The history of luxury and precision
Rolls Royce is a name that has been synonymous with luxury since the first car was built in 1904. Then, the incomparable ‘Ghost’ appeared in 1906 with one of the earliest V6 engines. Henry Royce’s dream was to manufacture “the best motor car in the world regardless of cost” and that dream is still being realized today with a full line of high quality automobiles designed for comfort and overall quality.
The Phantom II Series
Introduced in 2003 and modified significantly for 2012, the Phantom boasts a mostly aluminum body with all the traditional aspects of Rolls Royce interior and exterior design such as exotic woods, a wide assortment of paint colors and high quality leather. Following Henry Royce’s command to “take the best that exists and make it better”, state of the art technology and minor exterior design modifications have been added to the expected magic carpet ride in this class of luxury vehicles. The Phantom, Extended Wheelbase Phantom, Coupe and Drophead Coupe were the beginning of a new trend which introduced the Ghost, Ghost Extended Wheelbase, Wraith and Dawn.
The dream continues
Sir Henry Royce believed in innovation and the company is living up to that charge with a brand new line of Rolls Royce vehicles including a high-bodied on and off road car with an aluminum-intensive chassis. For the vehicle now known only by the project title Cullinan, engineers are hard at work testing prototypes for the smoothness of their ride and the functionality of a new all-wheel drive suspension system.
Switching to an aluminum frame is not exactly new since Audi has been using it for a few years but Rolls Royce expects to make all frames aluminum for the 2019 model year and beyond. Intended to make the vehicles more lightweight to promote better fuel economy, the aluminum frame also provides better power-to-weight ratios and improved handling.
A well kept secret
The exact appearance of the proposed Rolls SUV is unknown but inside sources say that it will be long, tall and classically Rolls Royce. This new vehicle is expected to come equipped with the latest advanced driver assists and connectivity options, probably including the satellite-aided transmission that is already found in the Ghost II and Wraith.
The prototype SUVs are well camouflaged as they travel a wide variety of road surfaces around the world. Extensive testing is necessary to ensure that the major investment involved in switching to the aluminum frame is secure and production problems don’t arise later on.
There is plenty of time for speculation since this highly anticipated SUV won’t be shown until 2018 as a 2019 new model vehicle. The timing coincides with SUVs being introduced by Bentley and Mercedes-Maybach so it is a race to the finish. Price has been estimated at just over $450,000.
A look into the future
It has been a long time since Henry Royce created the first in a long line of highly popular luxury automobiles. It is certainly a tribute that the company has maintained his passion and demands for innovation to keep the brand fresh and exciting for now and well into the future.