According to Automotive News, Rolls-Royce is all set to give the potential customers of its upcoming SUV – codenamed Cullinan – a ‘closed-room’ preview of the SUV around June 2018. And if that happens to be the case, expect the Rolls-Royce SUV to debut soon after.
The Cullinan has been spied testing a couple of times at the Nurburgring track in Germany. However, it’s understood that this is done to fine-tune the SUV’s handling characteristics, and not because it’s meant for track days. As per Rolls Royce, the Cullinan will stick to the brand’s core values, meaning it’ll be an uber-luxury vehicle. This also means that it’ll be pitched squarely against the Bentley Bentayga and will be priced similarly. In fact, at that price point, it’ll also compete with the Lamborghini Urus, albeit the Lambo is more of a performance oriented SUV while the Cullinan will be a laid-back luxury cruiser.
Unlike its arch-rivals though, the Cullinan is not going to do any kind of parts sharing with its parent company, BMW. The Cullinan will be based on the all-new aluminium platform that was introduced with the new Phantom. In fact, the company’s head honcho, Torsten Mueller-Oetvos, has apparently said that this aspect makes the Cullinan super exclusive. It’s not a camouflaged Audi Q7 like the Bentayga or Urus, he said.
As for the powertrain, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is expected to get the same 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 that’s offered in the new Phantom. The engine is rated at 563bhp and produces 900Nm of torque. Expect the Cullinan to get the 8-speed ZF automatic of the luxury saloon as well.
Although Rolls-Royce claims that the new SUV will be super exclusive, it’s reported that the company will be pushing its annual global sales to 5,000 units with the Cullinan. For reference, the company sold 3,362 vehicles in 2017. That said, we won't be able to check if Rolls-Royce hits the target figure until the end of 2019, since the customer deliveries of the Cullinan are expected to start only in the beginning of next year.