Rolls-Royce releases first most expensive SUV
Luxury car maker, Rolls-Royce, has announced the production of its first sport utility vehicle, which will likely be the most expensive SUV in the world.
This is coming about two years after the London-based automaker first hinted about its plan to build a vehicle that can conquer all terrains, which people interpreted as an SUV.
According to the manufacturer, the new SUV called Project Cullinan, which takes styling cues from Phantom saloon, but features an all-wheel drive system, will set new luxury standards among vehicles in its segment.
The Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, is quoted in an online report by Driven as saying, “This is an incredibly exciting moment in the development of Project Cullinan both for Rolls-Royce and for the patrons of luxury that follow us around the world.
“Bringing together the new four-wheel drive system and the new ‘architecture of luxury’ for the first time sets us on the road to creating a truly authentic Rolls-Royce which, like its forebears, will reset the standard by which all other luxury goods are judged.”
Once launched, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan will go up against Bentley’s equally luxurious SUV, the report says, adding that the premium car is expected to undergo a rigorous testing programme after Christmas, when it will head to the Arctic Circle for “cold weather durability” and “traction testing”.
The vehicle’s global launch is likely to be next year and will be 2018 model, many sources have confirmed.
The vehicle features Rolls-Royce’s first all-aluminium architecture, which is expected to be implemented in its future cars. The new architecture will be used “for a next-generation” Phantom following the announcement the company has halted production on the saloon, another online journal, Auto Express, says.
“Although it’s difficult to picture the exact shape of Project Cullinan, it does resemble the most recent Rolls-Royce models, featuring the historic front grille and suicide doors. It also takes styling cues from the Phantom – most notably the sharper edges around the front and along the wings,” it states
The SUV is expected to use “a developed version of the Phantom’s 6.8-litre V12 engine”, reports Autocar, adding that a diesel unit was considered but dropped “due to its lack of refinement”.
Although the single most costly SUV will probably remain the modified Mercedes G Wagon adapted by Dartz Motorz, Rolls-Royce is widely anticipated to take the crown as the producer of the world’s most expensive mass-produced SUV when it comes on sale in 2018 says a report by online Standard journal.
It also notes that this may be a season of SUVs, recalling that last month, Maserati showed the world its first SUV, the Levante aimed at young families, with about 30 to 40 per cent of sales from women. This also came a few months after Jaguar’s first SUV, the F-Pace, was unveiled.
Alfa Romeo has also unveiled its first SUV, which it says will do 0-60 in 6.2 seconds and manage a top speed of 177 mph.
“If that’s the case, the Stelvio will be a direct competitor with the top-of-range SUVs such as the Jaguar F-Pace, Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 and Porsche Macan Turbo, despite costing a lot less, at £35,000 for the base model,” the report adds.
Rolls-Royce has yet to announce prices for Project Cullinan, the prices of rivals including Bentley’s new Bentayga and the Range Rover Autobiography, are in excess of £100,000, which is about N60m. And when costs of freight and clearing are added, it will be over N100m.
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