Rolls-Royce is hard at work on its first-ever SUV, and the firm’s chief designer, Giles Taylor, has hinted to Motor1 at what we should expect – and what we should not. “This is definitely not a shooting brake,” he told us at the Geneva Motor Show. “We are not mixing elements from different types of car here – this will definitely be a commanding car with a lot of presence.”
Indeed, because of this, Taylor prefers not to use the SUV term. “The ‘sports’ element is not quite correct here. We prefer the term ‘high-bodied car’, because that’s exactly what it is – a genuine Rolls-Royce, but one that’s more upright than ever.
“When designing it, my pencil goes up more than it goes across…”
Taylor likens it to a car fit for Queen Elizabeth I in the bygone age of horse-drawn travel. To cope with the mud and ruts of England’s leafy Hertfordshire byways, she used a tall carriage with big wheels, one raised high enough to clear the tricky terrain beneath. “The Queen was cocooned from the elements and travelled in pure luxury: that’s what we’re aiming to achieve with this car.
“We want to help Rolls-Royce owners take their lifestyle into new areas in all the comfort and luxury they’re used to.”
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It’s too early to provide any hints as to how it will look, added Taylor, but he did provide a few clues. “It will combine the luxury elements from the Phantom with true 4x4 capabilities.” It won’t be as long as the Phantom, though: overall length will be more in line with the Wraith.
“It will definitely make a statement, though, from its presence, its headroom, its overall high-bodied proportions. And while there will be more vertical gestures, it absolutely still will possess the Rolls-Royce DNA.” It seems that although the Cullinan SUV may not quite be an SUV, it’s definitely going to still be a Rolls.