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Rolls-Royce SUV being decided, hybrids out for now

A decision on whether Rolls-Royce will produce an SUV hasn't yet been made, but executives from parent company BMW say it remains on the table while promising the super-luxury brand's line-up will expand.

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Speaking at the Paris motor show, Rolls-Royce chairman Ian Robertson said that "we are looking" at building an SUV, but "whether we take this car a step further yet we haven't finally decided".

Robertson promises the Rolls-Royce line-up will grow, however, putting the success of the 109-year-old company - which he expects will post its highest ever sales figure worldwide - down to the expansion of the model line-up under BMW ownership.

"We've done that [increase sales] by offering cars in new segments, so you can be sure that we will look at what the opportunities are and over time we will take these decisions," Robertson continued.

"There are more cars in the Rolls-Royce pipeline that you'll see in a year or so."

Rolls-Royce logo, grille and Spirit of Ectacsy

Asked whether Rolls-Royce is monitoring rivals such as the forthcoming Lamborghini and Bentley SUVs, Robertson replied instead argued that the positioning of the BMW-owned luxury brand is different.

"The positioning of Rolls-Royce is almost unique," he said.

"We are quintessentially at the top of the car positioning all around the world. We have proven over 10 years that we can not only position that car, but also give our competition a lot of worries, and with that in mind, we are continuing with that success."

Moments earlier, however, BMW member of the board of management and head of development Dr Herbert Diess told CarAdvice that "yes we are" to the question of whether the brand is monitoring competitors, but again, "nothing's decided yet".

"We are continuously monitoring new concepts," Diess added.

One of those concepts is the hybridisation of Rolls-Royce, though Robertson revealed that, while "hybridisation will affect everything ... we tested a number of options on Rolls-Royce a couple of years ago, but the feedback from the customers was 'maybe but not yet', and we listened very carefully to that."