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Updated: 11 hours 57 min ago
Ford began manufacturing cars in Australia in 1925 with the Model T. In 2016, Ford will stop manufacturing cars Down Under, including the Falcon and the Territory SUV. Ford Australia CEO Bob Graziano has reportedly confirmed the closure of the company's Broadmeadows assembly plant and the Geelong engine plant, both in the state of Victoria. There will be 650 jobs lost at Broadmeadows, 510 sacrificed at Geelong. Of the roughly 3,000 workers the Blue Oval has in Australia, it's said it will try to retain about 1,000 of them at its R&D and product development facilities.
The writing hasn't just been on the wall, it's been a regular item in all the papers and on Ford's bottom line for years. As recently as 2003, Ford sold nearly 75,000 Falcons, but over the next four years, annual sales dropped by something like 10,000 units, and over the last two years, it has sold less than 20,000 per year. It isn't only Ford that has suffered - sales of the other large, locally produced sedan, the Holden Commodore, have also gone over the precipice, triggering the same kind of angst about Holden's continued existence. Ford is the smallest of Australia's local automakers, Holden and Toyota the others, and has posted losses of $AUD141 million last year ($136M US) and $AUD600 million ($580M US) in the past five years. Graziano said the cost of manufacturing is simply too expensive in the country, twice as high as Europe and three times as high as Asia, and there no way to make a business case for staying in the country.
In January 2012, Ford Australia announced it would stay in the country until at least 2016, but by July of the same year, most outside observers were quietly declaring that 2016 would be the last year of Ford Down Under, and even the speculation was making other observers nervous. Ford received money from the Victorian government last year to aid its refresh of the Falcon and Territory, which will continue on schedule for the 2014 model year. A front- and all-wheel-drive sedan on a global platform is predicted to replace the Falcon, with some other SUV expected to replace the Territory. The company says it still intends to expand its lineup in the country.
As for what will replace the employment hole at the factories and the supplier base, no one is quite sure. Ford has said that the employees will receive their entitlements, and workers do have three years to prepare for what's coming. As well, the state and national governments have already committed tens of millions to a fund to assist the employees.
Ford to cease Australian automaking operations after 90 years originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 23 May 2013 08:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The military's High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), or Humvee to most of us, is a rugged four-wheel drive vehicle designed and manufactured by AM General. In basic trim, the truck weighs about 7,500 pounds. For a beast of this stature, that number isn't overly alarming... until you realize that its stock 6.5-liter turbodiesel, running power through a four-speed automatic and portal geared hubs, only sends about 113 horsepower and 219 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. Acceleration is leisurely, but at least the truck can get out of its own way.
Understandably, the situation becomes much more dangerous, potentially deadly, when the Humvee is fully armored for duty in combat zones - ironic, right? Tipping the scales at 14,400 pounds, the stock engine is only able to accelerate the truck to 60 mph in 43 seconds. Equally as jaw-dropping is the lousy stock braking system, as it takes a full 307 feet to bring the truck to a rest from 60 mph.
To help our troops make quicker entries and exits, Gale Banks Engineering has crafted the Sidewinder Turbo system with exhaust brake as an upgrade to the stock powerplant. When fitted, engine output jumps by about 50 percent. According to the dyno, 178 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque make it to the wheels. Acceleration to the benchmark 60 mph drops to 23.1 seconds, while braking falls to 243 feet. While those numbers still won't scare even the slowest passenger vehicle on your local highway, the improvement is dramatic - especially when under fire from an AK-47.
To demonstrate its wares, Banks recently invited us to drive both the stock and modified Humvees back-to-back at its headquarters in Southern California. (Note: The Humvee we drove was configured with some unique armor plating and a 50 caliber turret - we've been asked to hide both in our pictures.)
- The stock armored Humvee (M1165 in military speak) borders on pathetic in terms of ergonomics, passenger comfort, and overall drivability. Not to be confused with its barely civilianized Hummer H1, the archaic military Humvee was unquestionably the most miserable vehicle I have ever piloted on public roads. Outward visibility, through brick-thick bullet-resistant glass was pulse raising. In stock form, acceleration was dangerously slow and throttle response frighteningly lethargic. Once moving, the heavy body oscillated back and forth as it floated on its squishy off-road tires (in a motion mimicking trailer sway). Hitting the brake pedal initiated a lot of grinding noise and only mild deceleration, as the inboard disc brakes howled while fighting a losing battle against inertia. I exited the M1165 covered in nervous sweat, verbally praising the troops who are forced to drive it daily under far less desirable conditions.
- Banks works its magic on the Humvee in several different ways. To improve breathing, the company fits a new intake and a wastegated turbocharger. A large air-to-air intercooler keeps the charge temperature down, while new injectors (and a new injector pump) ensure fuel flow isn't an issue. A monster exhaust finishes off the power improvements. Another important upgrade is the exhaust brake, aptly named the Banks Brake, which uses the engine to supplement the mechanical brakes and slow the vehicle.
- The modified Banks Humvee was noticeably lighter on its feet (likely strong enough to run neck-to-neck with a 1977 Mercedes-Benz 240D). Twice as quick is a huge improvement, and I was visibly more comfortable pulling into moving traffic. Running acceleration, from 40-60 mph, drops by half as well. This meant around-town throttle response was decent, and not a white-knuckle affair. The Banks Brake was set to automatically slow the Humvee each time I lifted off the accelerator (it reminded me of regenerative braking, but without any additional external noise as our soldiers prefer to arrive silently). Combined with the disc brakes, stopping distances were greatly improved.
- Like the aging B-52 long-range bomber, the multi-purpose Humvee will be in service for many more decades as the military conjures up ways to sustain the program. Age and expanded roles have burdened the original light utility. Nevertheless, my initial impressions say that the Sidewinder Turbo system from Banks appears to provide a necessary shot of adrenaline to a vehicle desperately in need of vitality.
There seem to be plenty of reports swirling in regards to Land Rover lately. According to Autocar, not only is the British automaker going back to the drawing board for the design of its next-generation Defender, but the outlet is also saying that the Freelander name could be dropped.
While the article doesn't say why, its source indicates that current plans for the next Defender have been scrapped, yet there is a still a replacement in the works. The existing Defender will end production in 2015, but this replacement vehicle will not be ready by then. We imagine that the styling of the replacement won't echo that of the DC100 Concept shown above, and that the news would affect the planned Defender-based Tata SUV as well as the proposed Land Rover factory in India.
As for the Freelander, it sounds like the next generation of this SUV will be out by next year, but it will not be wearing the Freelander name. Instead, Land Rover will include it as a smaller version of the Discovery. Here in the States, these two vehicles are named LR2 (Freelander) and LR4 (Discovery).
Next-gen Defender plans scrapped, Freelander name being dropped originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 22 May 2013 09:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Start with a Ford F-150 SVT Raptor as your base vehicle for modification, and chances are high that you'll end up with something pretty cool. Now, have those modifications done by professional lunatics Hennessey Performance, make the project turning the pickup into an ultra-long SUV, and the result stands a real chance of being a total kick in the ass. Let us present the Hennessey VelociRaptor then, in all of its awesomeness.
Hennessey has taken care in grafting a "Excursion type" rear cabin onto the Raptor, complete with an optional third row. The pictures we have show a cabin that's up to the fit and finish standards of the original Ford truck, too. The cab added over the bed also makes room for a massive load space out back, accessible via split out-folding doors and long enough for a person to lay down in (see video).
Mechanically, the truck-turned-SUV sticks with Ford's stock 6.2-liter V8, rated at 411 horsepower, or can be had with a supercharger and some 600 hp. Hennessey says the stock-motor VelociRaptor will run from 0-60 miles per hour in 7.5 seconds, while the hi-po version takes just 5.9 seconds. The SUV does take some of the off-road ability away from the Raptor, with the company saying it hasn't yet had the opportunity to test its capabilities. On-roading and "moderate off-road duties" are the current prescription.
Hennessey will build just 30 copies of the VelociRaptor per year, offered at a starting price of $149,500. If that seems like an exorbitant markup over the Raptor's $43,920, well, you're welcome to go out and build your own. Scroll down for a video walk around of the VelociRaptor, and one showing the supercharged version on a dyno.
Hennessey completes first VelociRaptor SUV conversion [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 20 May 2013 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
If you're going to drive a stolen car in a town of roughly 77,000 people - about the same size as Scranton, Pennsylvania or Ogden, Utah - you want to be very careful about where you drive that stolen car to eat. That's the lesson Katherine York of Kennewick, Washington learned when she was arrested for being in possession of a stolen Toyota 4Runner that also happened to have a bunch of stolen clothes from JC Penney and Sears in it.
Virginia Maiden woke up Tuesday, May 14 to find her 1995 4Runner - that she thought she forgot to lock - swiped from her apartment building. At 3 PM that afternoon, while working her shift at the drive-thru at McDonald's that day, she saw her truck in line. York hadn't even gone far - the McDonald's is not even five miles from Maiden's apartment. Maiden called the police, they showed up just as York was leaving, and York made another vehicle switch, this time into a black-and-white for a trip to the Benton County jail. They don't have McDonald's there, but she won't have so far to go to eat.
Car thief caught in McDonald's drive-thru after placing order with owner originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 20 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Jeep's bold-faced new direction spearheaded by the 2014 Cherokee is facing some teething issues. According to a report by the Detroit Free Press, production start-up of the controversial new utility vehicle at its Toledo North facility is running about a month behind schedule "due to a wide range of issues." That's according to Mark Chernoby, senior vice president of engineering at Chrysler.
Chernoby maintains that the issues being encountered aren't unusual for the launch of a new vehicle - particularly one with a new powertrain - and he downplayed the delay, telling Jeep dealers that they "will have ample inventory of the midsize SUV by fall." Among the kinks being worked out? Calibrating the Cherokee's cutting-edge ZF nine-speed automatic transmission and refining assembly line tasks to make the process more efficient.
Chrysler expects to start building retail-ready versions of the Cherokee around mid-June, with official sales slated to start in September.Permalink | Email this | Comments
According to a report on the Chrysler Communications Facebook page and one fairly grainy image of the production line, at around 11:00AM Eastern this morning, the one-millionth Jeep Wrangler JK will roll out of the company's Toledo assembly plant.
The third-generation or "JK" Jeep Wrangler has been around since the 2007 model year, and has obviously been more popular than ever. With a greater than ever number of trim levels, two-door and four-door Unlimited models and hardy off-roading Rubicon packages, the JK offers more to choose from than ever for those looking for something in a traditional Jeep. In fact, with the modern 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 powering it, the 2012 model year saw more than 140k Wrangers sold here in the US; the best-ever figure for the model.
With a model refresh due out for the Wrangler in 2015 (along with the likely addition of a diesel engine option), we expect that sales will continue to roll right along, too.
Millionth Jeep Wrangler JK to roll off line this morning originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 17 May 2013 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
We recently drove the brand-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and found it to be vastly improved compared to the outgoing model. And now that The General's pickup trucks have been squared away, it's time to focus our attention onto their passenger-friendly companions, the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon (above).
Our spy photographers have passed along a huge smattering of photos (and a video), showing the new SUVs out testing. Both the short- and long-wheelbase models were spied, and while the overall shape of the vehicles hasn't changed all that much, we expect the updates to be substantial. In addition to new powertrain options, like GM's new small-block V8, we expect the interiors of both SUVs to get massive makeovers, providing better materials throughout their cabins and quieter, more refined environments. We even hear that some trick new suspension developments may be in store for upper-end models.
Visually, these spy shots allow us to see a couple of new details on the SUVs' front and rear fascias, including LED running lamps on the Yukon and some interesting LED taillamp treatments. Of course, the obvious third party missing from this set of photos is the Cadillac Escalade, but as we reported earlier, GM is working to further differentiate the 'Slade from the rest of the fullsize SUV lineup, and is working to make the new model "much less ostentatious."
Have a look at dozens of spy shots in our galleries above and below, and scroll down to see a video of one of the prototypes out on the road.
Next-gen GM SUVs caught wearing new boxy bodies [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 15 May 2013 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Hennessey Performance Engineering has created an HPE650 package for the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT fitted with the 6.4-liter Hemi engine. When it leaves the showroom floor it has 470 horsepower and gets from 0-60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds. When it leaves Hennessey's garage floor after the upgrade it has 650 horsepower - 530 hp at the wheels, according to Hennessey - and gets to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds on its way to running the quarter-mile in 12.6 seconds.
There's more than just a Roots-type supercharger bolt-on, with ported cylinder heads and high-flow headers among the many changes made to the engine. You can watch this pre-2014 facelift silver model prove its spec sheet on the drag strip in the video below.
Watch this 650-hp Hennessey Jeep Grand Cherokee go from 0-60 in 3.9 seconds originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 14 May 2013 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Chrysler has issued a recall covering a combined 469,000 units of the 2005-2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2006-2010 Jeep Commander (inset). Of that number, 295,000 are in the US, roughly 33,000 in Canada and Mexico and the remainder in other markets. It seems an electrical fault in the transfer case can allow the affected SUVs to shift into neutral on their own, while an Associated Press report says that Chrysler had "found cracks in a circuit board that turns the four-wheel-drive system on and off." The issue was discovered when an owner started his car remotely and it rolled away.
Chrysler is expected to begin notifying owners in June 2013, who can then take their cars to dealers. The dealer will reflash the final drive controller free of charge. There's a bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration below with more information.
Chrysler recalls 468,700 Jeep Grand Cherokees, Commanders over rollaway risk originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 13 May 2013 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The editorial director of EVO, Harry Metcalfe, was at the Lamborghini anniversary gala that saw the launch of the Egoista concept car, and tweeted this bit of news on the Urus: "Lamborghini confirms Urus SUV for 2017 production at tonight's #Lambo50 gala dinner." The Urus, you'll remember, was the concept SUV revealed at the Beijing Motor Show last year and branded "the first Lamborghini for everyday use" by company CEO Stephan Winkelmann. But that would only be if it were produced, and as of December last year it still hadn't been given the green light - even though development had continued.
This year, though, a couple of things have happened to convince some that it's probably on its way. There were patents filed in China in February, and in March Audi CEO Rupert Stadler told Autocar "Lamborghini has to do it. Because of the need to dovetail into production cycles, we should see the Urus in 2017." And since Audi is the official owner of Lamborghini, one would think the CEO knows what he's talking about when he says Lamborghini "has" to do something.
It's predicted that the showroom version will appear in 2016 as a 2017 model, accounting for the time it will take to develop and Stadler's 'production cycle' comment, referring to a slot in the refresh timetable for the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg with which the Urus will share its MQB platform. A report in Car and Driver says the Sant' Agata company will also be looking for the Urus to bolster its sales in China and its coffers in Italy, and cost between $150,000 and $200,000.
Lamborghini reportedly confirms Urus for production in 2017 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 12 May 2013 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Babies and cars go together like screaming blobs of insomnia and sleep machines. New parents quickly find that nothing soothes an irritable newborn quite like a quick drive around the block, and Volkswagen employed that truth in the company's newest ad for its stop/start technology. The spot follows one new dad as he tries to lull his child to sleep with the burble and purr of his Tiguan TDI. Unfortunately, his efforts are thwarted by the machine's start/stop system at each stop light.
While the clip does a great job of explaining how the start/stop system works and what it does for the buyer, Volkswagen took a bit of a gamble by having the system wake a sleeping babe. Automakers spend plenty of time trying to convince the world that their stop/start gear is as smooth as possible, and while this wee Volkswagen enthusiast falls asleep the moment the diesel engine wakes up, the implication is that the system isn't exactly imperceptible. Check out the
for yourself.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Two years after the Range_E concept debuted at the Geneva Motor Show, thus previewing the coming Range Rover hybrid drivetrain and beginning the succeeding speculation, a company executive has confirmed the arrival of a hybrid Range Rover and Range Rover Sport later this year. The first time we'll see them is at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but Stuart Frith, chief program engineer for Range Rover Sport told Australian site Car Sales that the vehicles will be in showrooms before the year is over, as well.
As we wrote in our deep dive previewing the 2013 Range Rover, the diesel hybrid system uses a 3.0-liter V6 engine mated to a ZF eight-speed transmission with an integrated electric motor. The 1.7-kWh battery pack sits in the chassis floor, protected by a boron steel cradle, so cabin space is not compromised. The numbers we were given at the time were 333 horsepower, a sub-seven second run to 60 miles per hour in the big Range Rover and 45 imperial miles per gallon. The 2014 Range Rover Sport is expected to post the same horsepower number and battery placement. Neither of these models will be coming to the US.
The Range Rover Sport will also get a traditional diesel, the SDV8 being slotted into the engine bay, bringing 516 pound-feet of torque with it when it goes on sale later this year. Eventually, Frith said it will also get Land Rover's version of the 2.0-liter, 240-hp EcoBoost engine that propels the Evoque and the LR2 - the weight savings of the new model has made the four-cylinder a viable option.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Automotive News Europe reports the new Audi manufacturing facility in San Jose Chiapa, Mexico will increase the automaker's production capacity for the Q5 SUV by 150,000 units per year. While the plant will supply every market with the exception of China, most of the production is slated to head to the US.
While speaking with ANE, Audi CEO Rupert Stradler said, "Worldwide, every third Audi will be an SUV by 2020." So far this year, 40 percent of Audi vehicles sold in the US have been light trucks, with the company's sales in that segment jumping by 53 percent. By comparison, Audi passenger car sales have increased by just one percent.
The first Q5 vehicles from the San Hose Chiapa plant will show up on dealer lots in 2016. Audi of America recently received a larger 9,000-unit allocation of Q5 models after seeing sales increase 36 percent through April compared to the same period in 2012.
'Worldwide, every third Audi will be an SUV by 2020' originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 07 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Intent on not eliminating itself from consideration, and adapting to the way consumers research new car purchases, Nissan has announced price discounts now in effect, indefinitely, on seven models: the Altima, Armada, Juke, Maxima, Murano, Rogue and Sentra. It was found that Nissan's price points fell outside the competitive pool when prospective buyers searched for cars based on maximum price.
The price cuts vary and depend on the equipment spec, but they range from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars; the MSRP of the Altima drops by $580, the Sentra by $730, the Armada by $4,400. Discounts on the Murano alone range from $1,460 to $2,410. Under orders from CEO Carlos Ghosn the brand is working to raise its US market share to ten percent by 2016, from 7.9 percent currently - which includes Infiniti - and appears to be optimizing its placement every step of the way to do so.
Nissan lowers price of seven models for better search results originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 05 May 2013 15:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Now, hold on. This recall isn't quite as serious as it sounds. Yes, Toyota is recalling 11,489 FJ Cruiser models from the 2007 to 2013 model years, and yes, it's because the vehicles, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states, "fail to conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, 'Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment.'" But read the fine print and you'll see the catch: This recall is only for vehicles fitted with the automaker's auxiliary lighting kit that can be mounted to the front bumper.
Basically, the auxiliary lamp assemblies use 55-watt bulbs, and when these are turned on in conjunction with the upper beam headlamps, it's a pretty blinding sight. NHTSA states that excessively bright lights can blind other drivers, increasing the risk for a crash.
To remedy the situation, Toyota will replace the 55-watt bulbs with cooler 35-watt units. The recall is expected to begin later this month. Scroll down for the full details in the NHTSA report.
Toyota recalling FJ Cruiser due to excessively bright headlights originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 05 May 2013 11:12:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Land Rover held a 65th birthday party for itself at Packington Estate, on the grounds where its contributions to the world of off-roading were tested from the very first model in 1948 all the way through the 1970s. If you weren't there, you missed getting a piece of the birthday cake delivered by a Lynx military helicopter, but you can still get a piece of the anniversary action in the Land Rover LXV Defender SE - LXV being the ancient Roman way of writing "65."
Starting with a Defender specced with the 2.2-liter diesel and six-speed manual, the birthday-boy special edition adds a Santorini Black or Fuji White exterior hue, a Corris Grey roof and interior accents, 16-inch Sawtooth wheels, leather seats and unique badging. Pricing hasn't been announced, probably because it's rude to talk about the cost of a gift on someone's birthday.
For now you can read the press release below and see the celebrant in the high-res image gallery above.
Land Rover Defender LXV special edition celebrates 65 years of going anywhere originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 03 May 2013 17:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
"There will certainly be an SUV in the next two or three years," said Damien Dally, head of the Alfa Romeo brand in the UK, speaking to The Telegraph. We've known for quite some time that Alfa Romeo had plans for a sport utility vehicle - the automaker has gone so far as to produce a concept of what such a machine may look like, as seen by the Kamal above.
We've even heard a few dates from Alfa Romeo about when to expect its production SUV, and so far, each of them has come and gone with nary a 'ute to be seen. Still, where there's smoke there's fire, and we really do think the Italian automaker is cooking up an SUV or two, possibly based on underpinnings borrowed from either the Jeep Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, or both - remember, both Jeep and Alfa fall under the massive Fiat umbrella held up by Sergio Marchionne.
Of course, we've been waiting for Alfa Romeo's return to the United States for what feels like an eternity, so we're not holding our breath for a flock of US-market machines anytime soon. That said, we'll keep our ears to the ground for more on any potential new Alfa SUVs or crossovers, and as soon as we know anything solid, so will you.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The Wagoneer got the SUV on the radar of buyers looking for something capable, comfortable and rugged.The Jeep Wagoneer was introduced 50 years ago, and it's that vehicle we have to thank for the herds of excellent crossovers and SUVs that make up our current automotive landscape. On a personal level, I have always loved the full-size Jeeps and their crisp Brooks Stevens styling, which aged well over their long tenure on the market. The SJs, as they're known among enthusiasts, were the Wagoneer and its two-door counterpart, the original Cherokee. The Wagoneers had become true luxury vehicles by the end of their run, which stretched form late 1962 as a '63 model all the way to 1991, when they were offered exclusively under the Grand Wagoneer nameplate.
At the end of the line in 1991, The New York Times called the Grand Wagoneer "one of the last true gas guzzlers" as it eulogized the vehicle. It deserves more respect than that; the Wagoneer got the SUV on the radar of buyers looking for something capable, comfortable and rugged. People who could afford such luxuries seemed to understand its purpose. At the end of production, the average Grand Wagoneer buyer pulled in over $100,000 a year, and the Jeep often served as a second or third car. There is no denying that the Wagoneer invented the luxury SUV, years before the Range Rover was ever offered for sale.Permalink | Email this | Comments
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.
At no time will they apply themselves to an SUV, though. Still sticking to its brand-value guns, Müller-Ötvös says that an SUV wouldn't have that trademark Rolls-Royce feeling and that such a vehicle hasn't even been discussed. Having heard this before from other brands, we can't help but suspect that one day in the future we'll hear the phrase, "Oh, but this is the Rolls-Royce of SUVs."
The investment in an SUV would also mean a huge investment in the factory at Goodwood, however, since Wraith production is expected to need three shifts and raise levels to near capacity. And forget about building anything from The Spirit of Ecstasy somewhere else, Müller-Ötvös saying, "Rolls-Royces are built in Goodwood."
Rolls-Royce Wraith convertible planned, SUV rumors kicked to the curb originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Apr 2013 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments