Despite the expense of both the course and lost shop revenue, some auto body technicians refuse or fail to take automaker training courses seriously —…
Shops curious about new materials trends might be interested to know Rolls-Royce has begun testing an all-aluminum frame architecture it plans to introduce fleetwide.
The company announced Tuesday the new phase of the “all-new aluminum space-frame architecture” development and reiterated that the frames would “underpin all future Rolls-Royce models” cars soon. The aluminum-framed cars should begin to appear on the market in 2018 for what on Rolls-Royce’s website appears to be a bunch of models who got off runway work and hit the car dealership.
Rolls-Royce said it was testing the cars around the world to “ensure that the new space-frame structure perfectly delivers Rolls-Royce’s trademark ‘magic-carpet ride’ on a variety of surfaces and that it is resilient to extreme weather conditions.”
It said it would launch a new generation of Rolls-Royce cars starting in 2018 as well.
According to Car & Driver, only the Phantom has an aluminum body — on a steel frame. The magazine also noted that luxury OEM Audi has been doing the aluminum frame bit for a while. We emailed the London Rolls-Royce for any hints about body materials shifts, but the information is likely still under wraps — just like the test-model cars.
“Since 2003 and the commissioning of the new Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has reset the benchmark for luxury motoring,” Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said in a statement. “Now it is time to take the next step in the luxury journey. This is why I am announcing today that 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.”
Your odds of seeing a 2019 aluminum-framed Rolls in your shop are slim. (Right now, many shops haven’t even seen their first aluminum F-150 repair order yet!) But you should still care. Materials like aluminum which disrupt the lives of the average collision repairer seem to follow a path from aerospace to luxury OEMs to the mainstream.
Rolls-Royce, Jan. 5, 2016
Featured image: An example of the kind of aluminum-framed cars Rolls-Royce announced in January 2016 it had begun testing. (Provided by Rolls-Royce)