Spied! Rolls-Royce Cullinan Caught Testing in California

Spy Photos

Rolls’ first SUV spotted in our own backyard

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We’ve seen the upcoming Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV, or “high-sided bodied vehicle” as the automaker likes to say, a few times before. However, this time the ultra-luxurious Rolls-Royce has been caught testing in California by an eagle-eyed reader. This is the first time we’ve seen the Cullinan stateside and we’re happy to see it’s conducting tests not far from Motor Trend HQ.

Not much on the camouflaged prototype has changed when compared to previous spy shots. We believe the SUV will feature suicide doors, despite what appear to be fake conventional door handles placed on the rear doors. The rear glass is camouflaged to appear smaller and the taillights are fake, disguising the rear end’s true design. The front end is unmistakable, however, showing off Rolls’ traditional large vertical grille flanked by thin LED headlights.

Details are still minimal but we expect powertrain options for the SUV to mirror what’s available for the rest of the lineup, including a BMW-sourced twin-turbo 6.6-liter V-12 that should pump out more than 600 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. The engine will likely be backed by a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive should be available as an option if it’s not standard.

The Cullinan will be built on a new aluminum-intensive platform that underpins the redesigned 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom and other upcoming Rolls-Royces. With an expected price tag in the area of $400,000, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan will compete with the Bentley Bentayga, and the upcoming Aston Martin DBX, Mercedes-Maybach SUV, and Lamborghini Urus ultra-premium SUVs.

Photo credit: Evan Brodsky

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