Rolls-Royce has officially revealed the Cullinan badge will be used for upcoming 'high-sided vehicle', due to be unveiled this year.
Rolls-Royce has teased its all-new Cullinan SUV once again before its official reveal next week. The new video, published on the brand’s Twitter feed, shows a disguised version of the Bentley Bentayga rival extreme weather testing.
The latest clips show the car driving in remote locations including rocky hillsides, sand dunes and frozen tundra – as well as smooth Middle-Eastern tarmac – to emphasise Crewe’s "effortless, everywhere" description of its new luxury 4x4.
The name for the new “high-sided vehicle” is taken from the Cullinan diamond; mined in 1905 in South Africa, its 3106 carat weight makes it the largest flawless diamond ever found.
We previously spotted the Cullinan testing on the Nurburgring. While the demanding German racetrack, nicknamed the 'Green Hell', is frequently used by carmakers to test their latest vehicles, we didn't expect to see the comfort-oriented Cullinan being pushed to its limits there. Despite the disguise on this prototype, the square-edged profile of the Bentayga-rivalling production car can clearly be seen.
Another test mule was previously caught being hitched up on a trailer, where the imposing front end was revealed in full. While the lights and Spirit of Ecstasy bonnet mascot are missing, the trademark large chrome grille is clear to see, while the front bumper features a number of air intakes to guide cooling air to the engine and brakes. The upright grille is flanked by rectangular headlight housings, and overall the Cullinan's shape is instantly recognisable.
Also visible is the Rolls-Royce badge and side repeater that's set into the front wing behind the wheel arch – a familiar modern Rolls styling cue – while a rubbing strip runs across the front and rear-hinged back door, although whether that is kept on the final production car remains to be seen. The Cullinan's boxy proportions are reminiscent of a raised-up Phantom, which is a look that suits the traditional SUV template. The huge seven-spoke alloy wheels are similar to those found on the Ghost, although like that car buyers are likely to get a variety of wheel options in different styles and sizes.
Rolls-Royce has already confirmed that the Cullinan will ride on the same aluminium architecture as the current Phantom. An all-new suspension system is being primed for the production Cullinan too, alongside the four-wheel-drive system.
Speaking to Auto Express at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, Rolls-Royce boss, Torsten Muller-Otvos, revealed that the upcoming Rolls-Royce SUV would be launched in the first half of 2018.
He was confident about the progress being made on developing the brand's first high-riding SUV model, although he prefers to call it an all-terrain vehicle.
And, in a direct dig at Bentley, which describes its Bentayga as the "best SUV in the world", he added: “The Bentley SUV is clearly the number two; Rolls-Royce is the best in the world and will be when our model arrives. We will bring a great new car, and an authentic Rolls-Royce into the market.”
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