Rolls-Royce is working on building a super-luxurious SUV, design boss Giles Taylor has told Autocar UK. Taylor said he didn’t believe that adding an SUV to the company's line-up would “undermine the Rolls-Royce brand”.
He added: “I’m interested in function and functionality. I’m looking to create a properly functional vehicle – a shooting brake, not a crossover with a sloping roof. A proper SUV.”
The luxury carmaker’s design team is still “sketching to assess the viability of a concept. We are not yet grappling with three dimensions and proportions,” Taylor said.
Autocar UK has understood that the model would most likely be a member of a future Ghost family rather than a Phantom spin-off. The Rolls-Royce off-roader is, however, not likely to appear much before late 2017. This means the SUV will not be much far behind the upcoming Bentley SUV.
Taylor also talked about the evolution of the interior of this and other new-generation Rolls models. “In the future, the key words will be ‘cool’ and ‘modern’," he said. "It will retain aspects of the current interior but will remain luxurious and a sanctuary. We are not talking about ostentation.”
After some speculation, it is suspected that the new SUV may get the same platform as the upcoming seven-seat BMW X7. However, it is also understood that BMW is preparing a much more sophisticated steel, aluminium and carbonfibre-reinforced plastic architecture for the future Ghost and a possible 9-series family.
Rolls-Royce, between now and 2018, is planning to refresh its line-up completely with a new Ghost, new Phantom (and spin-offs) and an SUV – as the company continues its expansion plans.