The luxury SUV bug has bitten its share of automakers in recent years. In all that time, Rolls-Royce has been the exception. But the luxury automaker is reportedly thinking about building one of its own.
Better late than never, Rolls-Royce.
News of Rolls’ new-found interest in developing a luxury SUV came to light after design chief Giles Taylor told Autocar that his design team has began tinkering with sketches of a potential SUV, possibly to gauge the feasibility of building one in the future. That being said, Taylor was also quick to point out that the team is still in the infancy stage of an SUV design and that any talk of "proportions and three dimensions" are premature.
Essentially, the SUV project is in its embryonic stage and there are still a lot of things that need to fall into place before this proposed vehicle is even considered for production. Taylor, though, seems to be confident that the project could gain some steam in the future. In the meantime, his responsibility is to develop a proposal that doesn’t "undermine the Rolls-Royce brand," but also embraces Rolls’ character of luxury and functionality, wrapped in an SUV package that traces its lineage to the company’s Ghost family.
All signs seem to point to this project progressing smoothly in the coming years, especially now that parent company BMW has become more aggressive in developing new architecture for its top-of-the-range models. The proposed Rolls-Royce SUV could be one of the first recipients of this sophisticated steel, aluminum and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic architecture. That’s one development we all need to keep our eyes on, especially after BMW introduced the Vision Future Luxury Concept , a prototype BMW showed at Beijing last month to preview this new architecture .
On top of that, there remains a growing sense of confidence among Rolls-Royce’s big wigs that a future SUV could play well in an exploding market like China , which the company has targeted as one of its most important landing spots, thanks to the proliferation of Chinese individuals with deep pockets and a taste for luxury.
If anything, people interested in this Rolls-Royce SUV will need to have a whole lot of the former because estimates on a price tag for the vehicle has reached as high as £200,000 ($335,560) with the possibility of becoming more expensive if Rolls-Royce includes all the bells and whistles.
Click past the jump to read more about the future Rolls Royce SUV.
The Bentley Falcon, as it’s being called these days, is the obvious choice as the most direct competitor to a future Rolls-Royce SUV. The idea of an SUV coming from both luxury brands seemed far-fetched as recently as 10 years ago, but times sure have changed.
In its first foray into the luxury SUV market, Bentley has prepared the Falcon to be a cut of luxury above the rest, literally and figuratively. Covered in rich materials, the interior will surely be class-leading with amenities expected within such a vehicle. We suspect the Falcon ’s suspension with feature a system much like Range Rover’s air setup – allowing it to adjust the ride height and firmness with a few clicks of a button.
Bentley reports over 2,000 orders have already been placed for the Falcon even though its expected arrival time isn’t until 2016.
Gallery Bentley Falcon
Its "Urus" name is derived from one of the largest cows to ever roam the Earth at 61 to 71 inches tall at the shoulders and weighing up to 1,500 pounds. And while the SUV is still in concept form, it should be worth saying that a production model has been confirmed in 2017.
Under the hood, the concept model features a 4.0-liter, V-8 engine fed by a pair of turbochargers. This pushes the super-SUV to 600 horsepower and an estimated 600 to 650 pound-feet or torque.
Driving the wheels is a dual-clutch automated-manual transmission with an enhanced, permanent all-wheel-drive system. We estimate the Urus hitting 60 mph in the mid- to high-three-second range.