Cullinan is the second Rolls-Royce to sit atop the company’s recently announced all-new aluminium spaceframe, shared with the new Phantom. It will make its world debut next month at the Geneva Motor Show and go on sale this summer at around £300,000 (RM1.6mil).
Rolls-Royce will however show off the Cullinan much earlier to select customers it thinks will snap up the SUV (like oil sheikhs, rulers, car collectors, self-made entrepreneurs and any other individuals for whom money do grow on trees.) As part of its rigorous testing, the Cullinan prototype has been seen running around the Nurburgring circuit in a last attempt to polish its performance credentials.
Like Lamborghini, Bentley and soon Ferarri, Rolls-Royce is jumping on the SUV bandwagon to cash in on the worldwide buying interest in such high-riding vehicles.
The new Rolls-Royce is named after the Cullinan Diamond, mined from South Africa’s Magaliesberg Mountains in 1905. At 3,106 carats, it remains the largest diamond ever discovered. Cleaved into nine stones, cut and polished, the two largest portions of the Cullinan are attached to the British Imperial Crown and Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross.
As usual, the Rolls-Royce press release was replete with marketing puff. Boiled down to its essence, its CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said: “The name Cullinan has been hiding in plain sight since we revealed it as the project name some years ago.” The statement also avoided labelling the Cullinan an SUV but instead called it rather oddly a "high-sided car."