Automobile Magazine has been pondering about and has recently ventured into theorizing what Rolls-Royce may have in store amidst rumors that the low volume ultra-luxury British automaker is researching a BMW-based SUV-crossover. That said, because Rolls-Royce is obviously owned by BMW, Rolls is open to BMW’s part’s bin, so this naturally makes sense.
Automobile says that Rolls-Royce once considered the next generation Phantom architecture to be a potential starting point for the supposed SUV crossover, which would theoretically be viable. Though engineers within the manufacturer said the platform was unsuitable for a crossover, especially from a cost perspective.
Alternatively, rumors also suggest that BMW is currently working on a flagship crossover, which would undoubtedly receive the “X7” badge, denoting a 7-Series on stilts. BMW’s CEO originally turned down the X7 idea when it was first introduced. Though due to the increase in competition within the full-size luxury SUV crossover market, BMW is said to be giving the idea a second look.
Resultantly, Automobile speculates that this could lead to a potential Rolls-Royce crossover to compete with Bentley’s future rumored seven-seater crossover. Because of Rolls-Royce’s current use of V12s only within the fleet, the magazine reportedly spoke to a chief engineer on the project within Rolls-Royce, who said that a V12 is theoretically possible for this potentially Rolls-Royce crossover. Though a twin-turbocharged V8 is said to be “a lot easier.”
That said, Automobile stated that BMW was cautious about the idea of fitting a V8 in a modern Rolls-Royce would go against the grain of the current trend of V12s only within the fleet. But a brief refresher on history would reveal that Rolls-Royce has a very long history with using V8s and would be perfectly in line with its tradition. Does the Rolls-Royce-Bentley L-Series ring any bells? It’s colloquial name might, as most refer to it as the famous “six and three-quarter vee-eight,” which started life in 1968 and was used in nearly every Bentley and Rolls-Royce since 1968.
So if BMW slotted a V8 into this Rolls-Royce crossover, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing. But then again, the ambition of a V12-powered crossover does seem oddly enticing and would be perfectly in line with Rolls-Royce’s seemingly cost-no-object mission to continuously be the ultimatum in automotive luxury.
As of now, speculation points that if Rolls-Royce gives the SUV a green light, it could see production as early as 2017.
– By: Chris Chin