With each new story on the Rolls-Royce SUV, the Goodwood automaker comes off as more at ease with their reluctantly birthed yet necessary sport ute. Company design chief Giles Taylor told Autocar that his team is still "sketching to assess the viability of the concept," which to ours ears means they're trying to figure out if such a beast is even possible within the confines of the brand. If it is, Taylor says it will be "a shooting brake, not a crossover with a sloping roof. A proper SUV."

A different company source, unnamed, seems confident that Taylor's team will figure it out, telling the magazine it would start at 200,000 pounds ($335K US). However, that same source said the vehicle will be "a kind of Mercedes-GLK-plus-plus," which is a baffling description in several ways. More reasonable is the speculation that it will ride on Ghost, not Phantom, architecture and make its debut sometime around late 2017.

That Ghost platform is expected to take cues from the carbon, aluminum and steel bones that supported the BMW Vision Future Luxury concept shown at the Beijing Motor Show and destined for the 9 Series. Some of those tricks will also go into the next-generation Phantom, which Autocar says will come in 2017 and not 2020.

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