In an open letter last February 18, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars hinted at the progress of Project Cullinan, its SUV refinement initiative. The luxury automotive manufacturer has recently released photographs of its first key milestone in the development program: an engineering mule fit for testing on public roads.
The early prototype is based on a shortened Phantom Series II body and has been created with the sole purpose of developing an all-wheel drive suspension system for a ride that is effortless everywhere. The body may hint at the size of the new car, but it’s all bare with no aesthetics of the eventual high-sided, all-terrain motor car announced by Rolls-Royce.
The mule rides on the first version of an all-new suspension that will help Rolls-Royce engineers in developing a final all-wheel drive system that delivers Rolls-Royce’s hallmark “magic-carpet” ride both on- and off-road.
The first testing phase will assess Project Cullinan’s on-road characteristics from suspension throw to high-bodied stability, and will test the new suspension across all kinds of international road surfaces at test facilities as well as on public roads. Test surfaces will include; Belgian Pavé, cobblestones, corrugated concrete, noise development and measurement surfaces, resonance road, and acceleration bumps.
Project Cullinan engineering mules will spend equal amounts of time on all terrain conditions to ensure that customers will experience the same smooth ride quality on loose surfaces and rough terrain as they do on today’s paved roads.