Continuing Rolls-Royce’s 111-year journey, the iconic luxury automotive manufacturer moves forward with Project Cullinan, building a high-sided all-terrain vehicle designed to cross multiple terrains
Before any of you look at the image above and think “oh no, what have the done to that Phantom II”, please relax, it is not a new customised model in the range, it is what is known in the automotive industry as a ‘Engineering Mule’, a vehicle that is the technological/mechanical test-bed to assist in the development of what is to come.
It was back in February, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars issued an open letter to outline their future development plans. The crux of this letter was that the brand was developing an all-new Rolls-Royce with exceptional presence, elegance and purpose. The new vehicle was going to be designed with the following key points in mind:
- A car that offers the luxury of a Rolls-Royce in a vehicle that can cross any terrain
- A car that meets our customers’ highly mobile, contemporary lifestyle expectations
- A Rolls-Royce that is as much about the pioneering, adventurous spirit of Charles Rolls as it is about Sir Henry Royce’s dedication to engineering and innovation
- A car that appropriately reflects Rolls-Royce’s brand promise of effortless luxury
- A high-bodied car, with an all-new aluminium architecture
- A unique new motor car worthy of carrying the Spirit of Ecstasy into the future
Feedback from existing and potential new customers strongly indicated that they would be keen to see a new type of vehicle from Rolls-Royce. A new car the retained all the values of the brand but was adaptable to modern lifestyle needs, essentially, the world most luxurious high-sided, all-terrain motor car.
The car featured in this article carries no design aspects of the new proposed vehicle, there is no point in looking for clues to what the new car will look like. What it does have is the first iteration of an all-new suspension that will assist Rolls-Royce engineers in developing a final all-wheel drive system that delivers Rolls-Royce’s hallmark “magic-carpet” ride not only on the road, but off-road too.
The first series of tests will focus on Project Cullinan’s on-road behaviour from suspension throw to high-bodied stability, and will test the new suspension across all types of international road surface specification at test facilities, as well as on public roads. Test surfaces will include; Belgian Pavé, cobblestones, corrugated concrete, noise development and measurement surfaces, resonance road, and acceleration bumps.
The Project Cullinan engineering mules will spend equal amounts of time testing on-road and off-road to ensure that the customer will experience the same unrivalled ride quality on loose surfaces and challenging terrain as they do on the road today.
As you can see from the images, this new and exciting journey for Rolls-Royce is well underway. As with most things at Rolls-Royce, nothing will be rushed and perfection is and always has been the key aspect in their 111 year success in the world of luxury automobiles.
In the words of Sir Henry Royce: “When it does not exist, design it” . We’re hoping for something very special, over to you Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
By Paul Godbold
For more information on Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Project Cullinan
Project Cullinan updates will be published on their official social media channels, these include Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube