With the introduction of the next-gen Phantom just weeks away, Rolls-Royce’s engineers can put their full focus on getting the Cullinan ready for the road. A new batch of spy photos reveals its development in Europe.
Even through the abundant camouflage, the Cullinan’s chiseled lines are impossible to miss. It's quite an imposing vehicle with a broad, flat grille and slab sides. This one features an obvious panel on the rear hatch that hides the actual shape, and this test mule wears provisional taillights. The vehicle looks quite striking but don’t call it an SUV. Rolls doesn’t like the term “sport” ascribed to the brand, so the firm uses terms like “high-bodied car” and “high-sided vehicle” for the Cullinan.
The Cullinan rides on the same aluminum-intensive platform as the new Phantom, which should keep weight down. They also share an upgraded version of Rolls’ V12, but a plug-in hybrid might come later. “It will combine the luxury elements from the Phantom with true 4x4 capabilities,” chief designer Giles Taylor previously told Motor1.
Gallery: 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan spy photos
After entering through the coach doors, occupants should find an incredibly opulent cabin. Expect the Cullinan to share the Phantom’s move to a digital instrument panel. Rolls promises that a new suspension offers a “magic carpet” ride, so passengers should be comfortable no matter where the driver goes on- or off-road.
The Cullinan goes on sale in 2018, but we could see the production model debut this year, possibly even at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. When it arrives, expect prices to be higher than the Phantom, which would make the model quite pricey.