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Rolls-Royce: upcoming SUV won't be a "monster truck"

by Ronan Glon

The SUV\'s design has been finalized.

Rolls-Royce has shed a little bit of insight into what we can expect from its upcoming SUV.

Called Project Cullinan internally, the British firm's first-ever off-roader will sit atop a brand new aluminum space frame. The architecture will allow it to offer the "magic carpet" ride that buyers have come to expect from Rolls-badged sedans, coupes, and convertibles for decades in spite of its raised ground clearance.

Speaking of ground clearance, the Cullinan won't be a monster truck, affirmed Adrian van Hooydonk, the head of BMW's design department. The design has been finalized, but the designer stopped short of revealing what the off-roader will look like.

Billed as a Rolls that customers can drive daily, the Cullinan will likely launched with a V12 engine that it will share with other members of the company's lineup. Rumors indicate the 12-cylinder will be joined by a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, but nothing is official at this point.

While Rolls-Royce has never dabbled in the SUV segment before, the firm points out that it has built more than a few all-terrain vehicles over the course of its long history.

"When the brand started, typically the cars had a lot of ground clearance and huge wheels, and were used by Maharajas and other people to drive from Europe to the Far East," van Hooydonk in an interview with Top Gear magazine.

The Cullinan -- a name that might not be used on the production model -- is expected to make its official debut in 2018.

Note: pictured.

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