Rolls-Royce Motors to begin SUV testing

Posted on 8 Apr 2015 by The Manufacturer

This week, Rolls-Royce Motors will send out engineering mules to test the firm’s new SUV suspension system.

The firm plans to send out a number of cars on several different road surfaces equipped with a new suspension system. The company is testing for its new SUV project called Project Cullinan, the first key milestone in Roll-Royce’s new vehicle development.

The plan is to test a new “all-wheel drive” system that “will deliver a ride that will be Effortless … Everywhere.” The mule vehicles will spend time on different road surfaces to hone and perfect the ride including Belgian Pavé; cobblestones; corrugated concrete; noise development and measurement surfaces; resonance road, and acceleration bumps.

Rolls-Royce Motors has promised a “magic carpet” ride on and off road however the first testing phase is focusing on all types of road surface, but will spend an equal amount of time testing the vehicle off road.

The cars equipped with the new four wheel drive system are based on a shortened Phantom Series II body. The vehicle is raised higher than the consumer model and also sports a large spoiler on the back. The tests are aimed at high body stability and body roll on the vehicle.

The firm has insisted that the mule models do not have any design aspects of the upcoming car, although it “may hint at the size of the new car.”

Rolls Royce 2
Rear view of the engineer mule vehicle being used for Rolls-Royce new project Cullinan

The new project was announced in February by Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO, and Peter Schwarzenbauer, chairman, in an open letter. The pair wrote, “We have reached another seminal moment in Rolls-Royce’s 111 year journey.”

When describing the car, the two went on to say: “A car that offers the luxury of a Rolls-Royce in a vehicle that can cross any terrain,” as well as saying it would be, “a high bodied car, with an all-new aluminium architecture.”

The announcement from Rolls-Royce to release an SUV is not a huge surprise, with other high end car manufacturers also announcing similar projects.

Bentley promised an SUV a few years ago and recently announced that it will be called the Bentayga. In January, Jaguar announced it would also be making an SUV, currently dubbed the F-Pace 4×4, and that the new car would create 1,300 new jobs at the firm’s manufacturing plant in the West Midlands.