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We told you it was coming, and now it’s official: Rolls-Royce is building an SUV.

In an open letter issued today, the Goodwood firm has confirmed it is developing an all-new model ‘that can ‘cross any terrain’. Interestingly, the letter makes no mention of the terms ‘SUV’ or even ‘4x4’, but that Rolls refers to it as a ‘high-bodied car’ should be all the clue you need.

Such an SUV should be a near-guaranteed licence for Rolls to print money. The market for luxury SUVs is booming right now, driven particularly by demand from China and Russia, and the RR 4x4 will join the upcoming offerings from Maserati and Bentley.

It’ll likely be more expensive than either. Bentley has confirmed its Bentayga will weigh in over £140,000, but expect the Rolls to cost yet more than that. In fact, we’d expect it to be even more expensive than the £200,000 Rolls asks for its long-wheelbase Phantom.

There’s no word yet on when the RR SUV will arrive, but don’t expect it any time this year. Rolls says it will use an all-new aluminium architecture, which should help to keep weight down - not that Rolls-Royces have ever been unduly concerned with lissom kerbweights - and will embody the brand’s motto of ‘effortless luxury’.

“Many discerning customers have urged us to develop this car, and we have listened,” says the letter. “Rolls-Royces conveyed pioneers and adventurers like Lawrence of Arabia across the vastness of unexplored deserts and over mountain ranges. We are creating a motor car in the greatest traditions of our marque.”

Of course, the big question remains: what might Rolls call its SUV offering? Banshee? Spectre? Phantasm? Poltergeist? Suggestions below, please.

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