Shots fired.

The don’t-call-it-an-SUV from Rolls-Royce is about a year away, but company CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes is eager to talk about the brand’s very first high-riding model. Speaking with Automotive News, the head honcho at RR confirmed Project Cullinan (name not final) will ride on the same new platform that has underpinned the 2018 Phantom, but that was far from being the most interesting part of the interview.

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To make it worthy of its Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament, the “high-sided vehicle” as Rolls-Royce likes to call it can’t use mass-manufactured body shells since Mueller-Oetvoes believes that would hamper exclusivity. In addition, he went on to specify the company’s design team would not have enough freedom to work its magic on the Cullinan, which is why it’s being developed from the ground up to be a “true Rolls-Royce” through and through.

It was at that moment in the interview when the CEO took a not-so-subtle jab at Bentley and its Bentayga, saying that it’s nothing more than “a camouflaged [Audi] Q7.” The two SUVs from the Volkswagen Group are riding on the same MLB Evo platform, which is set to underpin the forthcoming Lamborghini Urus as well as the next-generation Touareg.

As for the Cullinan, it will be based on what Rolls-Royce describes as being the “Architecture of Luxury” used by the Phantom VIII. The stately sedan is propelled by a biturbo 6.75-liter V12 developing 563 horsepower and 664 pound-feet (900 Newton-meters) of torque, so expect just about the same from RR’s tall vehicle.

Considering Mueller-Oetvoes’ statement, it will be interesting to see whether there are going to be any shared parts between the Cullinan and the BMW X7 also due in 2018. Details are scarce about the Phantom’s (and consequently the Cullinan’s) new platform, but hopefully more info will be revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.

“Architecture of Luxury” sure does sound interesting and we know for a fact it will serve as foundation for all Rolls-Royce models going forward.

Source: Automotive News

Gallery: Rolls-Royce Cullinan Nurburgring Spy Shots

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