High Roller: RR Confirms 'Cullinan' as SUV Nameplate

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

The rumor of an SUV from one of luxury’s mightiest brands has been kicking around for about three years now. Today, the folks at Rolls-Royce confirmed they will be calling it the Cullinan. Hey, at least it’s better than Urus.

In the spirit of not playing by any rules whatsoever, Rolls is referring to the Cullinan as a “high-bodied car.” Well, then. *adjusts monocle*

“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, in an official statement from the company. “It is the most fitting name for our extraordinary new product.”

Deploying words such as flawless, quality, and preciousness, Rolls is not simply flinging around pithy phrases, but is intentionally evoking thoughts of expensive diamonds. Gems do certainly align with the brand but, more importantly, the largest flawless diamond ever found was called the Cullinan diamond. Good company to keep, then.

Ever since the oddly styled Bentley Bentayga arrived for the 2016 model year, a Roller SUV was all but a certainty. You just knew there was no way its former stablemate was going to let it get away with cashing in on the SUV boom all by itself.

Spy shots provided by the manufacturer (so they’re not really spy shots at all, actually) show a familiar-ish two box shape with a large and upright chrome snout like that which is found on the Phantom. Unconfirmed reports bouncing around the web peg the Cullinan’s length in excess of 218 inches, more than a foot longer than the Bentayga. Could the Rolls seat seven?

Perhaps there will be two available interior configurations from the factory, resting on the same platform. One could be the seven-passenger model mentioned above, while the other could ditch the third row in favor of two thrones pushed rearward for maximum legroom and levels of luxury heretofore unseen in the SUV game. That’s all speculation, of course, but certainly not too far fetched if that length dimension is even close to correct.

Expect to find a V12 under the bonnet hood when the Cullinan reaches market. Given today’s concern for Johnny Polar Bear, a plug-in hybrid is a good bet, too. The company didn’t get into plebian details such as price or release date.

Last month, Rolls Royce sold about 100 vehicles in America, so any addition to the lineup – especially of the SUV variety – will surely result in a significant sales bump. Ones thing’s for sure: with the newly refreshed G-Wagen, Bentayga, and Urus, the world’s 1 percent will be spoilt for choice when choosing their next bus for the school run.

[Images: Rolls-Royce]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Feb 13, 2018

    Makes a better name for a vehicle than naming it after the Hope diamond.

  • Amca Amca on Feb 14, 2018

    I'm ashamed to admit I'm beginning to think I might like the looks of this beast. I'm seeing shades of the early-mid '60s Silver Clouds, big tall sedans. These just have a square back end and a hatch.

  • Jonathan IMO the hatchback sedans like the Audi A5 Sportback, the Kia Stinger, and the already gone Buick Sportback are the answer to SUVs. The A5 and the AWD version of the Stinger being the better overall option IMO. I drive the A5, and love the depth and size of the trunk space as well as the low lift over. I've yet to find anything I need to carry that I can't, although I admit I don't carry things like drywall, building materials, etc. However, add in the fun to drive handling characteristics, there's almost no SUV that compares.
  • C-b65792653 I'm starting to wonder about Elon....again!!I see a parallel with Henry Ford who was the wealthiest industrialist at one time. Henry went off on a tangent with the peace ship for WWI, Ford TriMotor, invasive social engineering, etc. Once the economy went bad, the focus fell back to cars. Elon became one of the wealthiest industrialist in the 21st century. Then he went off with the space venture, boring holes in the ground venture, "X" (formerly Twitter), etc, etc, etc. Once Tesla hit a plateau and he realized his EVs were a commodity, he too is focused on his primary money making machine. Yet, I feel Elon is over reacting. Down sizing is the nature of the beast in the auto industry; you can't get around that. But hacking the Super Charger division is like cutting off your own leg. IIRC, GM and Ford were scheduled to sign on to the exclusive Tesla charging format. That would have doubled or tripled his charging opportunity. I wonder what those at the Renaissance Center and the Glass House are thinking now. As alluded to, there's blood in the water and other charging companies will fill the void. I believe other nations have standardized EV charging (EU & China). Elon had the chance to have his charging system as the default in North America. Now, he's dropped the ball. He's lost considerable influence on what the standardized format will eventually be. Tremendous opportunity lost. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Tassos I never used winter tires, and the last two decades I am driving almost only rear wheel drive cars, half of them in MI. I always bought all season tires for them, but the diff between touring and non touring flavors never came up. Does it make even the smallest bit of difference? (I will not read the lengthy article because I believe it does not).
  • Lou_BC ???
  • Lou_BC Mustang sedan? 4 doors? A quarterhorse?Ford nomenclature will become:F Series - Pickups Raptor - performance division Bronco - 4x4 SUV/CUVExplorer - police fleetsMustang- cars
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