Rolls-Royce Project Cullinan
Rolls-Royce Project CullinanRolls-Royce

British luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce released the first set of images of its ambitious SUV model under camouflage. The company calls the model an "all-terrain, high-sided vehicle" and the project has been named Cullinan. The production name of the model will be different and it will go on sale in the global market in 2018.

Unlike Rolls-Royce's tradition of keeping all the information on new cars a secret until debut, the company has divulged some information on the Project Cullinan. It will be the first model with four-wheel drive in Rolls-Royce history. Project Cullinan will be based on an all-new aluminium architecture that will underpin all Rolls-Royce future models from 2018 onwards.

"This is an incredibly exciting moment in the development of Project Cullinan both for Rolls-Royce and for the patrons of luxury that follow us around the world," said Torsten Muller-Otvos, chief executive officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "Bringing together the new four-wheel drive system and the new 'architecture of luxury' for the first time sets us on the road to creating a truly authentic Rolls-Royce," he added.

Images indicate that it will retain the boxy design, a signature of all Rolls-Royce models barring the Wraith. The overall design will be in line with the Rolls-Royce's flagship model Phantom. Project Cullinan will feature SUV traits such as raised ground clearance and better approach, break over and departure angles.

An advanced version of the Phantom's 6.8-litre V12 engine is expected to power the new SUV. Reports also indicate the company is also looking hybrid powertrain. When launched, it will go up against super luxury SUVs such as Bentley Bentayga, Maserati Levante and Lamborghini's soon to be launched Urus.