The rumors have been flying around for some time, and they’ve turned out to be true: Rolls-Royce is actually going to make an ultra-luxury SUV. Some industry analysts feel the move is being fueled by Mercedes pushing its new Maybach vehicles, especially with the recent announcement of the Maybach Pullman, which is aimed squarely at the Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Interestingly enough, Rolls-Royce refuses to call the vehicle in question an SUV, preferring the term “go anywhere vehicle.” Of course, parent company BMW also eschews the sport utility label for vehicles like the X5 and X3, preferring to call them sport activity vehicles or SAVs. To answer an obvious question, the new Rolls-Royce will not be built on a BMW platform, but instead will be designed and engineered from the ground up as a completely unique product.
Details about the new model are scarce right now. Rolls-Royce has said that it will feature an aluminum frame. Other than that, it’s supposed to be “high-bodied” and be able to tackle pretty much any kind of terrain. There are few other highly capable luxury SUVs, meaning the new Rolls-Royce will be in an elite class with models like the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and the Range Rover. The vehicle’s features are also supposed to address “contemporary lifestyle expectations.”
Luxury SUVs are an area of growth right now. Lamborghini, Maserati, and Bentley have all announced they are making sport utility models. Even Jaguar is throwing its hat in the ring, promising a model that will be geared at on-road use.
Don’t expect to see the new Rolls-Royce SUV rolling down Rodeo Drive or parked in the Hamptons anytime soon. The company chairman, Peter Schwarzenbauer, says that it will be carefully crafting the new vehicle before bringing it to market. Undoubtedly it will be oozing high luxury and be loaded with clever features. This is, after all, the company that devised embedding umbrellas in car door jambs.