This morning, I received an email from Rolls-Royce about its Project Cullinan, a Frankenstein of a car that's serving duty testing the company's future all-wheel drive platform. This platform is a big deal for Rolls: it'll underpin a future SUV, a vehicle that will go head-to-head with Bentley's Bentayga. SUVs are hot right now, ultra-luxe SUVs doubly so — just look at the $200,000 Land Rover SV Autobiography revealed at the New York auto show last week.
The press release speaks for itself:
"The mule rides on the first iteration of an all-new suspension that will assist Rolls-Royce engineers in developing a final all-wheel drive system that delivers Rolls-Royce’s hallmark 'magic-carpet' ride not only on the road, but off-road too.
The first series of tests will focus on Project Cullinan’s on-road behaviour from suspension throw to high-bodied stability, and will test the new suspension across all types of international road surface specification 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."But never mind all of that. Just look at it. I've been contemplating this car all day since I got the email. I can't get it out my mind.
The Project Cullinan mule is a shortened Phantom; the Phantom is normally an enormous car, but with the chopped rear doors and the raised suspension, it takes on a uniquely menacing stance. Then there's the murdered-out color scheme, and — the icing on the cake — a giant, unapologetic spoiler that probably adds a good 10 mph to the Cullinan mule's top speed. (Kidding, of course.)
If this car doesn't appear as-is in the next Batman movie, someone screwed up.
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