Rolls-Royce has announced that its forthcoming first-ever SUV will take the Cullinan name.
The development vehicle for the luxury off-roader was nicknamed Project Cullinan when it was first revealed back in 2015, but the company maintained it had not decided upon a final model name.
According to Autocar, the title is inspired by the Cullinan Diamond, a 3,106-carat gem discovered in a South African mine in 1905. The jewel was split into nine stones, the largest two of which were mounted in the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross.
Confirming the title, Rolls-Royce chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos said: “It is the most fitting name for our extraordinary new product.”
He added: “Just like the Cullinan Diamond, the largest flawless diamond ever found, it emerges when it is perfect and exists above all others.”
The Cullinan is expected to become “the most expensive production SUV on sale”, with a price tag of around £300,000, says Evo. That makes it considerably more expensive than its main rival, the £135,000 Bentley Bentayga.
Along with the name confirmation, the company also released pictures of the camouflage-covered development vehicle being put through its paces in environments where Rolls-Royces are rarely seen.
The images show “some of the car’s arduous testing regime in Africa, the Middle East and the Arctic Circle”, says Auto Express.
The development vehicle had previously been spotted on the 12.9-mile Nurburgring race track in Germany, which is often used by carmakers to trial their latest products, the magazine adds.
An official release date has yet to be revealed, but according to Evo, the production-ready version could appear sometime this summer.