As you can undoubtedly tell by looking at (a) the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament and (b) the configuration of the grille, this is obviously a Rolls-Royce:
And you are probably wondering about two things as well: (a) given that paisley paint scheme, it seems as though this is some sort of John Lennon edition Rolls, and (b) why is it in the dirt and not on Bond Street or somewhere else more fitting?
Well, this is the forthcoming Rolls SUV, so it is still in camo.
However, the company announced its name today: the Cullinan, named after the diamond of that designation, which is said to be—mined in Magaliesberg Mountains in South Africa in 1905 at 3,106 carats—the largest diamond ever discovered.
It was divided into nine stones, two of which are in the British Imperial Crown and the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross (yes, as in “Crown jewels”).
The Cullinan sits on an all-new aluminum spaceframe that Rolls has developed. The first deployment of the architecture was on the New Phantom, which was introduced in July 2017.
Prepping the then aluminum-intensive Phantom-in-becoming
Then, Philip Koehn, who was the Director of Engineering at the time (he has since left the company and Dr. Mihiar Ayoubi will start in that position on March 1, 2018), said, “Key to Rolls-Royce realizing its vision of being the world’s leading luxury brand, today and in the future, is an architecture that spans the entire Rolls-Royce family. The Architecture of Luxury will carry every future Rolls-Royce, not just the New Phantom. Project Cullinan and eventually the next Ghost, Wraith, Dawn will ride on this architecture, as well as future coachbuild projects.”
Yes, they call the platform not some sort of alphanumeric or Greek letter but the “Architecture of Luxury.”
Note how the SUV’s project name has become its official name.
About that, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Rolls CEO, said “The name Cullinan has been hiding in plain sight since we revealed it as the project name some years ago. It is the most fitting name for our extraordinary new product. Cullinan is a motor car of such clarity of purpose, such flawless quality and preciousness, and such presence that it recalibrates the scale and possibility of true luxury. Just like the Cullinan Diamond, the largest flawless diamond ever found, it emerges when it is perfect and exists above all others.”
You’d think he’s talking about the Crown Jewels, not an SUV.
A young(ish) guy that I’ve known for a number of years, a man who spent the better part of his career writing for auto buff books and who is a car racer on the side, mentioned to me that his wife has a used Lexus ES Hybrid.
Honda is an engine company.
If there’s one thing (and it may be the only thing) that the aluminum and steel industries agree upon, it’s this: We’re leaving the steel era and entering an age of automotive material options, where there are combinations of different materials, not just one dominant material.