By Bennett  Oghifo

Rolls-Royce is developing an SUV that it calls “Project Cullinan,” and there are new renders showing what that high-riding luxury machine could look like.

This big luxury cruiser will be looking to take on the new Bentley Bentayga and the Range Rover SVAutobiography, two of the world’s most expensive and luxurious SUVs. These renders suggest that Rolls-Royce will keep its styling fairly similar to what is seen on its cars today, not a surprising move considering that vehicles from Rolls-Royce are so iconic.

Rolls-Royce calls its SUV a “high-sided, all-terrain motor car,” and when it debuts it will do so riding on an all-new platform from the brand that was developed separately from parent company BMW. In the future, more Rolls-Royce vehicles will be based on this new aluminum-intensive architecture.

All-new suspension and all-wheel drive systems are being developed for the new SUV as well so that it can deliver the hallmark “magic carpet ride” that Rolls-Royce is known for.

Powering the new SUV will likely be the same 6.8-liter V12 found in the Rolls-Royce Phantom, though a plug-in hybrid powertrain is also a possibility.

The new all-terrain motor car from Rolls-Royce is expected to launch in 2017.

A mule for the upcoming Rolls-Royce SUV has been spied testing again, this time in Sweden.

In April 2015, the British automaker itself released photos of a shortened Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II being used as a mule for the upcoming Cullinan, and it appears nearly a year later the mule is still being used for testing purposes. Set to compete with the Bentley Bentayga, the Rolls-Royce SUV is expected to arrive in late 2017.

Since this is just a mule testing the platform being used for the Cullinan, the body isn’t a representation of what we can expect when the production model debuts. Rolls-Royce promises that its SUV will be a “high-sided, all-terrain motor car” and has been putting the mule to the test through various driving surfaces to ensure it will have the company’s trademark “magic-carpet” ride.

Underpinning the Cullinan is an all-new aluminum architecture that is being developed independently from BMW. Previous reports suggested that the Rolls-Royce SUV would share its platform with the BMW X7 that’s currently under development, but the British automaker wants to further differentiate its products from BMW.

(Source: Autoguide)