To call Rolls-Royce a small automaker would be an understatement as big as their cars are. Its model line-up, recently expanded to include the Drophead Coupe, consists solely of two derivatives of the Phantom. For the first time in the company's history, production in 2007 capped the 1,000 mark. So when Rolls-Royce confirms a new model, it's a big deal.

Earlier this week at the Detroit show, Rolls-Royce chief Ian Robertson confirmed that the anticipated "baby Rolls", which we saw in spy shots as recently as yesterday, is slated for unveiling in 2010. Code-named RR4, Robertson also announced that the car would receive a brand new engine, presumably because the Phantom's 450-hp V12 doesn't fit. The car is expected to be based on the BMW 7-Series, which explains why the mule seen in yesterday's spy shots was accompanied by BMW's big sedan, slotting in between the Bavarian sedan and the Phantom limo.

While he was at it, Robertson also confirmed that the fixed-roof Phantom coupe previewed by the 101EX concept would begin delivery by this coming summer.

[Source: Inside Line]

Related GalleryRolls Royce RR4 - spy shots