Rolls-Royce Confirms Cullinan Name for its Upcoming SUV
It’s named after the world’s largest diamond!by Ciprian Florea, on
In 2015, Rolls-Royce announced plans to develop its first-ever SUV. Crafted in response to Bentley and Lamborghini, companies that have already unveiled their people haulers since then, it was codenamed Cullinan and described as a "high-bodied car that would redefine luxury travel by making it effortless, everywhere." Three years later and the SUV is still under development, but recent spy shots suggest that the big unveiling isn’t far away. A specific release date has yet to be set, but Rolls-Royce just confirmed that the production model will carry over the Cullinan name. The Brits also explained why they chose this name for their first-ever SUV.
A Century-Old Diamond
The Cullinan SUV is named after the largest flawless diamond ever found.
The Cullinan SUV is named after the largest flawless diamond ever found. Discovered at a mine in Cullinan, South Africa, on 26 January 1905, the Cullinan Diamond weighed in at 3,106.75 carats (621.35 grams) and remains the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found to this day. Both the diamond and the town were named after Thomas Cullinan, the mine’s chairman. Purchased by the Transvaal Colony government in 1907, the diamond was presented to King Edward VIII of England on his 66th birthday. As of 2018, it is part of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.
From Inception to Perfection?
Rolls-Royce is known for wrapping every single product in fancy words
So what does the iconic Cullinan diamond and an SUV have in common? According to Rolls-Royce, both have had a fascinating journey.
"From the searing deserts of Africa and the Middle East to the freezing snows of the Arctic Circle; from the grassy glens of the Scottish Highlands to the towering canyons of North America, the designers, engineers, craftspeople and artisans of the House of Rolls-Royce have shaped, tested and polished this unique motor car to eliminate any flaw and make it Effortless, Everywhere," the British firm said in a statement.
According to Rolls-Royce, the SUV had a fascinating journey so far
Sure, there’s a lot of PR talk in these sentences, but Rolls-Royce is known for wrapping every single product in fancy words. I’ve heard this "journey" thing with every new model, but I can definitely understand the company’s strategy here in suggesting that every vehicle with a Rolls-Royce badge is perfect. And I guess it’s the kind of speech that businessmen and car enthusiasts with fat wallets like to hear.
“It is the most fitting name for our extraordinary new product. 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. Just like the Cullinan Diamond, the largest flawless diamond ever found, it emerges when it is perfect and exists above all others," added Torsten Muller-Otvos, CEO of Rolls-Royce.
What Do We Know So Far?
It will become the world's most expensive SUV once it goes on sale
For starters, it’s already official that the Cullinan is the second Rolls-Royce to ride on the company’s recently announced all-aluminum spaceframe. Dubbed "Architecture of Luxury," it has already been used in the new-for-2018 Phantom VIII. We also know that it will use a V-12 engine, even though it’s not yet clear whether it will adopt the old 6.6-liter in the Ghost or the revised 6.75-liter unit in the new Phantom.
Design-wise, the spy shots suggest that the Cullinan will share many design features with the new Phantom. Expect to see a few changes here and there; it will be a station wagon version of the big sedan, but with higher ground clearance. Yes, it won’t be as sporty as the Bentley Bentayga, but rather solid, boxy, and imposing. The Cullinan will also become the world’s most expensive SUV once it goes on sale. This title is now owned by the Bentayga at around $230,000, but the Cullinan is rumored to cost in excess of $300,000, if not $350,000.
Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Rolls Royce Cullinan.
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