The newer, smaller Rolls-Royce, which will still be quite large as cars go, has been spotted running around in warmer climes quite a ways south of its previous sighting in the arctic tundra. Expected to roll into 5-star showrooms before the end of 2010, you will need about £175,000 to get it from the dealer's heated garage into yours. If the spy shots are any indication, just because you're spending... ahem, less... doesn't mean it won't look like a Roller. The signature long-bonnet-to-bowing-boot is readily apparent.

The platform will be shared with the next generation 7-Series, but will have a unique wheelbase, roof and hood height, and track. Inside, sharing will supposedly be restricted to things invisible to the driver. Engines will also be unique to Rolls-Royce, though developed from BMW engines such as the 407-hp twin-turbo V8 from the X6. And with Rolls in a brand new position in terms of volume, cachet and straight-up cash, the company is exploring something that would have been unthinkable not too long ago: a diesel. All that young money snapping up Phantoms means, in the words of a mole at Rolls, "the old-money buyers who might have been put off by the idea of a diesel engine are becoming a much less important part of our customer base."

[Source: Autocar]