Rolls-Royce, the brand known for its stately big sedans, wants to modernize the appearance of its vehicles.
The first evidence will appear when the Phantom flagship is redesigned in 2018 for the first time since 2002, when the BMW Group bought the British brand. But its siblings, the Phantom Drophead Coupe convertible and Phantom Coupe, are being axed -- a reflection of changing tastes and shifting Rolls-Royce priorities.
Crossover: Rolls-Royce will launch its first crossover, with U.S. sales beginning in 2019. The five-seat crossover will open Rolls-Royce to a new buyer base and is expected to boost annual global sales volumes by a few thousand.
The crossover won't share underpinnings with the upcoming BMW X7 but will use a new aluminum space frame that will be adopted for all future Rolls-Royce models. The as-yet-unnamed crossover will use the latest technology, safety, communications and entertainment features from BMW.
The platform can take an electric powertrain, but there's no word on whether Rolls-Royce will make a plug-in variant.
The crossover is expected to be more expensive than its competition -- the Bentley Bentayga and the future Lamborghini Urus.
Dawn: The two-door convertible based on the Wraith went on sale this year. Rolls-Royce has long product cycles, so no freshening is expected for several years.
Ghost: A special-edition Ghost Black Badge -- black with black trim and interior -- debuts later this year. The eight-speed automatic transmission has been modified for a sportier performance. The four-door sedan likely will be redesigned in 2019 at the earliest.
Wraith: A special-edition Black Badge model debuts this fall. Horsepower is unchanged, but this model will have an extra 51 pounds-feet of torque.
The two-door fastback won't be freshened until 2019, at the earliest.
Phantom: The flagship sedan, the Drophead Coupe and the Coupe go out of production this year. The Drophead Coupe convertible and the Coupe will not be replaced.
The next sedan (Rolls-Royce won't confirm whether it will retain the Phantom name) will arrive in 2018 and feature more modern styling without losing the stately presence of the Phantom, said Rolls-Royce chief designer Giles Taylor.
One feature won't disappear -- the massive grille that's called the Parthenon.
The new flagship will use the new Rolls-Royce aluminum space frame architecture and safety and technology features -- including semiautonomous -- from parent company BMW.
The car will be lighter and have more modern handling without becoming a BMW.