By Theodore Opara
TO meet customer demand for a higher-riding vehicle with more passenger space, Rolls-Royce has spent the last several years developing a “high-bodied car” it calls the Cullinan. But since there will be nothing sporty or utility-focused about the Cullinan, you should not call it an SUV. According to one executive, you shouldn’t even compare it to the Bentley Bentayga, either.
Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, Rolls-Royces’ CEO, said the British automaker won’t assemble the Cullinan with “mass-manufactured body shells,” because “that limits what you can do on the design side, and it undermines exclusivity massively.” He then took aim at Volkswagen-owned Bentley, saying, “you don’t want a camouflaged (Audi) Q7 in that segment. You want to have a true Rolls-Royce.”
Rumours suggested that the Cullinan would be based on a heavily modified BMW 7 Series platform, but it will instead be built on the new “Architecture of Luxury” platform that Rolls-Royce developed for the new Phantom. Expect it to offer similar over-the-top luxury and a base price that begins well into six-figure territory. With production expected to begin toward the end of 2018, look for the Cullinan to debut later that year.