The epitome of luxury cars is about to build its first SUV.
Rolls-Royce has announced that it will begin production of an SUV by 2017, and it let people know in a uniquely Rolls-Royce manner—by having white-gloved chauffeurs in the company’s classic Phantoms drop off letters in New York City with the news. With this new entry, only Ferrari is left without an entry into the high-end SUV market. Hopefully, this new SUV will be environmentally friendly and mindful of it’s aftermarket recycling.
“I am proud to confirm that we are developing an all-new, high-bodied Rolls-Royce,” CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös told Autocar UK. “I’m confident it will deliver on our brand’s promise of supreme luxury while being effortless everywhere.”
The announcement comes as no surprise to most market experts; Land Rover’s classic Range Rover, Porsche’s Cayenne, Mercedes-Benz’s G-Wagon, and Bentley’s hotly anticipated Bentayga are all already in place as competition. The addition of an SUV to the Rolls-Royce lineup also means that as many as 1500 cars may be added to the company’s current volume of 4000 cars. But the company’s CEO claims not to be concerned with the numbers, saying, “Volume isn’t our preoccupation and our customers don’t like to hear us talking about it. Rolls-Royces are very rare and exclusive and they always will be.”
However, Rolls-Royce does not refer to its latest project as an SUV. Instead, the company is calling it an “Everywhere Vehicle”. Referred to as Project Cullinan internally after the largest gem-quality diamond ever found, the vehicle will be based on a shortened Phantom II chassis and have a new all-wheel drive transmission and suspension system.
Construction of the SUV
The construction will be different, though; Rolls-Royce will be implementing a brand-new aluminum frame system for its SUV. But Müller-Ötvös believes that the company is up to the challenge of building a 4 x 4 that can live up to the legendary brand name.
“It’s big, but so is the decision to build it on new aluminum architecture. That’s going to affect what we do for many years to come,” he said. “It will be a genuine Rolls-Royce from the ground up, and so will every other new car we show you in the future.”
The company has already began testing both transmission and suspension systems, with the first tests focused on-road behavior from suspension throw to high-bodied stability. The idea is that the legendary smooth ride one gets from a typical Rolls-Royce should be duplicated off-road as well.
Müller-Ötvös sees building the new vehicle as more of a challenge to replicate traditional Rolls-Royce performance rather than a competition with other automakers. He thinks the company needs to concentrate on achieving the standard the company has set itself, which is to create a high-bodied vehicle that delivers supreme luxury yet is effortless to drive. “We’re very confident we can design, develop and build it to the quality required by our discerning customers around the world,” he said.
The Rolls-Royce Everywhere Vehicle is projected to be available in 2017.