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by Tim Beissmann

The man designing the first ever Rolls-Royce SUV says it will be a “proper SUV” rather than following the recent coupe-inspired crossover trend.

Rolls-Royce design director Giles Taylor told Autocar the ultra-luxury SUV in his early sketches showed a vehicle inspired by “function and functionality”.

“I’m looking to create a properly functional vehicle – a shooting brake, not a crossover with a sloping roof. A proper SUV,” Taylor said.

The British luxury brand is yet to confirm its plans to build an SUV, though CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes gave strong hints last year when he said it was “intensively thinking about entering the SUV segment”.

Taylor said his team was sketching designs to “assess the viability of the concept” and was not yet “grappling with three dimensions and proportions”, though he said he had no concerns an SUV would undermine the Rolls-Royce brand.

He said “cool and modern” were key words of the SUV’s interior design.

“It will retain aspects of the current interior but will remain luxurious and a sanctuary. We are not talking about ostentation.”

Autocar reports the Rolls’ SUV won’t arrive before the end of 2017, meaning it will give the Bentley SUV – due sometime in 2016 – at least a 12-month head start.

Rather than share its platform with the upcoming BMW X7, the Rolls-Royce SUV is expected to be based on a new aluminium and carbonfibre-enriched architecture that’s set to underpin the next-generation Ghost and potentially a flagship BMW 9 Series family.

This architecture was previewed by the BMW Vision Future Luxury concept at last month’s Beijing auto show.




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