Cullinan officially named – the jewel in RR's crown?
Two thousand and eighteen is the year of the Rolls-Royce SUV, set to be the world’s most luxurious and expensive all-terrain vehicle – a real diamond in the rough, as its name, announced today, confirms.
We have known it until now only as Project Cullinan, but now Rolls-Royce has said that Cullinan will indeed be the name on the badge of the Goodwood-assembled Rolls-Royce of SUVs. Do not however make the faux pas of calling it a sports utility vehicle; the company’s preferred description is “high-sided all-terrain vehicle”.
As descriptions go it may not be very sexy but it does say what it does on the tin… as can be seen from a new series of pictures of a camouflaged Cullinan released today. With its two-box hatchback profile, extra ground clearance, high-waisted body and towering height, it’s in the SUV mould. But with its new Phantom design influences, coach doors and – of course – Parthenon grille it is also unmistakably a Rolls-Royce.
The new pictures, taken during the car’s development, are interesting in showing what we can take to be a typical Cullinan owner’s useage: slushy highway, snow-covered track and muddy incline. It’s not extreme off-roading by any means but it does hint at Rolls-Royce’s all-terrain ambition for the Cullinan.
Underneath the ‘high sides’ is a version of the Phantom’s new aluminium spaceframe, and it is believed power will be from that car’s twin turbo V12, powering an all-wheel drive system developed specially for this car.
Named after the Cullinan Diamond, the largest flawless diamond ever found and part of the Crown Jewels, the new Rolls-Royce is designed to tap into the ever-expanding SUV sector but also rekindle the adventurous spirit of Charles Rolls and the engineering innovation of Henry Royce, a partnership that saw them take on many pioneering motoring challenges.
“Cullinan is the most fitting name for our extraordinary new product,” said Rolls-Royce chief Torsten Müller-Ötvös. “Cullinan is a motor car of such clarity of purpose, such flawless quality and preciousness, and such presence that it recalibrates the scale and possibility of true luxury.”
And when do we see it without the camouflage? That will be later in the year, although if you are serious about buying one you will probably have already had your invitation to a private viewing…