When you hear the name Rolls-Royce, it most likely conjures up images of class, luxury and old world style. Or, quite possibly, you think of this:
The “Go Anywhere” Rolls-Royce
In a joint statement, Rolls-Royce Chairman Peter Schwarzenbauer and CEO Torsten Mueller-Ortvoes announced that the company, which is owned by BMW, will build “an all-new Rolls-Royce with exceptional presence, elegance and purpose.” This will be “a car that offers the luxury of a Rolls-Royce in a vehicle that can cross any terrain…a high-bodied car with an all-new aluminum architecture.”
Now, they aren’t specifically referring to this car as an SUV, but don’t mind if the media or public do. That means auto sales college graduates who get jobs at Rolls-Royce dealerships won’t officially be assigned to an exclusive SUV collection any time soon, but experience with SUVs will certainly benefit graduates of mechanic courses when working on this new Rolls.
Rolls-Royce is known for being a somewhat elusive company, and they’re not changing their ways with this vehicle. From what we do know, it will be a unique Rolls-Royce product but will probably use a BMW engine. Some project that it will be available by 2018.
This follows other luxury car makers like Porsche, Mercedes and Lexus who are rolling out entire lines of SUVs, and companies like Maserati and Bentley announcing that they too are working on off-roaders. Still, very few thought that Rolls-Royce would ever follow suit.
A History of Off-Road Rolls-Royce
While unexpected, a Rolls-Royce SUV is not without precedent. Go back about 100 years, a little after the founding of this automaker, and head to places like Africa. With the British colonial era still in full-bloom, you’d see plenty of Rolls-Royce vehicles outfitted with gun racks for big game hunting expeditions. Or, as the recent company press release stated: “Rolls-Royces conveyed pioneers and adventurers like Lawrence of Arabia across the vastness of unexplored deserts and over mountain ranges.”
But it’s not as though graduates of dispatch schools will be guiding drivers in Rolls-Royce big rigs any time soon. The company has not jumped the shark just yet. Still, this move is surprising and may have people wondering if we’ll see a commercial where a classic Rolls pulls up next to this new off-roader, and one person asks: “pardon me, but would you have any Grey Poupon?” while the other responds: “nah, but would you like some barbecue sauce?”.
Do you look forward to working on or selling the new Rolls-Royce? Do you think a vehicle like this is a suitable for such an elite brand?