Taking a direct shot at archrival Bentley, Rolls-Royce promises its upcoming SUV will be better than the recently-introduced Bentayga in every quantifiable way.
“The Bentley SUV is clearly the number two; Rolls-Royce is the best in the world and will be when our model arrives. We will bring a great new car, and an authentic Rolls Royce into the market,” affirmed CEO Torsten Müller in an interview with British magazine Auto Express.
Likely called Cullinan, Rolls-Royce’s first-ever SUV will share a handful of components with the upcoming BMW X7 but it will ride on a brand new, purpose-designed aluminum space frame chassis in order to keep weight in check. It will be the tallest member of the Rolls lineup by a long shot, but it will be more of a soft-roader designed to occasionally go off the beaten path than an all-out off-roader built to hit the trail.
The SUV will launch with a V12 engine, but it could become Rolls’ first-ever gasoline-electric model a little later in the production run. It will largely be aimed at the Chinese market so it will need to comply with the strict fuel economy and emissions regulations that the country will introduce early in the next decade.
BMW-owned Rolls-Royce has confirmed the Cullinan will be introduced in late 2018, meaning it could make its public debut at that year’s Los Angeles Motor Show. In the United States, it will most likely go on sale as a 2019 model.