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.”
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.