For the past year or so, we’ve been watching Rolls-Royce working on its new crossover under the handle Project Cullinan.
Then, a couple of months ago, we brought you reports that the finished product would wear another name once it reached production. Now the automaker has confirmed that its forthcoming sport-utility vehicle will indeed be called Cullinan.
The name is borrowed from a diamond – the largest ever discovered – unearthed in South Africa in 1905 (the year before Rolls-Royce was founded).
“The name Cullinan has been hiding in plain sight since we revealed it as the project name some years ago,” said Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös. “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.”
The British automaker has steered clear of using terminology like “crossover” or “SUV” to refer to the vehicle under development, preferring to call it a “high-sided vehicle.” Regardless, it is expected to adopt all-wheel driver and a tal wagon bodystyle to take aim at (or aim above) the Bentley Bentayga at the very top of the fast-growing luxury crossover marketplace.
Following the release of the new Phantom, the Cullinan will also be the second vehicle to be based upon the company’s new aluminum spaceframe architecture. The successors to the current Ghost, Wraith, and Dawn are expected to borrow the same platform as well.
To accompany the name announcement, Rolls-Royce has released a series of new photos of the prototype undergoing testing. But camouflaged as the prototypes still are, they show little more than we’ve seen from the continuous stream of spy shots we’ve seen to date.