LONDON -- Rolls-Royce released pictures of the prototype that will be used to develop the brand's first SUV-styled vehicle.
The brand is developing the model under the code name Project Cullinan to launch in 2018.
In a statement Rolls-Royce called the prototype a "full development vehicle" and said tests on public roads around the world began Friday. The car will undergo winter trials in the Arctic before moving to the Middle East to be tested under desert conditions to ensure the production car can be driven effortlessly "everywhere," the brand said.
The vehicle will be built on a new aluminum architecture that will underpin all future Roll-Royce vehicles and will have a new all-wheel-drive system.
"This is an incredibly exciting moment in the development of Project Cullinan," Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvos said in the statement.
"The design is basically there. This is the start of the proper development process that will take about a year and a half," a Rolls-Royce spokesman told Automotive News Europe.