Rolls Royce has officially confirmed that its long-awaited new model is to be named after the largest diamond ever discovered – Cullinan.
Dubbed a "high-bodied car", the Cullinan is more likely to be referred to as an SUV by those outside Rolls-Royce"s Goodwood factory walls. As the first model of its type to be officially produced by the company, the Cullinan breaks new ground for the prestigious marque.
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These official images show the Cullinan dressed in the "dazzle-effect" camouflage used to throw onlookers off the scent when on test. Prototypes of the new car have previously been spotted undergoing tests in harsh conditions and Cullinan was revealed as its development name – but only now has it been officially confirmed for the production model.
Rolls Royce claims the Cullinan will "redefine luxury travel by making it effortless, everywhere" – which suggests an SUV-like ability to tackle off-road terrain. Images of the new car traversing steep, muddy slopes seem to demonstrate that the new car packs plenty of mechanical muscle – this is a "high-bodied car" that promises more than just plentiful headroom.
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Although quickly divided into nine portions after its discovery in 1905, the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond remains the largest ever discovered. The two biggest pieces can be found among the British crown jewels, in the Imperial Crown and the Sovereign"s Sceptre.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Rolls-Royce CEO, said: “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."
The disguised car in these images does little to give away any of its design secrets – we can see that its overall form complies with the SUV norm, but few details can be made out. However, a closer look reveals the presence of rear-hinged "suicide" back doors, as seen on the Rolls-Royce Phantom and Rolls-Royce Ghost.
The tall, vertically slatted radiator grille satisfies Rolls-Royce tradition and the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot is perched above. The grille is flanked by high-mounted LED headlamps, with cooling apertures below. Further cooling is provided by wide openings below number-plate height and a sensor can be seen that could hint towards an autonomous driving capability.
Little has been revealed of the Cullinan"s technical makeup, but it"s known to use an all-new platform shared with the next-generation of Rolls-Royce Phantom. This suggests the Cullinan is "all Rolls-Royce" and doesn"t use a BMW platform like the Ghost saloon. The Cullinan"s Bentley Bentayga SUV rival, meanwhile, uses a platform shared with the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne.
As yet, Rolls Royce hasn"t released price or availability details for the Cullinan, but it"s understood that launch can be expected in the first half of 2018.