New sightings of Rolls-Royce's first SUV testing flat out at the Nürburgring show soft suspension; it will get an all-wheel-drive system and rivals the Bentley Bentayga

A Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV has been spotted at the Nürburgring, with the car's body leaning around a corner as it tests flat out. 

Its Nürburgring appearance, along with the fact that the car was previously sighted parked outside of a crash test site, suggests that the model is entering the latter stages of pre-production development.

This supports information that the brand's first all-wheel-drive model will make it to market in early 2018, when it will rival the Bentley Bentayga in the highest ranks of the luxury SUV segment.

The car, which has yet to be officially named but is referred to internally as Project Cullinan, will likely 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.

Rolls-Royce describes its future model as an ‘all-terrain, high-sided vehicle’. It will lend its aluminium architecture to all other Rolls-Royce models from 2018.

Rolls-Royce Phantom - bidding farewell to a luxury legend

The Cullinan's boxy design takes after Rolls-Royce's flagship Phantom, as opposed to the smoother-looking Ghost. Recent 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
39

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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