When there is a great athlete in a sport other than basketball, he or she is inevitably called, “The Michael Jordan of [insert sport name].” In a similar fashion, the finest example of an object is typically referred to as “The Rolls-Royce of X.” Up until recently, however, Rolls-Royce did not actually make “The Rolls-Royce of SUVs.” That is about to change.
The British automaker recently revealed the first official images of its much-anticipated SUV, dubbed Project Cullinan. Befitting the hoity-toity nature of Rolls-Royce, the company does not actually classify Cullinan with such pedestrian terms as “sport-utility vehicle,” instead opting to call it an “all-terrain, high sided vehicle.”
In the two images released by Rolls-Royce, the vehicle’s body is sheathed in swirly black and white camouflage that makes it difficult to get a feel for the Cullinan’s lines. The rear, which in addition to the “high sidedness” is what will most distinguish Cullinan from other vehicles in the Double R fleet, is also intentionally obscured. But the imposing grille is unmistakably Rolls-Royce.
Now that the first fully developed vehicle has been shown, Rolls-Royce intends to start testing it semi-publicly. After Christmas, Cullinan is headed to the Arctic Circle to see how it holds up in cold weather conditions. Next year, it will travel to the Middle East to be tested in the opposite climate. No details about when the Cullinan will actually be available have been released, and Rolls-Royce seems likely to tease out the process as much as possible.
Rolls-Royce is certainly not the first luxury automaker to get into the SUV game. Its closest competitor, Bentley, revealed its entry, the Bentayga, earlier this year.