Rolls-Royce Working on SUV Model for 2017 Launch

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British luxury car maker Rolls-Royce is reportedly readying its first SUV model for release next year.

Dubbed “Project Cullinan” after a large diamond unearthed at a South African mine in 1905, rumour has it the new SUV will be built around an aluminum-intensive structure based on the Phantom’s spaceframe.

Rolls hasn’t shown any official images suggesting what its latest model will look like, but the Internet is rife with digital renderings of varying quality that show an upright front end dominated by the brand’s waterfall grille and squinty headlights. The other thing in common among most renderings is a set of rear-hinged rear doors that appear to latch to the B-pillar, where they mate with the front-hinged front doors.

Though it’s unlikely the production version of the Roller SUV will keep the Cullinan name, it will probably use the Phantom’s BMW-built 6.8L V12 engine, with its 450-plus horsepower and 530-plus lb-ft of torque. Obvious competitors include other exclusive SUVs like Bentley’s Bentayga, Land Rover’s Range Rover Autobiography and the Lamborghini Urus, not to mention the DBX crossover Aston Martin pitched as a concept in early 2015.

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Chris Chase

Chris Chase

As a child, Chris spent much of his time playing with toy cars in his parents’ basement; when his mother would tell him to go play outside, he made car sounds while riding his bicycle or dug roads for his toys in the flower garden. Now he gets to indulge his obsession playing with real cars that make their own cool noises, and gets paid for it.