The new Rolls Royce SUV is still a way out before its market debut in 2018, but the British luxury automaker wastes no time in the development process. The company unveiled today the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, their first public test mule used for chassis development.

This early engineering mule, based on a shortened Phantom Series II body, has been created purely to begin the development of an all-wheel drive suspension system. The company says this new system will deliver a ride that will be “Effortless … Everywhere” and “Rolls-Royce’s hallmark ‘magic-carpet’ ride not only on the road, but off-road too.”

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The first series of tests will focus on Project Cullinan’s on-road behavior 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.

Even though not confirmed, we expect the Rolls Royce SUV to feature a V12 engine, which provides the necessary propulsion with well over 500 hp. At least as important as the resulting performance is likely to be the exclusivity of the twelve-cylinder engine in the off-road segment.

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