Every luxury automaker is getting into the lucrative business of selling SUVs - even Lamborghini, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Aston Martin.
And the latest to join the band-wagon is none other than Rolls Royce with the Cullinan. After years hidden away in development, the Cullinan finally broke onto the luxury motoring scene and delivery is set to start in early 2019 as one of the most audacious projects to ever come out of the famed Goodwood workshop. The car hasn’t exactly been kept under covers in recent months with sightings of it at tracks like Germany’s Nurburgring, albeit in camo guise.
Ferrari, on the other hand, has said emphatically that it has no desire to produce SUV. Company's CEO Sergio Marchionne said earlier this year that "you'd have to shoot me first" before Ferrari built an SUV. So we thought that that settles that. But (oh no), well-connected journalist Georg Kacher says that a Ferrari SUV, internally code-named F16X, is being developed for a 2021 launch. The F16X - which anonymous Ferrari sources claim isn't an SUV, as such - will be built alongside the replacement for the GTC4Lusso.
So is the motoring world gone SUV mad? And why is that? We asked a few local SUV owners, and here’s what we came up with:
1-Better ground clearance
2-AWD (or pretend!)
3-Better road visibility for shorter folk.
4-Better cargo space.
5-Perception that SUV’s are tougher and more durable.
5-MPG is now much improved than previously.
6-In the local market, you can get a good deal on a small SUV with a small cubic capacity engine.
And note that none of the SUV owners rated off road ability as a requirement for buying an SUV. So off roading will have to be considered a separate niche activity undertaken by a few nut cases (I admit, I am one) who likes to go where other vehicles don’t dream of going, and get their vehicles muddy and dirty in the process.
Actually the SUV has been the savior of many a car manufacturer – notably Porsche with their Cayenne. So currently manufacturers have realized that this is one of the most lucrative segments of their market.
The way the (motoring) world is going, in another 25 years Classic Cars will consist of many of the sedans that we are driving now. We think that sedans – especially petrol powered ones - will be so rare as every man and their dog will have an – electric- SUV!
For now though, we still have the chance to enjoy low slung sedans and coupes and yes… for those so inclined, some great SUV’s in the mix too.