Economy, Auto

Rolls-Royce Phantom Becomes Ghost

Rolls-Royce Phantom Becomes GhostRolls-Royce Phantom Becomes Ghost

Rolls-Royce is replacing the $386,000 Phantom limousine, the brand’s first model built under BMW AG’s ownership, after a 13-year run as the maker of ultra-luxury cars switches to building vehicles with lighter aluminum frames.

The eighth generation of the Phantom will debut in 2018, while the coupe and drop-head coupe variants won’t be renewed, the UK manufacturer said in a statement, Bloomberg reports. A special collectors’ range of 50 cars, dubbed the Phantom Zenith, will mark the end of the coupe versions this year and feature a special tailgate with seats for country picnics.

The new model will be a “contemporary and beautiful Phantom enhanced with cutting-edge technologies and design innovations,” Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes said in the statement. All of Rolls-Royce’s new autos will be built on aluminum frames as of 2018, including a planned sport utility vehicle that could be available that year.

The 112-year-old carmaker, which BMW gained control of in 2000, is competing with other ultra-luxury producers such as Bentley by entering new model segments. Rolls-Royce, the market leader in making cars costing more than €200,000, is also considering adding electric models. Rolls-Royce’s deliveries last year fell 6.8% to 3,785 vehicles after demand in China contracted 54%. That compares with deliveries of 1.9 million cars by the German parent’s namesake BMW marque.