Whether it’s a lapse in rising fuel prices or the fact that we simply love the ruggedness and power of SUVs, sales for these vehicle types continue to climb as 2016 comes to an end.
This might have added some motivation for luxury vehicle maker Rolls-Royce to offer a sneak peak of its new SUV two years ahead of its once projected launch date.
By the way, Rolls is asking that the new vehicle, dubbed the Cullinan after one of the largest diamonds ever unearthed, not be referred to as an SUV, but an all-terrain high-sided vehicle. Personally, when you offer the only vehicle in its class with suicide-style rear doors, I don’t care what you want to classify it as.
Sporting a camouflage paint scheme to keep some details under wraps until testing is complete, one thing we know for sure is that the vehicle will offer Rolls’ new aluminum design platform, or what the company refers to as the Architecture of Pure Luxury.
This lighterweight body and frame styling will incorporate four-wheel drive and an advanced suspension system to deliver the kind of ride you’d expect in a luxury SU – I mean all-terrain high-sided vehicle.
The engine hasn’t been specified yet, but projections are unanimous that it will be a V12 – either the 6.75-liter variety or a 6.6-liter twin turbo. A plug-in hybrid variant is also reportedly being considered.
The next steps for the vehicle are trips to the Arctic Circle and Middle East for performance testing in extreme conditions.
The Cullinan wasn’t expected to make its official debut until 2018, but that timeline could be moved up. Just an FYI that Architecture of Pure Luxury is expected to run buyers just over $420,000.