Luxury SUVs: That's how Rolls-Royce rolls

Watch out Range Rover - Rolls-Royce is cruising into the 4x4 market.

by Adam Gale
Last Updated: 26 Jan 2016

Rolls-Royce has announced plans to produce what may well be the world's most expensive Chelsea tractor. In an open letter to customers, employees and suppliers, the Goodwood-based firm said its as-yet-unnamed 4x4 would be be released in 2017.

'Rolls-Royces conveyed pioneers  and adventurers like Lawrence of Arabia across the vastness of unexplored deserts and over mountain ranges,' the letter said. Now they'll be able to convey you over fields and fords to your nearest organic farm shop or down Kensington High Street in similar luxury.

'Many of our discerning customers have urged us to develop this car,' the letter went on, 'and we have listened.' This may well be true, but it's also a move that boss Torsten Müller-Ötvös has championed for some time, battling parent company BMW's more conversative instincts.  

With its new 'high-sided' model (SUV, a.k.a Sports Utility Vehicle, is not an acronym in Rolls-Royce's vocabulary), the firm will be able to compete with Range Rover, the Porsche Cayenne and the forthcoming Bentley 'Bentayba' for the lucrative and rapidly expanding luxury 4x4 market.

If successful, this could allow the firm to maintain its rapid expansion of the past few years, having broken the 4,000 sales mark last year for the first time. Müller-Ötvös told MT's sister publication Autocar that it expected to gain new customers from the endeavour. 'Owners will be a mixture of people who already know Rolls-Royce and who are new to the brand,' he said.

Rolls-Royce is keeping quiet on the price and design of the car (the image above is Autocar's rendering of what it might look like), but it's safe to say both will be appropriately stately.

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