Rolls-Royce will build an SUV. Not that they’d say it quite like that. Rolls-Royce wouldn’t even issue a press release. Instead, Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes the chairman and chief executive officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars issued an “open letter.” And rather than an SUV, the new vehicle will be a “car that offers the luxury of a Rolls-Royce in a vehicle that can cross any terrain.”
It will be, according to Mr. Mueller-Oetvoes, “a car that appropriately reflects Rolls-Royce’s brand promise of effortless luxury.” It will be a “high-bodied car, with an all-new aluminium [sic] architecture.” And of course it won’t be a current model with raised suspension and new fenders, but rather a “unique new motor car worthy of carrying the Spirit of Ecstasy into the future.”
And that’s all there is for right now.
Mueller-Oetvoes said in the letter that the push for the new model came from current owners who apparently have a cabin in the woods and a Range Rover—good enough for the Queen—simply won’t do. Well, no, he just said that current Rolls-Royce owners “urged us to develop this new car.”
If an off-road capable Roll seems unlikely, Rolls-Royce vehicles have a history of “rigorous overland adventures such as the Scottish Reliability Trials, the London to Edinburgh event and the Alpine Trials,” said Mueller-Oetvoes, also noting that Lawrence of Arabia used a Rolls-Royce in his adventures. Of course, that was all about 100 years ago. On the other hand, if Maserati can build an SUV—the Kubang concept-based Levante, due soon—why not Rolls.
A Rolls-Royce SUV would fit into the company’s catalog well. The R-R SUV joins a surprisingly large product line, including the standard and long-wheelbase Phantom, Phantom Coupe and the Phantom Drophead Coupe, the Ghost Series II and its extended wheelbase version, plus the recently CarBuzzard-tested Rolls-Royce Wraith.
Of course it’s far too early for official comments on price, but if priced similarly to the Wraith, expect to start writing checks at about $250,000, though we really have no idea.
A Rolls-Royce spokesperson confirmed for CarBuzzard that, with the project still in early phases of development, debut of the new Rolls-Royce SUV is still years away. Rolls also hasn’t decided how to refer to the new off-road worthy Rolls-Royce, but sport-utility vehicle probably won’t be it.