Goodwood first announced the new platform in February when it revealed intentions to build its first SUV. Now it's saying the architecture won't just underpin the crossover known tentatively as Project Cullinan – it'll form the basis of every model it makes from 2018 onwards.
Rolls is already testing the new platform with mules like the one pictured above. The vehicle would appear to be a Phantom behind a mask, but the way that Rolls has disguised the rear end of the prototype tells us it might be wearing a more wagon-like roofline, the likes of which we'd expect to see on the crossover when it arrives. The company's also been testing its first all-wheel drive system for the same project with another type of test mule entirely.
Once Project Cullinan is complete, Goodwood's first SUV will launch into a market filled with high-end products. Porsche is firmly established in the sector, and Range Rover is making ever-more expensive models. Soon Bentley, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Maserati, and Lamborghini will also join the fray, but the Rolls-Royce will likely be the most expensive and most luxurious of them all.
In February 2015, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars announced the development of an all-new aluminium space-frame architecture that will underpin all future Rolls-Royce models arriving in market from early 2018. The company today announced that it has begun the testing phase of this new architecture, with early preparatory activity seeing new engineering mules tested in public around the world.
The Architecture of Pure Luxury
The future of pure luxury motoring is already taking shape as Rolls-Royce Motor Cars begins testing its new aluminium space-frame architecture which will underpin all future Rolls-Royce model lines. The architecture will arrive in market from early 2018.
Engineering mules will be assessed on public roads in various locations around the world. The current testing phase aims to ensure that the new space-frame structure perfectly delivers Rolls-Royce's trademark 'magic-carpet ride' on a variety of surfaces and that it is resilient to extreme weather conditions. The assessment of the new proprietary architecture is the first stage of a development programme that will see a new generation of Rolls-Royce motor cars become available from early 2018.
"Since 2003 and the commissioning of the new Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has reset the benchmark for luxury motoring," comments Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "Now it is time to take the next step in the luxury journey. This is why I am announcing today that on-road testing of our all-new proprietary architecture is beginning. This new architecture of pure luxury represents considerable investment in the future of our great brand."