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Tony O'Kane | Sep, 18 2014 | 0 Comments

It might look like just another black Rolls-Royce Phantom, but underneath the unassuming (well, unassuming if you're a Russian oil baron) exterior lies the bones of Rolls-Royce's next-generation super-limo.

Seen outside one of BMW's technical centres in Germany (BMW owns Rolls-Royce, remember), this test mule sports more air intakes in the front bumper, a longer exhaust system and new interior elements.

What we don't see, is the all-new platform that will be the new Phantom's foundations.

With the new generation, the Phantom is expected to ditch its bespoke aluminium chassis for one based on the upcoming next-gen BMW 7 Series - bringing with it the ability to share more of its powertrains with its BMW cousin.

And that could mean the replacement of the ancient naturally-aspirated 338kW 6.7 litre V12 of the current Phantom, with the twin-turbo 400kW 6.0 litre V12 of the BMW 760Li.

Another option is the use of a unique carbon-aluminium chassis, with a central carbon-fibre tub bookended by aluminium structures for the engine and rear suspension.

A plug-in hybrid powertrain is also rumoured, however Rolls-Royce has reportedly nixed the idea of a fully-electric Phantom.

The next-generation Phantom isn't expected to make its debut until 2016 at the earliest, with production likely to begin either later that year or sometime in 2017.

By that stage the outgoing Phantom will have notched up a full 14 years on the market, making it one of the longest-lived cars on sale.

MORE: Rolls-Royce News & Reviews

 
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