According to the latest rumors, Rolls-Royce is hoping to have its SUV on the market by late 2017, despite the fact that a final decision regarding the model hasn’t been made.
There are a couple of reasons holding the British automaker up from giving the project a green light: low production volumes, and the lack of an obvious vehicle to build it on. BMW has looked at several different options to build the Rolls-Royce SUV from and a custom platform would prove too costly. Another idea was to use the architecture from the Phantom’s replacement, but again, cost would be too high – almost twice as expensive as the Lamborghini Urus.
But with the SUV market changing and larger, more luxurious models hitting the marketplace, the idea of a BMW X7 is still a possibility. If that is the case, Rolls-Royce could have a suitable platform to build its SUV on, sharing the platform with the X7 but offering more luxury, space, and comfort than the BMW counterpart.
Of course no Rolls-Royce model is suitable for its buyers without an adaptive air suspension setup and larger 21- or 22-inch wheels. In a recent interview with Automobile Mag, a senior manager familiar with the project stated, “It can be done, but the investment is not exactly negligible, and the chassis is only one area that needs attending.”
Then there’s the issue of a fitting powertrain for the SUV. Transplanting the signature Rolls-Royce V12 into BMW’s SUV platform is a possibility, but using the existing twin-turbo V8 would be a whole lot easier. Problem is, would Rolls-Royce buyers be pleased with a V8? Then there’s the thought of a plug-in hybrid, but that doesn’t seem to be fitting for the demographic.
If all goes well though, we can expect to see the production SUV by late 2017 and it could be priced lower than the Ghost.
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