What's the news?
We've known for three years now that Rolls-Royce was planning to make an SUV (even if the firm refers to its new model as a 'high-sided vehicle' rather than anything as tawdry as a 4x4) and we've also known that the code-name for the vehicle inside the company has been Cullinan. It's an appropriate name - referencing the famed Cullinan diamond, the largest ever found, cuts of which form prominent parts of the Crown Jewels belonging to none other than Her Maj' Queen Liz 2.
Now, though, Rolls-Royce has confirmed that the Cullinan name will be bestowed upon the production car as well as the prototype. "The name Cullinan has been hiding in plain sight since we revealed it as the project name some years ago," comments Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce. "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. Just like the Cullinan Diamond, the largest flawless diamond ever found, it emerges when it is perfect and exists above all others."
Rolls is even making a connection between the journey of the Cullinan diamond from under the ground in South Africa to that of the car, which has undergone endurance testing in locations "from the searing deserts of Africa and the Middle East to the freezing snows of the Arctic Circle; from the grassy glens of the Scottish Highlands to the towering canyons of North America."
"We were inspired by the epic processes, over many millennia, which went into the creation of the Cullinan Diamond. The name embodies the many facets of our new motor car's promise. It speaks of endurance and absolute solidity in the face of the greatest pressures; it tells of rarity and preciousness and it alludes to the pioneering, adventurous spirit of The Hon. Charles Rolls and the engineering innovation of Sir Henry Royce; and, of course, it speaks of absolute luxury, wherever you venture in the world" continued Müller-Ötvös. "Quite simply, the name Cullinan is perfect and brilliant."
The new SUV will use the same spaceframe aluminium platform as the new Phantom saloon (Rolls-Royce calls it the 'Architecture of Luxury') and will borrow that car's 6.75-litre turbocharged V12 too. Expect it to be as staggeringly expensive as it is staggeringly large.