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Rolls-Royce SUV on Australian radar

Don’t expect to see too many Rolls-Royces on Australia’s dirt tracks when the British luxury marque’s first SUV is launched in 2019. That’s the view of the company’s Regional Director, Asia Pacific, Paul Harris who told CarAdvice that while the SUV, dubbed ‘Project Cullinan’ will be more than capable off-road, it’s unlikely too many will venture off the hot-mix.

“It’s a go-everywhere vehicle,” said Harris. “Where you’ve got a mixture of made roads, un-made roads, you need flexibility. And you need comfort and usability and I think when Cullinan comes on board, you will see a new level of go-everywhere, high-sided vehicle.

“It will have off-road capability but I would say it’s designed for on-road.”

The as-yet-to-be-named Rolls-Royce SUV, or as the company prefers to call it, ‘go-anywhere, high-sided vehicle’ is due for release in 2019. It will share the same aluminium spaceframe platform as the just launched luxo-barge Rolls-Royce Phantom. It is also likely to share the Phantom’s 6.75-litre V12 petrol engine and will be all-wheel drive.

Harris said the SUV is a “very” important car for Rolls-Royce and that “the important thing for us is that the underlying architecture of luxury found in [the Phantom] will transform itself into that model as well.”

He also revealed there had been some interest from potential Australian buyers “but we’re very early in the phase. I think people have got to see it a little bit… We’re about to invite some Australians over [to the UK] to see ‘Cullinan’, to see what they think.”

One thing’s for sure; with Rolls-Royce already stating it won’t be ‘chasing volume’ with a smaller, cheaper entry-level SUV, it's not unreasonable to expect the ‘Cullinan’ to lob at around the $1million mark when it lands here in Australia.