Teaser for Rolls-Royce CullinanEnlarge Photo
What was originally just a code name is now the official label for Rolls-Royce's SUV.
Rolls-Royce on Tuesday confirmed the Cullinan name for its first-ever SUV, though the British brand would prefer you think of the vehicle as a high-sided car rather than something a well-heeled soccer mom might carry the kids in.
The name of course comes from the Cullinan Diamond, which is the the largest flawless diamond ever found. The 3,106-carat rock was dug up in 1905 in South Africa’s Magaliesberg Mountains and would later be split into nine separate pieces. The two largest of these feature in the crown and scepter of the British Crown Jewels.
Rolls-Royce likens the beauty and absolute solidity of the diamond to its SUV, which is due for a reveal later this year. The SUV will be the second model based on the Rolls-Royce-exclusive aluminum spaceframe architecture that debuted last year in the eighth-generation Phantom. Expect the SUV to also borrow the Phantom's 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V-12, which in the ultra-luxury sedan delivers 563 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Unique to the Cullinan should be an all-wheel-drive system, though.
“We were inspired by the epic processes, over many millennia, which went into the creation of the Cullinan diamond,” Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said in a statement. “The name embodies the many facets of our new motor car’s promise.”
Public demand calls for Rolls-Royce to add an SUV to its lineup, but the brand says there are other reasons that make the move appropriate. Now, for instance, Rolls-Royce can deliver its promise of effortless performance no matter the terrain. "Effortless, everywhere," as Rolls-Royce puts it. The brand also likes to point to the pioneering, adventurous spirit of founders Charles Rolls and Sir Henry Royce. The duo helped secure Rolls-Royce’s reputation last century by taking top honors in rigorous overland adventures such as the Scottish Reliability Trials, the London to Edinburgh event and the Alpine Trials, so there's also some history here.