It’s no secret that increasingly stringent emissions regulations are forcing automakers to adapt. And while efficiency has always been a top priority for large-volume commuter vehicles, expensive luxury brands seem to be struggling to make the adjustment. Traditionally, top-shelf marques have favored opulence and excess over more economical alternatives, but now that might not be an option. As such, Rolls-Royce appears to be once again considering production of an all-electric car.
According to Automotive News, Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos recently said, “Suppose we find a battery technology that can offer ranges that are acceptable to our customers. I can definitely imagine a fully electric Rolls-Royce.”
Over the past five years, all-electric vehicles have seen rapid growth in terms of development, support, and demand. Battery technology has improved immensely, bringing greater capacity, faster recharge times, and lower cost, while public charging station networks continue to expand their reach. All these factors help justify the move towards electrification.
However, Muller-Otvos went on to say that no final decision has been made on whether or not Rolls-Royce would go forward with an all-electric (or even hybrid) vehicle in the future.
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It is a common lament of carmakers that they have a difficult time reaching out to younger buyers. This is mostly an issue for companies that make cheaper cars, as those tend to be the only ones young people would potentially be able to buy. It’s not something you usually hear from companies like Rolls-Royce, and yet it is exactly what the company is now doing, at least in some markets. This news comes by way of the Korean media, and this is fitting, as Rolls-Royce tends to sell to a younger crowd in Asia. In fact, the average age of Rolls-Royce buyers has dropped from 53 to 45 globally over the last five years, with much of this being attributed to purchases by young tech millionaires in South Korea.
Part of this is due to the cars that Rolls-Royce is offering these days, with the Ghost and especially the Wraith being more attractive to younger buyers. But Rolls-Royce is also experimenting with different ways of marketing the cars. Where previous parties thrown by the company have been black tie affairs aimed at getting older buyers into a Phantom, events aimed at Wraith buyers have employed DJs.
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Not long ago, our snappers caught what sure as heck appeared to be a Rolls-Royce Wraith convertible testing in the snow. Now, the famed purveyor of fancy four-wheeled opulence is confirming the existence a forthcoming drophead model called the Rolls-Royce Dawn — a name also given to a limited run of 28 drophead Rollers in the 1950s.
“Dawn is a beautiful new open-top motor car with a name that suggests the fresh opportunities that every new day holds – an awakening, an opening up of one’s senses and a burst of sunshine,” said CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, “It will be the most social of super-luxury motor cars for those beautiful people who wish to bathe in the sunlight of the world’s social hotspots.” Sounds like a spiritual experience for a narcissist rather than a car, but there you go.
Rolls-Royce was tight-lipped on specifics, but here’s what we think we know: As a convertible variant of the Wraith Coupe, we’re expecting the Dawn to be pretty much the same from the waist down. That means a 6.6-liter V-12 producing 624 horsepower, nestled under a very long hood and powering the rear wheels through a ZF eight-speed transmission. The absence of a hardtop also means the fastback profile is gone in favor of a flat trunk and fabric roof.
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It’s always exciting to see spy shots of future vehicles, but it’s not very often that automakers provide said photography. That’s exactly what happened here, as Rolls-Royce has released the first official images of the test mule for its upcoming SUV – or “high-sided, all-terrain motor car,” of course – codenamed Project Cullinan.
Rolls-Royce says that it will begin testing this cobbled-together mule on public roads, so there’s no doubt we’ll be seeing more spy shots in the coming weeks and months. There’s still no telling when the production version will be ready or when a concept might be shown, but Rolls-Royce did reveal a few details about its first SUV.
For starters, Project Cullinan will ride on a shortened version of the platform used for the Phantom, which is also expected to be shared with the imminent BMW X7. The size of the Rolls-Royce SUV is quite obvious from the images, due to the fact that the mule’s body work is essentially a shortened Phantom Series II with an interesting wing on the decklid. Not surprisingly, Rolls-Royce says that this mule shares “no design aspects” with the final product – a good sign indeed, since this car is almost as offensive as the “custom” Maybach created by rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West back in 2011.
Despite sharing platform components with the Phantom, Project Cullinan will get its own suspension setup to accommodate the all-wheel-drive system that will give the car a smooth ride on road and off, or as Rolls-Royce puts it: “effortless… everywhere.”
Continue reading to learn more about Rolls Royce’s future "Project Cullinan".
Rolls-Royce may be working on its first SUV, but until the off-road capable rig is ready to tackle the great outdoors, the Brits are using a smaller vehicle to have some fun in the snow. Actually, fun might not be the best word to describe what’s going on in the photos above, which show Rolls-Royce testing the upcoming Wraith Drophead. And yes, these land yachts need cold weather testing too, despite the fact that most of them are sold in friendlier environments.
Scheduled to arrive later in 2015 for the 2016 model year, the Wraith Drophead is essentially the convertible version of the Wraith fastback coupe, which was unveiled to much fanfare at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. Even though the drop-top has been spotted roaming the streets since May 2014, the Brits have yet to remove an inch of the camouflage that covers everything but the headlamps, the windscreen, and the side windows. However, its design isn’t much of a mystery, as it should feature the same exterior design as the Wraith, sans the fixed roof.
This means the Wraith Drophead will miss the coupe’s gorgeous, fastback-like roof, but access to infinite headroom and plenty of sunlight should keep luxury convertible enthusiasts happy enough.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Rolls Royce Wraith Drophead Coupe.
There’s been a lot of news recently regarding the upcoming Rolls-Royce SUV, and for good reason: there will be no shortage of ultra-luxury SUVs hitting the market in coming years. The latest info out of Goodwood comes straight from Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, Rolls-Royce CEO, who was quoted by Automotive News as saying that the new SUV – internally known as the Cullinan – will use an extensive amount of aluminum throughout its body and chassis.
The big news from this announcement is the SUV’s all-aluminum spaceframe, which is being developed specifically for the SUV and will not be shared with any BMW products. This is despite the fact that the newest addition to the Rolls-Royce family will share some components with the upcoming BMW X7, although the specific parts are unknown. Beyond the SUV, this spaceframe will lay the groundwork for future Rolls-Royce models.
The SUV will launch in 2018, but Mueller-Oetvoes remained mum on whether it will be a five-seater or a seven-seater. What he did reveal was that the design is about to be finalized, and test mules will hit the streets in coming months.
While there will be plenty of expectations for the Rolls-Royce SUV, don’t anticipate any particular off-road prowess, even though Mueller-Oetvoes said that the new SUV will be capable of "going from the opera to the Alps, with enough room for passengers and all their gear."
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After the British luxury carmaker recently announced that it has started work on a "high-bodied car [...] that can cross any terrain," Rolls-Royce has also let it slip that the internal moniker for its new SUV is Cullinan. The name is an obvious reference to the largest diamond ever found, from which the largest polished gem now adorns the so-called Sceptre with the Cross, part of the British Crown Jewels.
British sources mention that although the SUV is being referred to internally as the Cullinan, it is not exactly a code name in the style of Bentley Bentayga’s "Falcon" internal moniker, but more of a nickname its engineers have given it. The model’s official code name is actually "RR31," alluding to the fact that it will be the 31st new Rolls-Royce in the company’s history. That said, I think the Cullinan name would actually be quite fitting for the upcoming SUV, as it is likely to rule over its peers in a similar way that the diamond has done since it was discovered in 1905.
The actual name for Rolls-Royce’s first SUV will probably not stray much from the carmaker’s modern lineup, which largely consists of various occult apparitions on wheels (e.g. Phantom, Ghost or Wraith). The carmaker could also bring back a historic name from the past, in order to better symbolize how the new SUV is actually following in the footsteps of more traditional Rolls-Royce models.
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With the crossover SUV market increasing at a much higher rate than the regular car market in recent years, not even luxury brands like Bentley and Rolls-Royce can avoid this segment. With Bentley already on track with launching the internally codenamed "Falcon" SUV, it seems that an answer from Rolls-Royce may also be on the table, but an official decision about the matter will be apparently made during the course of 2015.
The information comes straight from Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oevoes, who was quoted by Bloomberg via Automotive News as saying: " We’ve made progress in evaluating options and in understanding better how such a project could work, what’s needed to make it work if we decide to go ahead." This isn’t the first time that the British luxury car maker has been rumored to be thinking about adding an SUV to the model range, but it is the first time that an official has actually said something about this rather touchy subject.
With Rolls-Royce Motor Cars having delivered a record-breaking amount of vehicles during the course of 2014 and sales having more than quadrupled since 2009, it is no wonder that the
owned carmaker is thinking about expanding its lineup in a segment that is currently on the rise. The decision would also come at a time when rival Bentley is preparing to launch its first-ever SUV, while carmakers like Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover and even BMW itself are thinking about entering the ultra-luxury Crossover/SUV segment in the nearby future.
Click past the jump to read more about Rolls Royce’s SUV.
The Rolls Royce Wraith is the fastest and most powerful Roller to ever see production, thanks to a V-12 being fed by two turbochargers that pushes this luxury barge’s output to 633 horsepower. It doesn’t look like Rolls Royce is stopping there either. We just got spy shots of what appears to be a Wraith Sport, complete with revised aero work and a rear spoiler.
This is our first shot of the test mule so we don’t know much, but expect a stiffer suspension setup, perhaps a touch of weight loss, and maybe even a bit more power. Considering this car still wears a Rolls Royce badge I wouldn’t expect bare floorboards and 700 horsepower, but there will be sports enhancements to make this new machine more competitive with the Bentley Continental GT Speed.
Surprisingly, it almost looks like Rolls Royce was trying to hide this new car in plain sight, as there is no real camouflage on it at all. Thankfully, our spy photos are smarter than the boys from Sussex gave them credit for.
You can see more photos of the newer, hotter Wraith after the jump.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Rolls Royce Wraith Sport.
Forget about the endless rumors and speculation; Rolls-Royce has officially confirmed the arrival of a new model by mid-2016. The announcement came by the tried-and-tested method of a press release, which is about as direct and clear-cut as you can get. The British automaker didn’t dive into the specifics of the model with Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös opting only to say that the new model will be an "exciting and thoroughly contemporary interpretation of a pinnacle drophead tourer."
Based on that statement, you can rule out the rumored Rolls-Royce SUV as the model Müller-Ötvös is describing. Our best bet is that this model will be the Wraith Drophead, which not only fits the description, but has also been spotted in recent months doing some test runs while dressed in heavy camouflage.
The press release also said that the new car is undergoing prototype testing as it "enters its next stage of development."
It’s hard not to get excited about this announcement because we’ve been waiting for Rolls-Royce to expand its lineup for years, and the arrival of the Wraith in 2013 began that process. Hopefully, this new car will continue this trend.
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Two weeks ago it was rumored that the new Rolls Royce Wraith could also get a convertible version. Also tossed out there was that the company is also planning either a crossover or a hatchback. However, it appears that those rumors weren’t completely true.
Speaking at the British launch of the new Wraith coupe, Rolls Royce CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, has confirmed that indeed the next model to be developed by the company will be a Wraith convertible, and at the same time he denied any possibility of an SUV.
In fact, he said that Rolls Royce never considered an SUV because it will be impossible to make it have the "gravitas or the effortless driving characteristics that make a true Rolls-Royce.” However, in the near future we expect to see an updated Rolls Royce lineup.
Rolls Royce hopes that the new Wraith coupe and the future convertible version will enjoy great success in the U.S. market and hopes it will sell around 1,500 units a year.
Click past the jump to read about the Wraith Coupe
The Rolls Royce Ghost was officially unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show and since then, it received no major updates. However, it looks like parent company, BMW, has decided it is time for a small update. And when we say “small,” we really mean it.
As you can see, this prototype is wearing little camouflage and what it is wearing it only on the parts that are going to be updated. Expect to see new headlamps and a revised front bumper with a design inspired by the recently revealed Wraith. The exterior mirrors also seem to have received a new shape.
On the rear, the exhaust tailpipes are now hidden, giving it a cleaner look.
For the interior, Rolls Royce will offer an updated sat-nav and infotainment system.
We expect some smaller changes under the hood too, most likely in order to obtain more power and less CO2 emissions.
Click past the jump to read more on the revised Rolls Royce Ghost.