A replacement for the Rolls-Royce Phantom won't appear until early next decade.

Rolls-Royce's Phantom flagship will soldier on in its current form until about 2020, the British automaker has revealed.

The Phantom was introduced as an all-new product in 2003, with the big sedan changing very little during its first decade on the market. Rolls-Royce gave the Phantom is first significant update in 2012, with the Series II boasting improvements like revised styling, updated electronics and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Given that extended period between its introduction and mid-cycle refresh, it should come as little surprise that the Phantom Series II will remain on the market for several more years before it is replaced by an all-new model. According to Richard Carter, Director of Rolls-Royce Global Communications, the Phantom has a planned 17-year lifecycle.

Although most "normal" cars have a shelf life of 8-10 years, the Phantom isn't exactly your average sedan. Carter explains that Rolls-Royce customers shell out $500,000 for their new Phantom and don't want it to be outdated in just a few years' time.

Not much is known about the next-generation Phantom, but its possible the sedan (along with its coupe and convertible counterparts) could switch to an architecture derived from the BMW 7-Series.