Rolls-Royce's first SUV will get an all-wheel drive system and rival the Bentley Bentayga when it goes on sale in 2018

The Rolls Royce Cullinan SUV has been spotted testing again ahead of the model's expected launch in 2018.

Rolls Royce's super-luxury SUV will be a rival to the Bentley Bentayga and has already been spotted testing with its production body. The brand also previously released an image of the Cullinan as a Phantom-bodied test car.

Special edition Rolls-Royce models shown in Geneva

Rolls-Royce refers to the car as Project Cullinan, although it says that this is a development codename, while refusing to comment on the production name.

It has been confirmed that the SUV will be the first model with four-wheel drive in Rolls-Royce's 110-year history.

A developed version of the Phantom’s 6.8-litre V12 engine is expected to be used for the new SUV, although this isn't yet confirmed. Rolls-Royce has toyed with the idea of a plug-in hybrid powertrain, as well as a diesel unit, although the latter has been discarded due to its lack of refinement.

Rolls-Royce doesn't use the term SUV, instead calling the Cullinan an ‘all-terrain, high-sided vehicle’. We already know that the car will share its aluminium architecture with all other Rolls-Royce models from 2018.

Rolls-Royce Phantom - bidding farewell to a luxury legend

Rolls-Royce had previously revealed details of where the car will be tested ahead of its official launch; these latest pictures appear to be taken at the Arctic Circle for cold-weather testing, and it will be shipped to the Middle East for the opposite later in the year. Previous examples have been snapped high-speed testing on the German autobahns.

The high-riding Cullinan's boxy design takes after Rolls-Royce's flagship Phantom, as opposed to the smoother-looking Ghost. The spy shots also show that the rear doors of the Cullinan are rear-hinged, as seen on the Ghost and Phantom.

We put two of the Cullinan's rivals head-to-head:

Our Verdict

Rolls-Royce Phantom

The Rolls-Royce Phantom comes with opulence befitting its huge price tag. It is the benchmark for ride quality

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Comments
35

1 December 2016
Why?
Lee J

1 December 2016
flappy88 wrote:

Why?

Profit

1 December 2016
The masking execution is unfortunate, making the car look like an old commercial van. Not sure that's the effect Rolls was after - do they really think prospective owners start salivating?

1 December 2016
soldi wrote:

The masking execution is unfortunate, making the car look like an old commercial van. Not sure that's the effect Rolls was after - do they really think prospective owners start salivating?

Prospective owners will have had personal invites to see it undisguised - these pictures are just for us plebs.

2 December 2016
flappy88 wrote:

Why?

Demand.

9 December 2016
Who teaches car designers to think 'pretty' is a rude word? There's something ugly about these tanks being aspirational and as for the people who think 'exclusive' is the same as expensive....

9 December 2016
Bullfinch wrote:

Who teaches car designers to think 'pretty' is a rude word? There's something ugly about these tanks being aspirational and as for the people who think 'exclusive' is the same as expensive....

'Elegance' in car design.... hmmm.... Ah yes, I remember that!

Before every manufacturer jumped onto the SUV craze bandwagon and started styling their vehicles to look like fat a**ed vans, walls of sheet metal instead of elegant design, overly aggressive front styling to bully other motorists.

8 February 2017
flappy88 wrote:

Why?

Rag heads

1 December 2016
all that's missing is a rubber duck where the usual RR ornament sits

1 December 2016
Is that the best they could do?

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