2013 Rolls-Royce GhostEnlarge Photo
Despite the fact that Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös has explicitly ruled out the possibility of an SUV from the hyperluxe brand, the rumors of the ute persist.
The latest gasoline on the fire comes from Automobile, in an article positing the Rolls-Royce SUV as dependent on the also rumored-but-not-(yet)-real BMW X7.
Arguing the Rolls ute would require a "donor" vehicle from one of the BMW-owned brand's higher-volume mates to make a justifiable business case, the article claims a V-12 with 600 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque (or possibly hybrid) is the likely engine choice.
As for the vehicle the Rolls-Royce SUV would be based on, the BMW X7, rumors have been coming and going for years now. BMW may want a larger, three-row SUV to sit above the new 2014 X5, but it's not clear that there's a market large enough to support it.
The same is true of the Rolls-Royce SUV, too--at the price and prestige of the Rolls-Royce brand, there are only so many sales to be made in a year. On the other hand, fellow U.K./German Bentley is moving forward with plans for its own SUV, based on--but not styled like--the EXP 9 F concept.
If Rolls-Royce does move forward with plans for the hyperluxury SUV, it isn't expected to reach the market before 2017.