Rolls-Royce's First SUV To Reach Showrooms By Late 2018

Rolls-Royce has officially confirmed longstanding rumors by announcing the forthcoming debut of the company's first SUV. If the words “sport” and “utility” seem rather uncouth, fear not: RR has code-named it “Cullinan” (after the famous 3,000 carat diamond) and is disdaining the term SUV in favor of “high-bodied car”.

The upcoming Cullinan – though there's no guarantee that moniker will stick – is scheduled to debut in late 2018, presumably as a 2019 model. It will join a market niche that's about to become quite crowded as Bentley, Lamborghini, BMW (with their promising X7) are all rushing luxurious SUVs to market. Rolls-Royce is owned by BMW, by the way, though the German automaker doesn't appear worried about competing against itself, as it were.

It wouldn't be, however, if the Rolls and BMW-badged SUVs enjoy significant price separation. Rolls-Royce intends to sticker the Cullinan at around €275,000 ($340,000 USD) which puts it between the Ghost and the Phantom and indicates the BMW X7 will be priced in reach of the hoi polloi.

What does one get for so many Euros? The highly respected Rolls-Royce name, of course, embodied by the classic Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament mounted above the iconic Roller grille. The Cullinan will also be pushing the luxury envelope both inside and out.

Its sculpted body panels will be formed from aircraft-grade aluminum while a 6.6-liter V12 engine will provide power, possibly via the all-wheel drive system currently used in BMW's 7 Series vehicles. One-percenters with guilty consciences may be able to opt for a PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) version of the Cullinan, no doubt at an additional price premium. (via The Truth About Cars and Autobild, images via Autobild)