Rolls-Royce has, in a roundabout way, finally confirmed that it will produce an SUV.
An open letter from Peter Schwarzenbauer and Torsten Müller-Ötvös, the chairman and the chief Executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, confirmed that the company is developing an all-new Rolls-Royce “with exceptional presence, 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”.
The letter also says that it will be a high-bodied car, with an all-new aluminium architecture.
It continues: “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.”
References to Charles Rolls and Henry Royce’s pioneering spirits in “rigorous overland adventures such as the Scottish Reliability Trials, the London to Edinburgh event and the Alpine Trials” only confirm the new car’s off-road pretensions.
The Rolls-Royce SUV is likely to appear in 2018, although the letter says: “We will take our time in developing and perfecting this new concept in luxury. Until then, rest assured, we are creating a motor car in the greatest traditions of our marque.
It ends: “Sir Henry Royce famously said: ‘When it does not exist, design it.’ We are doing just that.”
In January, Müller-Ötvös told Telegraph Cars: “Whenever I speak to our customers they are very much urging me in that direction, so we are actively considering an SUV. A Rolls-Royce has to be a no-compromise vehicle, and we haven’t yet answered all the questions on how it should look. However, we will come to a final decision in 2015. Let’s say we have made good progress.”
During almost four years as Rolls-Royce CEO, Müller-Ötvös has overseen a quadrupling of annual sales to 4,063 cars in 2014. But while he can envisage that number rising to 5,000 in the near future, he claimed it won’t go significantly higher. “We have made it clear that we will stick with our high-end price point,” he said. “Rolls-Royce will never build a cheaper car than the Ghost.”