Rolls-Royce confirms Cullinan name for upcoming SUV

The Bentayga-rivaling SUV will debut later this year.

Although Rolls-Royce still isn't ready to call it an SUV, the company announced on Tuesday that its upcoming "high-bodied vehicle” will be named Cullinan. Cullinan has been the codename for the high-riding Roller since its inception three years ago.

"The name Cullinan has been hiding in plain sight since we revealed it as the project name some years ago,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce. "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. Just like the Cullinan Diamond, the largest flawless diamond ever found, it emerges when it is perfect and exists above all others.”

Set to arrive later this year, the Cullinan will ride on the same aluminum chassis that underpins the latest Rolls-Royce Phantom. Although not confirmed, the SUV is expected to be powered by a 12-cylinder engine, giving it the kind of firepower to top the Bentley Bentayga. The interior of the Cullinan will feature luxurious appointments worthy of the Rolls-Royce name.

Most Cullinans won't venture off paved roads, but Rolls-Royce is positioning the SUV as a competent off-roader. The company says the Cullinan will "redefine luxury travel by making it effortless, everywhere.”

Rolls-Royce hasn't announced when we'll see the production Cullinan, but the high-bodied vehicle should debut sometime in 2018.

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