Development of a Rolls-Royce crossover is still underway, but design chief Giles Taylor says the future model will look more like a wagon than an SUV.
"I'm interested in function and functionality. I'm looking to create a properly functional vehicle -- a shooting brake, not a crossover with a sloping roof," he told Autocar.
Autocar also reports the future Rolls-Royce model will based on the Ghost sedan family, can be imagined as "a kind of Mercedes GLK-plus-plus," and won't arrive before 2017. Expected to cost around £200,000 (about $336,000), Giles said that the new car's interior will be more "cool" and "modern" than current Rolls-Royces: "It will retain aspects of the current interior but will remain luxurious and a sanctuary. We are not talking about ostentation."
Although we reported last year that the Rolls-Royce crossover would be based on the BMW X7 -- itself an extended X5/X6 -- Autocar says the plan is now for Rolls to use a new platform that combines steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber. The architecture will be used for a BMW 9 Series ultra-luxury SUV, the all-new Rolls-Royce Ghost that is due by 2018, and of course the crossover. The BMW Vision Future Luxury concept shown in Beijing (pictured) reportedly rides on that platform and may preview the direction of a future 9 Series.
Like many automakers, Rolls-Royce sees newly moneyed Chinese buyers as the ideal way to grow its sales. Giles said that market has become more important to Rolls-Royce in recent years because, "Many customers are now Chinese entrepreneurs. They might be as young as 30 years old and are very interested in authenticity, Chinese heritage and prestige." The crossover model will likely be tailored directly to those types of customers.