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Is Rolls-Royce Cullinan a better name than Bentley Bentayga?

BMW reveals Rolls-Royce Cullinan codename for new luxury SUV and its range positioning

Rolls-Royce Cullinan - front

The new Rolls-Royce SUV, revealed exclusively by Auto Express back in October 2013 and due on sale in 2017, has the working title Cullinan, parent company BMW has revealed. Cullinan is the name of the world’s largest uncut diamond, found in South Africa in 1905. One of the diamonds cut from the original, called Cullinan I or the Great Star of Africa, is the world’s largest cut diamond and sits in The Queen’s Sceptre in the Tower of London.

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Rolls-Royce SUV confirmed for production  

BMW Sales and Marketing boss, Ian Robertson, a former Chairman of Rolls-Royce, revealed the codename to Auto Express, while also telling us a little about the positioning of the new SUV.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan - rear

 The Rolls-Royce Cullinan will sit beneath the Phantom in the Rolls-Royce range. “The Phantom always has to be the pinnacle,” Robertson told us. He also revealed that the Cullinan is likely to use a development of the Phantom’s lightweight aluminium space frame rather than an all-new platform. The space frame has already been modified for the Phantom Extended Wheelbase, as well as the Phantom Coupé and Phantom Drop Head Coupé.

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That means the Cullinan is likely to share engine technology with a new Phantom, including a new version of the V12 engine and a plug-in hybrid. Robertson was quick to stress that the Cullinan, like the Phantom, would be hugely exclusive and wouldn’t see Rolls-Royce sales soar as other SUVs have done for other premium car makers. Rolls-Royce sales for 2014 stood at 4063 cars, up 12%. “We’re going to sell it in very small numbers,” Robertson said.

What do you think of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan name? Let us know in the comments below...

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Editor-in-chief

Steve Fowler has been editor-in-chief of Auto Express since 2011 and is responsible for all editorial content across the website and magazine. He has previously edited What Car?, Autocar and What Hi-Fi? and has been writing about cars for the best part of 30 years. 

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