An SUV with the Double R badge on the bonnet is in the works, but Rolls Royce will not call it one. Instead, the 111 year old British marque, now in German hands, will studiously eschew the usage of words such as sports and utility. Why? Because, the powers-that-be at the automaker feel that such usage isn’t quite in tune with what Rolls Royce stands for. Instead, a “high bodied” vehicle is what the legendary luxury marque will project its SUV as. Talk of not getting off your high horse. Semantics and wordplay notwithstanding, it’s now official. Rolls Royce will roll out its first ever in the next half a decade or so. Plutocrats rejoice.
The only other detail that has been forthcoming about the new “high bodied vehicle” from Rolls Royce is that it will be “effortless…everywhere”. Rugged underpinnings combined with bespoke luxury is what the new Double R is expected to serve in ample measure. On whether high rollers who actually form the target market for Rolls Royce would ever want to, or have the time to venture away from well paved surfaces, is something that the brand seems have to finally figured out. Which brings us to the other major selling point of SUVs, one that transcends segments – Image. It’s all about looking the part, even if not playing it.
While Rolls Royce cars of yore have been used in difficult and often uncompromising terrain, without breaking into much of a sweat, the new vehicle from the brand will seek to take this attribute a few notches higher. For this, BMW’s X platform may be in the equation, with copious amounts of aluminium and other high-strength, light materials used to keep the girth at manageable levels. Does the upcoming BMW X7 hold any aces? Time will tell. A regal look that’s in line with what the world has come to expect of an automobile bearing the Double R insignia, and an extremely powerful yet whisper quiet petrol motor is what Rolls Royce could pack its high bodied offering with.
Bentley has the Bentayga, and Mercedes-Maybach is making all the right noises about bringing a luxury SUV to the market. Lamborghini has the Urus in the works while Aston Martin is said to be working on reviving the Lagonda badge for a stint in the crossover space. The lion’s share of Porsche’s sales come from the Cayenne, which perhaps is the inspiration for ultra luxury marques’ foray into SUV territory. Peeling the onion, sales growth is the biggest motivation behind ultra-luxury marques’ decision to enter SUV land. Utility be damned, SUV now firmly stands for sales ushering vehicle.
Render courtesy SupercarNation