After months of speculation, British luxury carmaker Rolls Royce confirmed on Wednesday that it is developing a sports utility vehicle (SUV) – the first in the company’s 111 year history.
“I am proud to confirm that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is developing an all-new, high-bodied Rolls-Royce designed to satisfy the contemporary, highly mobile lifestyles of our discerning clients around the world,” Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, chief executive of Rolls-Royce,said in a statement.
The car, with all-new aluminum architecture, will be manufactured at the company’s workshop in Goodwood, England. The launch date is yet to be announced.
A spokesperson for the company told CNBC that the development of the SUV would be an inclusive process involving customers and enthusiasts.
“We will announce the availability date of this new Rolls-Royce in a few years’ time,” the spokesperson said.
SUVs have become the latest battleground for luxury carmakers, with rivals Bentley and Jaguar gearing up to launch their premium off-road vehicles in 2106.
Rolls Royce, however, has chosen not to brand it as an SUV. Instead, it has described the new car as “Effortless … Everywhere.”
The British company enjoyed a record year in 2014, selling over 4000 cars for the first time ever.
Sales in Europe grew 40 percent, while North America and the Middle East saw a 30 percent and 20 percent rise in sales, respectively. Sales were driven by the Ghost Series II, which was launched in November, the Wraith and the automaker’s flagship Phantom model.