Rolls-Royce is building an SUV

After lots of speculation, the world’s most luxurious car maker confirms that it’s going up in the world.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II, LondonPhotograph: James Lipman +44 7803 885275

When Rolls-Royce announces a new car, you’d better listen. But when it announces a new type of vehicle entirely, you’d better be intrigued. Following years of speculation, and spectacular mis-steps by rivals, Rolls has finally announced that it’s going to build an SUV.

Well, it hasn’t actually used that particular acronym. Having seen the likes of Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Bentley suffer from worldwide scoffs at their attempts to make an all-terrain vehicle, Rolls is playing this one extremely carefully. What it’s said, in the form of a letter from its chief executive, John Rishton, and chairman, Ian Davis, is that the new Rolls-Royce will have “exceptional presence, elegance and purpose”, and that it will “cross any terrain” while meeting “our customers’ highly mobile, contemporary lifestyle expectations”.

In terms of what the new car will look like, there are no designs, sketches or concepts yet, at least not that the public is allowed to see. All Rolls is saying is that it will be “high-bodied” and have an all-new aluminium architecture. It’s being designed by a team under Giles Taylor, Rolls‘ director of design.

The British company is keen to point out that it has some heritage in adventurous machines, referring to events like the Scottish Reliability Trials, the London to Edinburgh event and the Alpine Trials – all early 20th century endurance events. Rolls-Royces were also used by the likes of Lawrence of Arabia on his travels, as well as in then-undeveloped areas of Australia, India and the Americas. As Rolls-Royce says, “history sets our precedent and our future calls us to action.”

As other manufacturers have shown, developing the ultimate luxury SUV is a journey fraught with danger – we’re intrigued to see how Rolls-Royce navigates the path.

Categories: Road


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