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Upcoming Rolls Royce SUV To Embrace Aluminum Construction, Feature Model Exclusive Platform

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On: Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 11:42AM | By: Carl Malek


Upcoming Rolls Royce SUV To Embrace Aluminum Construction, Feature Model Exclusive Platform

With the hyper-luxury SUV segment slowly beginning to emerge—thanks to a host of upcoming models from rivals such as Bentley and Aston Martin—Rolls Royce has released some initial details regarding its own SUV entry. They reveal that while the British luxury brand will incorporate copious amounts of aluminium into its construction, the new SUV will not share a platform with any of its BMW stablemates, possibly in an attempt to make the model more exclusive and desireable to its targeted clientele.

In lieu of simple platform sharing, Rolls Royce is reportedly developing an all-new aluminium subframe which will also be outfitted with an aluminum body. Once reserved mainly for Jaguar products, aluminum bodies have been embraced by other companies such as Ford and Land Rover, because to its light weight and sturdy construction which allow them to not only handle and accelerate better, they also gain precious MPG—the latter being extremely important in an era where the pressure to achieve maximum fuel economy has gradually transformed into a high priority for many models. These compelling remarks were made by Rolls Royce's CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetoves during an interview with Automotive News Europe.

Prior to this announcement, rampant rumors suggested that Rolls Royce had put the final touches on a tenative supply agreement with corporate owner BMW that would have seen the Rolls version use the same platform that would underpin the upcoming BMW X7 CUV, with that model's 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 possibly being borrowed as well. It is currently unknown if Oetoves' comments also mean that the V8 has been scrapped, though, in the case of Rolls Royce, the apperance of a massive V12 under the hood would not be too much of a shock given how the powerplant is currently used in the Rolls Royce Ghost model family as well as in the range topping BMW 760i (albeit slightly detuned versus its more exotic stablemate). Meanwhile, a plug-in hybrid version is reportedly being considered as well, though expect that model to be revealed (if given the green light) sometime after the SUV's initial launch.

Oesteves also revealed that the model is nearly ready for intensive vehicle testing, "We are finalizing the design, and will do the first test mules in the next few months." The currently unnamed luxury SUV is expected to arrive sometime in 2018 with the model possibly making its debut at Geneva. The big ute would be competing for a slice of the sales pie against equally opulant entries from the likes of Lamborghini, Aston Martin, and Bentley which also want to expand their presence into this segment in a bid to increase overall sales numbers for their respective brands.

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