It is now official – hell has frozen over and squadrons of flying pigs are overhead. Oh, and Rolls-Royce has officially announced that it is preparing to start development on the brand’s first ever SUV. Sure, the press release goes to great pains not to call it an SUV, but a "high-bodied car" or "a vehicle that can cross any terrain." Either way, the rumor mill can finally relax, especially since Rolls-Royce has also announced that "customers, enthusiasts and the media" will not be kept in the dark about the new model’s development progress.

Work on the RR SUV had actually started back in 2014, when a design team led by Rolls-Royce Director of Design Giles Taylor began defining the model’s overall design language and proportions. Nothing is confirmed as of yet, but heavy use of aluminum should keep the future SUV’s weight down, with its general architecture being shared with the upcoming 2016 BMW 7 Series and the 2018 BMW X7.

Despite Bentley already confirming that the Bentayga is set to land at the end of 2015 and Mercedes-Benz pushing for a Maybach version of it future GLS full-size SUV, it looks like the Rolls will be the most luxurious crossover/SUV out there. The Chinese and Middle-Eastern markets are likely already dying for a big SUV wearing the iconic "Spirit of Ecstasy," but the car should be at least three years away from launch.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Rolls Royce SUV.

Why it matters

With the crossover/SUV market continuously increasing in recent years and no sign of stopping any time soon, it is no wonder that Rolls-Royce decided to jump on the bandwagon, leaving Ferrari as the only remaining luxury carmaker without such a model in its lineup. Obviously, news of a Rolls-Royce SUV will not be received kindly by old-school enthusiasts, but considering how Porsche and Bentley got through all the commotion after announcing similar models, I expect the Rolls to be received a tad better, actually.

Apart from being the first lifted Rolls in history, the model is also expected to feature an all-wheel-drive system and an electronically controlled air suspension, while a twin-turbocharged V-12 should be in charge of propulsion. Sporting a similar design language as the current lineup, the model will probably have the most commanding presence of any SUV out there, while its starting price could make it almost as expensive as the larger Phantom. The only major mystery regarding the car is probably its moniker – maybe Silver Slab would fit the bill?

Rolls-Royce SUV

2010 Rolls Royce Ghost
- image 318437

Press Release

The launch of Phantom in 2003 marked the beginning of the renaissance of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Since then, we have set a new benchmark for what a super-luxury car should be – unique, hand-crafted, beautiful and rare. Often imitated, Phantom has never been equalled and continues to be hailed as ‘The Best Car in the World’ by our customers and media alike.

Twelve years later, after the introduction of successful new models like Ghost and Wraith, Rolls-Royce stands proudly at the pinnacle of British luxury manufacturing, confirming our custodianship of this precious marque.

Now we have reached another seminal moment in Rolls-Royce’s 111-year journey.

Today we confirm that we are developing an all-new Rolls-Royce with exceptional presence, elegance and purpose:

A car that offers the luxury of a Rolls-Royce in a vehicle that can cross any terrain
A car that meets our customers’ highly mobile, contemporary lifestyle expectations
A Rolls-Royce that is as much about the pioneering, adventurous spirit of Charles Rolls as it is about Sir Henry Royce’s dedication to engineering and innovation
A car that appropriately reflects Rolls-Royce’s brand promise of effortless luxury
A high-bodied car, with an all-new aluminium architecture
A unique new motor car worthy of carrying the Spirit of Ecstasy into the future

This new Rolls-Royce will be Effortless ... Everywhere.

Many discerning customers have urged us to develop this new car – and we have listened. At Rolls-Royce Motor Cars we are uniquely focused on the desires of our customers and are driven by our own thirst to innovate. So we challenged our engineers and design team, led by Director of Design Giles Taylor, to create a different and exceptional new car.

This car will embody all the values and capabilities that drove our two Founding Fathers to secure Rolls-Royce’s reputation, early last century, by taking top honours in rigorous overland adventures such as the Scottish Reliability Trials, the London to Edinburgh event and the Alpine Trials.

Rolls-Royces conveyed pioneers and adventurers like Lawrence of Arabia across the vastness of unexplored deserts and over mountain ranges. In other parts of the world including Australia, India and the Americas, Rolls-Royces carried their owners over challenging terrain with absolute reliability and comfort.

History sets our precedent and our future calls us to action.

This new journey begins now. We will take our time in developing and perfecting this new concept in luxury. We will include our customers, enthusiasts and media along the way and will keep you informed of our progress.

Until then, rest assured, we are creating a motor car in the greatest traditions of our marque.

Sir Henry Royce famously said: “When it does not exist, design it”.

We are doing just that.

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