Kez Casey | Jan 6, 2016

It’s no secret that a new generation of Rolls-Royce products is on its way, with the luxury automaker already admitting that work is underway for a new SUV (although the company would rather the term ‘high-body vehicle’).

To underpin that new vehicle, as well as a successor to the ultra-luxurious Phantom range, and the slightly smaller Ghost, Wraith and Dawn further down the track, Rolls-Royce is developing a thoroughly modern new aluminium space frame architecture.

For use beneath the new SUV the platform will be able to accommodate an all-wheel-drive system, a first for the brand, as well as offering a variety of wheelbase lengths, and both low and high-riding suspension systems.

A much earlier engineering mule for the future SUV
A much earlier engineering mule for the future SUV

The new platform will appear under its first production vehicle in 2018, however whether that’s the Phantom replacement, or the SUV being developed under the Project Cullinan working title, remains to be seen.

The image at the top of the page shows a test mule that Rolls-Royce will use in the testing phase of the new platform. While heavily disguised, particularly thanks to a flash of light over the rear pillar, the low ride height indicates that this car probably isn’t the future SUV.

That said, as an early-stage mule, it isn’t exactly how the next Phantom will look either, but key points like the expansive wheelbase, and elements like the rear-hinged coach doors at the rear, aren’t likely to be altered much in the move to production.

MORE: Rolls-Royce News and Reviews

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