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New AWD System To Underpin Future SUV

Rolls-Royce is testing its new all-wheel-drive system by way of this totally awesome-looking Phantom mule. We'll take one as-is.

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Rolls-Royce announces that it will build an SUV, even thought it won't call it that. Whenever it arrives, we're told to expect a "high-bodied vehicle" on an all-new aluminum platform "that can cross any terrain."

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Rolls-Royce may have just recorded its fifth consecutive record year of sales, but it's in no rush to decide on whether it'll produce an SUV before the end of 2015.

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A cursory look at the top of the automobile market would suggest that the world's carmakers are gunning it full steam ahead into a new stratosphere of ultra-luxury and high-performance utility vehicles. After all, companies like Bentley and Maserati are preparing to launch their very first crossovers, while established players like Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover keep producing ever more expensive sport-utes of their own. But that's not the case across the board.

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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."

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A Rolls-Royce Phantom may be the size of an SUV, and the Ghost isn't that much smaller. Still, according to reports, the high-end British automaker is seriously evaluating the prospect of adding a proper sport-ute or crossover to its lineup.

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The on-again, off-again discussion regarding the rumored Rolls-Royce SUV seems to be back in the "maybe" camp now. In February, we heard that Rolls-Royce was considering adding an SUV, but then in April, another report said that these rumors had been shot down. Automobile is now saying that this ultra-luxury SUV could be determined by the success of the equally uncertain BMW X7 (on which the R-R SUV would be based), which we've heard little on since 2011.

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Seeing as it adheres to the exotic car template we've known for years, it should surprise no one that the next model from Rolls-Royce will reportedly be a convertible version of the Wraith. When the coupe is on its way to dealers at the end of this year, company CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös has told Autocar that the British luxury marque start applying itself to the convertible.

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Rolls-Royce may be working on a new, mega-powerful roadster for 2017. CAR reports the convertible would conceivably boast a V16 engine. Of course, the report gets a little muddled here, with CAR saying the engine would be very similar to that of the one that powers the Bugatti Veyron – the French machine makes use of a W16 mill. Even so, the article says the Rolls-Royce version could put down around 700 horsepower. Design wise, we're told the creation will feature a suitably long nose with

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