Think British aristocrats drinking tea while racing the Paris-Dakar rally – without spilling a drop.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, the maker of limousines favored by British royalty, Arabic sheikhs and Chinese and Silicon Valley billionaires, will develop “a vehicle that can cross any terrain” and reflects the “promise of effortless luxury,” according to the announcement Wednesday by the automaker, a unit of Germany’s BMW.
The British brand, whose famous limousines include the “Phantom” and “Wraith,” has traditionally chauffeured heads of state and kings and queens.
Sport utility vehicles, known for elevated suspension that can drive through rivers and over some rough terrain, have caught on with consumers who love the sense of security in a large car.
The cars are a big part of the U.S. auto market and are increasingly popular in China, where the rising wealth of the population is making them affordable.