Rolls-Royce has confirmed its new SUV will be called Cullinan
The Cullinan name was the SUV's internal development project name
The SUV shares a platform with the Phantom
The Cullinan has been undergoing an extensive testing programme
Rolls-Royce has confirmed that its first SUV, due to be unveiled this year, will be called the Cullinan.
The Bentley Bentayga rival has been labeled 'Project Cullinan' during its development, although the company maintained it had not decided upon a final model name.
The name is inspired by the Cullinan Diamond, a 3106-carat jewel extracted from a South African mine in 1905. It was split into nine stones, with the two largest portions used in the British Imperial Crown and the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross.
Rolls-Royce boss Torsten Muller-Otvos said the Cullinan name had been “hiding in plain sight”, and added: “It is the most fitting name for our extraordinary new product.”
The Cullinan, which Rolls-Royce refers to as a 'high-sided vehicle' rather than an SUV, is likely to use a developed version of the Phantom’s 6.8-litre V12 engine. A plug-in hybrid powertrain could also be offered at a later stage, using technology from parent company the BMW Group. Rolls-Royce has dismissed the idea of a diesel option due to the comparative lack of refinement offered by such units.
The Cullinan has conducted an extensive testing and development programme, and last year was spotted at the Nürburgring.
The machine's boxy design takes after Rolls-Royce's flagship Phantom, as opposed to the smoother-looking Ghost. Spy shots also show that the rear doors of the Cullinan are rear-hinged, as seen on the Ghost and Phantom.