Rolls-Royce has already started an internal SUV project and the creation of high-riding Rolls seems like more of an inevitability than a dream hints the company’s CEO.
Speaking during a stopover breakfast with the media in Toronto, Canada on his way to Pebble Beach, Törsten Müller-Ötvös says the question “is not, does I make sense,” but “how will it fit the brand?” He continues; “It definitely makes sense.”
When asked point blank if Rolls is building an SUV, Müller-Ötvös commented that there is “no final decision,” but “we’re on it.”
While purists may say no to the idea, they’re the vocal minority. Müller-Ötvös commented that the night before he hosted a dinner with local owners in the Greater Toronto Area and their reaction to the idea of a Rolls SUV was that “it’s a great idea.” In fact, he insists, “everybody thinks it’s a fantastic idea.”
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Of those customers, Müller-Ötvös said 90 percent have one thing in common: they have a Land Rover in their driveway. Luxury SUVs are obviously on his mind and he believes the super-luxury SUV segment is only going to grow. Land Rover just introduced a new $184,000 version of the Range Rover and Bentley’s upcoming SUV is expected to top the $200,000 mark while Lamborghini is also planning to attack the segment with its upcoming Urus model.
And demand for a Rolls-Royce SUV is strong, in developed markets as much as developing ones. While much has been said about building SUVs to sell models in China, Müller-Ötvös isn’t interested in that. “We want to be globally balanced,” he says.
As for when this new SUV will arrive, it’s unlikely for at least two years. Next year Rolls has announced the debut of a new convertible model and a plus-in hybrid is also a possibility and Müller-Ötvös says it could arrive in the next five years.
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