Rolls Royce Begins Development Of "Project Cullinan"
It’s always exciting to see spy shots of future vehicles, but it’s not very often that automakers provide said photography. That’s exactly what happened here, as Rolls-Royce has released the first official images of the test mule for its upcoming SUV – or “high-sided, all-terrain motor car,” of course – codenamed Project Cullinan.
Rolls-Royce says that it will begin testing this cobbled-together mule on public roads, so there’s no doubt we’ll be seeing more spy shots in the coming weeks and months. There’s still no telling when the production version will be ready or when a concept might be shown, but Rolls-Royce did reveal a few details about its first SUV.
For starters, Project Cullinan will ride on a shortened version of the platform used for the Phantom, which is also expected to be shared with the imminent BMW X7. The size of the Rolls-Royce SUV is quite obvious from the images, due to the fact that the mule’s body work is essentially a shortened Phantom Series II with an interesting wing on the decklid. Not surprisingly, Rolls-Royce says that this mule shares “no design aspects” with the final product – a good sign indeed, since this car is almost as offensive as the “custom” Maybach created by rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West back in 2011.
Despite sharing platform components with the Phantom, Project Cullinan will get its own suspension setup to accommodate the all-wheel-drive system that will give the car a smooth ride on road and off, or as Rolls-Royce puts it: “effortless… everywhere.”
Continue reading to learn more about Rolls Royce’s future "Project Cullinan".
Why it matters
Although the Rolls-Royce Project Cullinan is still in the very early stages of development, these official images of a test mule show that Rolls-Royce is serious about offering an off-road-friendly luxury vehicle to compete against the Bentley Bentayga and other ultra-lux SUVs. So far this year, Rolls-Royce has been surprisingly open with plans and information about Project Cullinan, but expect that to change as the design and powertrain become more production-ready.
Read our full review of the Rolls Royce SUV here.