New high-bodied Rolls-Royce put through its paces


Three years ago, in the pages of The Financial Times, Rolls-Royce announced to the world that it would create a high-bodied car.

It’s a vehicle to rival the equivalent offering from Bentley, the Bentayga, and one which Rolls-Royce bosses hope will redefine luxury travel by making it ‘Effortless, Everywhere’.

The mould-breaking new Rolls-Royce now has a name. It’s going to be called the Cullinan.

CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said: “The name Cullinan has been hiding in plain sight since we revealed it as the project name some years ago.”

He explained: “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.”

Rolls-Royce wants the name to convey the pursuit of perfection undertaken in designing the vehicle.

“We were inspired by the epic processes, over many millennia, which went into the creation of the Cullinan Diamond. The name embodies the many facets of our new motor car’s promise.

“It speaks of endurance and absolute solidity in the face of the greatest pressures; it tells of rarity and preciousness and it alludes to the pioneering, adventurous spirit of The Hon. Charles Rolls and the engineering innovation of Sir Henry Royce; and, of course, it speaks of absolute luxury, wherever you venture in the world,” continued the luxury firm’s CEO.

The Cullinan Diamond was extracted from a mine deep in South Africa’s Magaliesberg Mountains in 1905 and (at 3,106 carats) remains the largest diamond ever discovered.

Cleaved into nine stones, cut and polished, the two largest portions of the Cullinan reside in the British Imperial Crown and Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross. A fitting name then for a vehicle from the brand which represents the absolute pinnacle of perfection.

Müller-Ötvös concludes: “Quite simply, the name Cullinan is perfect and brilliant.”

From the searing deserts of Africa and the Middle East to the freezing snows of the Arctic Circle; from the grassy glens of the Scottish Highlands to the towering canyons of North America, Rolls-Royce’s designers and engineers have shaped, tested and polished their new Cullinan to eliminate any flaw.

It’s the second Rolls-Royce to sit on the company’s recently announced all-new proprietary aluminium spaceframe ‘Architecture of Luxury’ – and the Cullinan is now undertaking what Rolls-Royce calls ‘The Final Challenge’ to prove itself in the public eye.

In an unprecedented partnership, Rolls-Royce and National Geographic are publishing daily updates as the vehicle undertakes trials in Northern Europe, the Middle East and the United States ahead of its world debut later this year.

“I promised the public three years ago that I would involve them in the development and testing of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, and I continue to keep that promise by making The Final Challenge, a public trial,” commented Torsten Müller-Ötvös.