Rolls-Royce Issues Update on “Project Cullinan” SUV
Brand Confirms Aluminum Chassis to Underpin Future Models
The SUV market has expanded within the last five years in size and scope beyond what many in the industry could have expected, on both the low-end with the explosion of B-segment crossover and on the high-end with more six-figure luxury models than ever before. The expansion into the stratosphere doesn’t look like it’s stopping anytime soon, with Rolls-Royce jumping into the fray with its own model, for now dubbed “Project Cullinan.” In typical Rolls-Royce style, the brand refuses to call it an SUV, instead referring to it as an “all-terrain, high-sided vehicle.”
In the latest update, we get a few more tidbits about the upcoming über-lux SUV, ahem, high-sided vehicle. The development mule, this time with a more conventional two-box SUV shape, will travel to the Arctic circle for cold weather durability and traction testing and then will later to the Middle East for hot weather and desert testing. Rolls-Royce also said Cullinan’s aluminum (or aluminium, if you’re still part of the Commonwealth) chassis would underpin future Rolls-Royce models starting in 2018. In terms of powertrain, we expect the Cullinan (or whatever it will ultimately be named -- we’d like to see Silver Spur make a comeback) to follow Rolls’ recent convention of twin-turbocharged V-12s. With its archrival Bentley Bentayga making 600 hp, we expect the Rolls SUV to top that figure. The final production vehicle will likely debut sometime in 2018 as a 2019 model.