As the first-ever Rolls-Royce SUV, currently under development using the working title Project Cullinan, makes its way towards production, the historic British marque has reveled that public testing for the "all terrain, high sided" vehicle is set to begin from this week.
In line with the announcement Rolls-Royce has released another develpment image of the new vehicle to accompany the first image released in January this year, though the final form remains shrouded in camouflage
Project Cullinan's development progress has been very public - despite the camouflaged vehicle shown in photographs - with a strategy the company outlined in an open letter published in England’s Financial Times as far back as 18 February 2015.
In a few weeks, the development vehicle will tackle the Arctic Circle for cold weather durability and traction testing and, next year, it will travel to the Middle East for hot weather and desert conditions.
The objective is for the Cullinan to be “effortless... everywhere” according to Rolls-Royce.
Of great significance are both the all-wheel-drive system and an all-new aluminium architecture which the company says will underpin all Rolls-Royce vehicles from 2018 - starting with the Cullinan and to be followed by the eighth-generation Phantom.
“Bringing together the new four-wheel drive system and the new ‘architecture of luxury’ for the first time sets us on the road to creating a truly authentic Rolls-Royce which, like it forebears, will reset the standard by which all other luxury goods are judged,” revealed Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes.
The Cullinan name comes from the largest gem-quality diamond ever found - discovered in South Africa and part of the Crown jewels, mounted on the Queen’s sceptre.