By on September 12, 2013
rollroycesuvchop1

Illustration by Garrett Bradford. All rights reserved, used with permission.

No sooner did Bentley confirm that they will indeed be producing a premium priced crossover, then Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes announced that they will join the other British ultra luxury marque in offering a utility vehicle, likely to cost even more than the Bentley, which is expected to start at about $250,000.

The least expensive Rolls-Royce, the BMW 7 Series based Ghost, starts at more than that price. BMW owns Rolls-Royce while another German automaker, Volkswagen, owns Bentley. “We are intensively thinking about entering the SUV segment,” Mueller-Oetvoes told Bloomberg in an interview at the Frankfurt auto show. “The SUV segment is very interesting. It has been incredibly stable during the crisis, and I think a luxury niche will develop.”

Crossover frenzy seems to be gripping the auto industry at all price points, including among luxury brands. The Rolls-Royce announcement follows previous news that Maserati would sell the Levante SUV starting in 2015 and CUV concept reveals at the Frankfurt Motor Show by both Jaguar and Infiniti.

rollroycesuvchop2

Illustration by Garrett Bradford. All rights reserved, used with permission.

 

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57 Comments on “Rolls-Royce “Intensively Thinking About” Selling An SUV...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Well, now that Bentley got the green light…

    Will it devalue the brand? Where’s their customer going to jump too?

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      During the coach built era, customers regularly added shooting brake bodywork to Bentley and Rolls Royce chassis. Shooting brakes were the SUV’s of the era. What was appropriate then is just as appropriate now and there’s no point in getting hung up on the semantics of the name – SUV vs. shooting brake vs. wagon – the function is the same no matter what you call it. I don’t see how offering an SUV bodied vehicle will harm the brand at all.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Just imagine…
    taking one of these beasts down the Rubicon Trail.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    With the Queen of England riding shotgun on it.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I’m almost willing to bet real cash that it’ll ride on the VW SUV platform, making VW frankly a step above ’80’s Chrysler in the “Cynical product clone department”.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Isn’t RR owned by BMW now? I guess it could be a jacked up 7 series/Ghost.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Right. Bentley and Rolls-Royce were once one in the same. But in 1998 or so, arrangements were made so that Volkswagen Auto Group got Bentley and BMW Group got Rolls-Royce….and a lot of that was because Volkswagen and BMW were rivals that didn’t want to have their hands in the same pot. There is no way that BMW would want to source a platform *from Volkswagen*, especially when the X5/X6 platform is just as capable as that of the Volkswagen trucklets. Also, I can’t imagine them simply taking the 7-Series/Ghost/Wraith platform and turning it into a crossover. It would be a thoroughly-unsuitable solution.

        Now while I can understand Bentley having an SUV, this seems rather ridiculous for Rolls-Royce. Bentleys are sporting and somewhat high-strung, but this seems antithetical to everything that the Spirit of Ecstasy stands for.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Ghostwagon!

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I was just thinking that! I’m not wagon-biased in any way, but a wagon—or an “estate”, as they’d call it—would be far more true to the Rolls-Royce brand. It’s also far classier than an SUV, and a lot of wealthy people prefer them. There are a lot of people rolling around in the Mercedes GL-Class and ML-Class, but the well-kept secret of the aristocrats is actually the E-Class wagon….

          • 0 avatar
            pacificpom2

            Ecto2!

            Or how on earth can you enjoy the wilds of a 4wd trail, whilst sipping your champagne in the back seat while Jeeves pilots the vehicle!

            Home James, and don’t use the roads!

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        A Beemer platform would be nice, before production I hope that they re-work the back of the Rolls to look a bit less like an old Lexus CUV.

        As it is, the styling on this reminds me of old novelty VWs with a phoney Benz front end.

      • 0 avatar
        CRConrad

        Yeah, because BMW totally doesn’t have any X5 or X6 series already.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    Great more SUVs but I’m having a hard time finding a sport sedan with a manual transmission.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I’ll be anxious to see the depreciation curve, I figure it will be along the lines of the car models or it will be a complete drop-like-a-rock such as a Range Rover.

    • 0 avatar
      fredtal

      If you are brave you can find a nice RR for less than $30,000.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Yes, it’s amazing how Range Rovers—and European cars in general—drop in value. The 2010 Range Rovers (which were significantly refreshed) are already dropping into the low forty-thousand-dollar with average mileage. Meanwhile, 2008 Lexus LX 570s (the first model-year for that generation) maintain their resale value very well, and even the ugly-as-sin GX 460s keep their resale value better than the Range Rovers.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I very much prefer styling on the <08 LX570. It has aged much better than the 08+ models already.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        ALL high-end luxury cars depreciate like falling rocks. ALL of them. The difference between an S-class and an LS460 is negligible. True Luxury car buyers do not buy used cars, and the people who buy used luxury cars will only pay so much. And realistically, an awful lot of the price is the experience. What is the real cost difference between a 5-series and a 7-series, for example? I bet it is a couple grand for similarly equipped models. Yet the 7 is $20K more new. That difference shrinks hugely when they are next sold used. I do agree that the crazy money Toyota trucks are an exception to the rule, but they still lose $20-30K the first couple years. They are just so stupid expensive new that they are STILL stupid expensive used! Plus there are so few of them out there that there is always demand for them.

        Range Rovers are especially bad due to their historic reputation for being absolute money-pits. I just bought a 2001 HSE 4.6 for $5500 that cost $70K new. And $5500 is near the top of the market for one – it’s a VERY nice example with all the usual dilemmas fixed. Works for me! For the 3-4K a year I drive an SUV, might as well have the nicest one there is for that kind of money.

        So back to the Rolls-Royce. I love it. If I won the Mega-Millions I’d buy one. They had best call it the Shooting Brake. Is the Ghost AWD? I can’t remember. Seems much more likely to be Ghost-based than Phantom-based. They could make an even BIGGER BMW SUV based on it – all hail the X9! Canyonero!

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Can you name the truck with four wheel drive,smells like a steak and seats thirty-five..

          Canyonero! Canyonero!

          Well, it goes real slow with the hammer down, It’s the country-fried truck endorsed by a clown!

          Canyonero! (Yah!) Canyonero!

          [Krusty:] Hey Hey

          The Federal Highway commission has ruled the Canyonero unsafe for highway or city driving.

          Canyonero!

          12 yards long, 2 lanes wide,
          65 tons of American Pride!

          Canyonero! Canyonero!

          Top of the line in utility sports,
          Unexplained fires are a matter for the courts!

          Canyonero! Canyonero! (Yah!)

          She blinds everybody with her super high beams, She’s a squirrel crushing, deer smacking, driving machine!

          Canyonero!-oh woah, Canyonero! (Yah!)

          Drive Canyonero!

          Woah Canyonero!

          Woah!

        • 0 avatar
          WaftableTorque

          krhodes1, please keep us abreast regularly of how your Range Rover holds up. I’m always curious about other peoples’ experience with various luxury brands.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Happy to. This won’t be a daily driver for me, it is replacing my ‘winter beater’ Jeep Grand Cherokee. Been doing lots of forum reading, and I have some 2nd hand experience with them. I am not expecting it to be too painful. I also have realistic expectations, I don’t expect everything to work all at once. :-) I fly to TX in about 9hrs to get it. Driving home… Donations of gas cards cheerfully accepted. Hopefully I have a tailwind.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Good luck on the drive back.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      I don’t think Range Rovers drop in value dramatically because they are SUV’s, I think they drop in value dramatically because they have a well deserved reputation for regular four figure repair bills that arrive in greater frequency as the car ages. I’m betting the depreciation will be similar to the other Rolls Royce models.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Catastrophic?

        There is a lovely 17K mile Rolls Royce Corniche on ebay for a mere $119K. Problem is, that car cost just under *$400K* new 12 years ago. Gulp. The percentage may not be as bad as a Range Rover, but the quantity of money is a whole lot worse. Also a 2001 Silver Seraph with 77K for $34K – those were only ~$220K new…

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Now we know what a Phantom wearing a wife beater looks like.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    One thing that is decidedly wrong with this design is the fact that a Rolls-Royce SUV or wagon would probably have fixed windowlettes (like pretty much every BMW SUV or wagon) on the rear doors instead of what would inevitably end up being thick D-pillar trim so that the windows could roll down.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      The 5-series wagon has them because the sedan has them. The Ghost sedan does not have them, so why would BMW (or a guy making Photoshop renderings) need to add them to an SUV bodied version? How ever far the windows roll down in the Ghost sedan, I’m sure that will be sufficient for the SUV.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I understand why the Phantom and Ghost place the fixed windows on the C-Pillars…because that is what looks regal on a sedan. But not including fixed windows on the doors of a Rolls-Royce SUV or wagon would cause it to loose some of that imposing styling the brand is so well-known for. This example, in particular, looks like a distorted first-generation Infiniti FX…

  • avatar
    Silvy_nonsense

    Although this is just a rendering by a fan, its much better looking than the prototype Bentley has shown.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Wouldn’t a RR CUV or wagon still have suicide doors?

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Oh Lord, will stripper poles at Buckingham Palace be next?

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Can someone find an 06 H1 that is for sale with less than 20k miles for less then the original asking price?

    A vehicle that’s in such high demand that’s been out of production for over 7 years, that has a sellable price above OEM sticker.

    Can RR do that?
    Can anyone else do that?

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      There’s a 2002 H1 near where I live with 16,200 miles on it for $59,800

      Looks to be a little more the half it’s original MSRP

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        06 key word, pretty normal for 02

        2002 OEM sticker started at 90k? If I remember correctly.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          That’s like saying can you find a ’64 Mustang for the original price of $2500.00. What’s the point?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Difference is there 42 years apart, must less inflation happens in 7 years vs 42 years.
            How much was that mustang worth in 1971?

            Very few vehicles have experienced something like that.
            My point is, can RR not do the same?, can they not create a image that creates a high enough demand to hold onto its value?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            What I should have said was that the H1 was a low volume vehicle that is now out of production, which in many cases can cause the value to go up. If the H1 were still in production the values when not be the same

            However the only one that has gone up is the 2006 which is a obvious result of collectors buying them, but I’m still not sure what your point is, if the RR SUV (which is not in production yet) is still building new ones that hardly makes them collectable

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      The H1 is a massively awesome vehicle. The portal axles. The huge articulation control arms all around. Nothing like it will ever exist again now that the military is focusing on anti-IED MRAP monsters instead of (relatively) small capable vehicles.

      Obviously something like that is going to hold value better than a jacked up 7-series wagon. Even Hummer couldn’t replicate the H1 – the Tahoe H2 and Colorado H3 will not be nearly as well remembered.

      Luckily for RR $300,000 means a lot less to its buyers than $100,000 means to H1 buyers. That’s why RR is considering an SUV. An RR used to be something special a wealthy guy would buy for when he wasn’t driving his every few years throwaway Cadillac, Benz or Suburban. Now it is his or her every few years throwaway car.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I suppose, but how does a handbuilt automobile lose so much worth, that has such an extremely small production number. Their beautiful, well thought out, unpractical, and the benchmark of ultra-luxury. What is it that cause such a large loss in value as happens? Is it the quality? Is it purposely overpriced for brand image? If it started at say 120k for the exact same car but produced the same number, would it depreciate as fast?

        And I feel required to address the one unfortunate comment, Although I am not calling you wrong on the H1 as it does in fact possess a quantity problem, that helps it, I do take exception to your comments on the 2 and 3. So I preach. The 3 was the only one produced by GM and while it is similar to the Colorado it possesses better Approach/Departure/breakover/fording then the Colorado as well as strengthened frame and SRA, and different IFA and TC, in addition to optional Front and Rear lockers. And for the H2, find me a major part below the body used in a Tahoe.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          The RR loses so much value because it’s not worth what people pay for it, therefor it has little value as a resale

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Wow, it’s only Saturday and I’m already bored enough to comment on an RR thread.

            Gotta find something outside to do.

        • 0 avatar
          racer-esq.

          “I suppose, but how does a handbuilt automobile lose so much worth, that has such an extremely small production number.”

          What fundamentally makes a car special is its mechanical features and design. Sure, it’s nice that RR still hand makes the leather seat covers and dash wood veneer. But that’s like a quartz watch with a really nice hand made leather band. The mechanical soul of the old Rolls Royce is gone.

          And nothing wrong with the H2 or H3, but I would take a Yukon Denali over an H2, and an Xterra over an H3. On the other hand, the only thing I would consider to be as iconic and unique as an H1 is a Unimog.

  • avatar
    CRConrad

    So, mr Bradford, was that the C-pillar of an Audi A6 Avant or an A4 Avant you grafted onto the RR? Just curious, you know…


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