The first spy shots of the Rolls Royce Cullinan SUV have arrived just a little over a week since the car was revealed with its 4×4 body-shape for the first time.
While the official pictures released by Rolls last week were a sneak peek at the huge, square 4×4, but the spy pictures of the SUV undergoing public testing are more revealing.
The door handles reveal that the Roller will get rear hinged suicide style rear doors, with the car’s rear end, revealing two large, square exhaust exits embedded in the rear bumper. However, the back end of the car is heavily masked.
What It Is: The madness of the wealthy.
The Bentley Bentayga has made Rolls-Royce’s first SUV a certainty, with the company confirming that it is working on one under the code name Cullinan, dubbed, fittingly, for a famously gargantuan diamond of 3106.8 carats.
Why It Matters: Millionaires, like everyone, are moving into SUVs. A Rolls Royce 4×4 should sell strongly to the cash rich.
Plus, if you go back far enough, you discover some of the earliest Rollers were used for some pretty adventurous escapades. Back in the days before roads were common place
Platform: The Cullinan will be based on Rolls Royce’s new aluminum space-frame architecture, developed to help move the next generation of Rollers away from their engineering links with the mere commoners – BMWs.
Powertrain: Rolls don’t really do fewer than 12 cylinders old boy, so it’s as certain as the English afternoon tea is served, that the Cullinan will have a 12, most likely a development of the Ghost’s twin turbo 6.6ltr.
A plug-in-hybrid version will eventually be offered too.
Dubbed ‘project Cullinan’ and likely to use that name for production, this is the British luxury brand’s first high-riding model. In its press release Rolls-Royce says that the Cullinan is officially set to be “assessed on public roads in various locations around the world”. The testing phase will ensure the SUV still “delivers Rolls-Royce’s trademark ‘magic-carpet’ ride on a variety of surfaces and that it is resilient to extreme weather conditions”.
Just after Christmas this development mule will travel north to take part in cold weather testing in the Arctic Circle. At the opposite end of the scale, it’ll be also tested in extreme heat, travelling to the Middle East later on in 2017.
If the Bentayga’s initial success is anything to go by, there’s no doubt this could be the strongest-selling Rolls-Royce in recent years, if not ever. But don’t expect the brand to adopt a mass-market pricing strategy: this is still very much a bespoke, hand-made car and the price will definitely reflect that.
If you need to ask the price, then it is not the SUV for you …
It is expected to hit the road with their elite owners by 2018
Image credits; Autoexpress.co.uk