BMW design boss Adrian van Hooydonk has shed some light regarding Rolls-Royce's very first SUV, codenamed “Cullinan.”
Speaking with Top Gear at last weekend’s Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, the man in charge of design at BMW talked a little bit about Rolls-Royce’s SUV which he described as being “a truly special car.” He went on to specify fans of the prestigious marque should not be worried because the high-riding RR won’t look like a “monster truck.”
Scheduled to go on sale towards the end of 2018, the “Cullinan” according to van Hooydonk aims to be a car that’s fun to drive and one that owners will be able to use on a daily basis without any problems. The posh, all-terrain SUV will offer that “magic-carpet ride” you would expect from a Rolls-Royce, but with an increased ground clearance and a four-wheel-drive system to better tackle rough roads.
Other details are scarce at the moment, but we already know the Bentley Bentayga-fighting SUV will be underpinned by an entirely new aluminum space-frame architecture which will serve as foundation for all of the company’s models starting 2018. It’s going to be about as long as the Phantom and will probably have coach doors since RR design director Giles Taylor believes these play an important part in the brand’s heritage.
In terms of power, the Rolls-Royce SUV will likely feature an evolution of the reputable 6.75-liter V12 engine sending its power to both axles through an automatic transmission. van Hooydonk mentions the idea behind the SUV is to make it a daily driver even across rough roads as it was the case during the company’s early days when owners like Maharajas and others drove them from Europe to the Far East.
Note: Rolls-Royce "Cullinan" test mule with Phantom body pictured.