising as ever. Rolls-Royce Motors, it would appear, does not believe in streamlining; air molecules are expected to know their place, and respectfully make way when a Roller rolls by…

What else do we know?

The eighth-generation Phantom is built on an all-new aluminium spaceframe platform and is expected to be significantly lighter than its three-ton predecessor, and more agile, thanks to all-wheel steering.

Rolls-Royce has ruled out possibility of a pure electric model but you can expect to see a plug-in hybrid with generous battery capacity, as well as the conventionally powered version, presumably with an updated version of the current 338kW/720Nm, 6.75 litre V12, delivering about 400kW and 800Nm.

There will, however, be no two-door or drophead versions; these slots will be taken over by the Wraith and Dawn respectively. The new Phantom will be available as a four-door in standard and extended format - the latter apparently more than six metres long overall.

Oh well, if you can afford to spend in excess of R5.5 million on a new car, you won’t mind paying two parking fines at a time….

IOL Motoring

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