A Rolls-Royce SUV is under active consideration.
Rolls-Royce boss Torsten Muller-Ötvös confirmed that customer enquiries, booming and consistent sales in the luxury SUV segment and potential rivals from Range Rover, Bentley and Lamborghini have kick-started investigations into a Rolls-Royce SUV – but stressed that no decisions had been made as to whether the project would go ahead.
“For me, it is less of a question of whether we should do it – the segment is interesting, growing and stable even in times of economic crisis - as opposed to one of whether it fits with the image and brand of Rolls-Royce,” said Muller-Ötvös.
“What I can say is that we are currently investigating whether Rolls-Royce can carry such a vehicle - but that absolutely nothing is decided.”
In a bid to ensure authenticity, Rolls-Royce’s design team, led by Giles Taylor, are said to be extensively researching the company’s early history, when customers would typically specify their own, bespoke body styles and styling to sit on standard running gear. As a result, it is not yet decided whether the Rolls-Royce would have an overt 4x4 look, lean more towards crossover styling or adopt a more dramatic ‘shooting brake’ style.
When asked if the early design work had been positive, Müller-Ötvös said he had “not seen the right answer yet”, but admitted that the plans are at an early stage.
“It is a difficult project,” he said. “If we are to do it, we need to create something that fires the imagination in a timeless way, so we cannot rush. As a result, I would not rule it out or necessarily be confident that it will happen.”
The news that Rolls-Royce is even considering such a vehicle signifies a marked shift in attitude at the firm, which has previously said it has no reason to launch such a car. However, customer enquiries, the booming and consistent sales in the segment and potential rivals in the sector from Range Rover, Bentley and Lamborghini have kick-started plans.