Rolls-Royce SUV: Why Now?

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Photo: Auto Car

An unofficial artistic rendering; photo: Auto Car

At the beginning of 2015, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars said that they would decide very soon whether they were going to build an SUV. A few weeks ago, they announced that they had indeed decided to build this type of vehicle.

We are, of course, highly excited about this new Rolls-Royce vehicle. One question we have, however, is why now? We’re simply asking out of curiosity, mind you. After all, SUVs have been an enormously popular vehicle segment for decades. Rolls-Royce is coming off its most successful years ever in terms of global sales, so it’s not as if the company is struggling. What makes 2015 the right year to okay SUV development?

What made Rolls-Royce finally decide to make an SUV? Click To Tweet

One answer is that for a company with as much heritage and tradition as Rolls-Royce, it takes a long time to decide anything. We currently have precisely three models, and only three, by choice. Rolls-Royce had to think deeply about the nature of an SUV and whether it fit with our identity.

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Another unofficial rendering; photo: Car Scoops

Another answer is technology. Many of the lumbering behemoths of the 1990s SUVs now look like mobile-Enron units on wheels (Hummer comes to mind). With Rolls’ emphasis on sophistication, it’s only now when the materials (carbon fiber, aluminum, plug-in hybrid technology) have progressed to yield a model that will still look appropriate 50 years from now.

Rolls Royce SUV getting all-new aluminum spaceframe. Click To Tweet

The final answer that we can think of is design aesthetic. It’s no coincidence that the confidence to build an SUV emerged in the wake of the enormously successful Wraith. Wraith proved to us that we had hit upon an expression of Rolls-Royce that blends heritage with modernity. That vision is what enables, nigh justifies, this long-awaited entrance into a new vehicle segment.

Pointedly, the company always refers to this new vehicle as a car, and not an SUV. It will be built on an all-new, specially-developed aluminum architecture that will then undergird all future Rolls-Royce models. This dispels rumors that Rolls-Royce would be using the BMW X7 SUV’s chassis.

Rolls-Royce SUV: Why Now? was last modified: March 12th, 2015 by Rolls-Royce Raleigh

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