Rolls-Royce Mulls Wraith Convertible, But Says No to SUV


  • Rolls-Royce Wraith Picture

    Rolls-Royce Wraith Picture

    The 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith in the shop window features Midnight Sapphire exterior paint with an upper two-tone in Cassiopeia Silver. | April 29, 2013

3 Photos

Just the Facts:
  • A Rolls-Royce Wraith convertible is under serious consideration, but the luxury automaker is not working on an SUV.
  • "We're always open to new ideas, but we're concentrating on other projects," said Torsten Muller-Otvos, Rolls-Royce CEO, when asked about the SUV. "The press are (sic) being more creative than we are."
  • Rolls-Royce is ramping up its output of personally modified cars with features like humidors and refrigerators, he said.

LONDON — A Rolls-Royce Wraith convertible is under serious consideration, but the luxury automaker is not working on an SUV, Edmunds has learned.

"We're always open to new ideas, but we're concentrating on other projects," said Torsten Muller-Otvos, Rolls-Royce CEO, when asked about the SUV. "The press are (sic) being more creative than we are."

Muller-Otvos did not spell out a timetable for a production Rolls-Royce Wraith convertible. He spoke to Edmunds at the unveiling of a 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith in the Harrods shop window here.

While not giving out specific numbers, he said that orders for the Wraith are "more than expected." Many buyers are Ferrari owners, who would never have previously considered the marque, and Bentley Continental GT drivers "who are tired with their cars."

Rolls-Royce is ramping up its output of personally modified cars with features like humidors and refrigerators, he said, based on consumer demand. Nearly every Rolls-Royce Phantom gets the custom treatment, while 70 percent of Rolls-Royce Ghosts get modifications.

Unfortunately, the cost for bespoke body styles is hampered by homologation rules, which make them too expensive with the need to crash-test prototypes.

Rolls-Royce may increase production from the 3,575 cars built in 2012 to approximately 4,500 by adding a third shift, Muller-Otvos said. Outside of the addition of a third shift, there is no real scope for expansion because the factory is in an environmentally restricted area and the company will not build Rolls-Royces anywhere but Goodwood, England. Rolls-Royce enjoyed record sales in 2012.

A production increase would be a sound idea, since the automaker says the market of ultra-high net worth individuals is growing at 3-5 percent annually worldwide. In addition, Rolls-Royce is expanding into new markets, including Vietnam, South America and Nigeria.

Edmunds says: A Rolls-Royce Wraith convertible appears to be a no-brainer.

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