The idea of a Rolls Royce SUV might pain the souls of the typical RR-fan. Rolls has always been about classy, understated elegance. An SUV is basically the antithesis of a Rolls Royce, as an SUV needs some utility, by definition. The idea of a Rolls Royce with some sort of utility is, quite frankly, a bit too vulgar for the famed British brand. Seeing the upcoming Rolls Royce Cullinan SUV driving through Goodwood might upset the purists of the brand. However, there is a place where the Cullinan will likely be adored — California. Which is where the new Roller has just been caught testing. (We don’t own the spy photos but they can be seen here)

Drive through Beverly Hills for more than 30 seconds and you’ll see more absurdly expensive luxury SUVs than you can count. From Range Rover Autobiography Editions to Mercedes-AMG G65s to Bentley Bentaygas, nothing gives wealthy California customers the fizz like a completely unnecessary, utterly useless (save for the Range Rover), obscenely expensive SUV. These sorts of vehicles show off how much money they have while also being physically imposing, so as to compensate for the person behind the wheel. All jokes aside, though, the Beverly Hills crowd loves its huge luxury SUVs. So the Rolls Royce Cullinan will do extremely well there.

Even through the heavy camouflage, the Cullinan looks very much like a modern Rolls Royce. Its face clearly share familiarity with the new Phantom, only, ya know, larger. It will also be based on the same new, high-tech architecture as the new Phantom, so it will come with the same new luxury and technology that makes the new Phantom so incredible. Under the hood will be a variant of BMW’s 6.6 liter twin-turbo V12 and should make around 600 hp.

When the Cullinan finally debuts, wealthy Californians will love it. Although, it will also join a more crowded segment than ever before. In the ultra high-end SUV segment, along with the Rolls Royce Cullinan, there will be the Lamborghini Urus, Aston Martin DBX and the aforementioned Bentley Bentayga. So it will need to be good for those Rodeo Drive-shopping rich folk to choose it over its other impressive competition.

[Source: Motor Trend]