Goodwood, West Sussex - Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Project Cullinan, the all-new ‘high-bodied’ Rolls-Royce that was first announced in 2015 in the august pages of the Financial Times, is that Rolls-Royce refuses to call it an SUV.
“The name Cullinan has been hiding in plain sight since we revealed it as the project name some years ago,” commented chief executive officer Torsten Müller-Ötvös, confirming that the new diamond in the company’s crown would indeed be known as the Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
It won’t be badged as such however; no Rolls-Royce has ever carried a name or model badge. All you will find are discreet R/R logos on the radiator, boot, hubcaps and interior trim - which is perhaps the ultimate in automotive snobbery.
No drivetrain or technology details have yet been forthcoming from the Goodwood works; all we are told is that it is the second model to be built on the the company’s recently announced proprietary ‘Architecture of Luxury’ aluminium spaceframe, and that it will redefine luxury motoring by making it “Effortless, Everywhere”.
Which implies, at the very least, all-wheel drive and some measure of soft-road capability - although it would take a special class of driver to go bundu-bashing in a Rolls-Royce.
“It is the most fitting name for a motor car of such clarity of purpose, such flawless quality and such presence that it recalibrates the scale and possibility of true luxury,” said Müller-Ötvös.
“We were inspired by the epic processes, over many millennia, that went into the creation of the Cullinan Diamond. The name speaks of endurance in the face of great pressure, of rarity and great value, and, of course, of absolute luxury, wherever you venture in the world."
“The story of the largest diamond ever found, and how the nine flawless stones that were cut from it came to take their place in the English Crown Jewels, resonates in the adventurous spirit of The Honourable Charles Rolls and the absolute engineering integrity of Sir Henry Royce, the miller’s son who believed implicitly that ‘Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble’.”