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Meet the Rolls-Royce of the future

Engineering mule will now be set loose on the public roads ready for 2018

Look up. That camouflaged prototype holds the foundation for all future Rolls-Royce models, including the brand-new ‘Cullinan’ SUV we’re likely to see in the next few years.

Rolls has announced that its brand new, aluminium space-frame architecture will now begin testing in public around the world, ready for the next generation of RR models arriving from 2018.

The architecture was announced a year ago, and will now be tested on a variety of surfaces to ensure the “magic carpet ride” of RR remains, and in “extreme weather conditions”.

“It is time to take the next step in the luxury journey,” explains RR CEO Torsten Müller-Otvos. “On-road testing of our all-new proprietary architecture is beginning. This new architecture of pure luxury represents considerable investment in the future of our great brand.”

Though RR hasn’t mentioned it, expect the new architecture to be able to incorporate hybrid technology. Peter Schwarzenbauer, the BMW board member in charge of RR, told TopGear.com a while ago that though a full electric model isn’t viable for a RR, plug-in hybrid is something it needs to consider.

“In future more and more cities will have zero emission zones, so a Rolls-Royce will need 20-30 miles of electric range,” he said.

And of course, being part of the BMW Group means access to all sorts of astonishing tech: safety, connectivity and possibly the gesture control as seen in the new 7-Series and the new i8 Vision Future Interaction concept.

What does this all mean, you might cry? That the next generation of Rolls-Royce models promises to be even better and more luxurious. Oh yes.

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