BMW luxury brand unit Rolls-Royce has published an image of its super-luxury SUV, Project Cullinan.

It says the first full development vehicle will begin testing in public from tomorrow.

Advocates of the marque have been shown the first engineering mule built for the development of the new all-wheel drive suspension system, as well as those created to test the all-new aluminium architecture that will underpin all Rolls-Royces from 2018 onwards.

Rolls-Royce says the latest development vehicle will travel to numerous locations around the world in a “challenging testing programme” to ensure that the end product will be ‘Effortless … Everywhere’. Just after Christmas, for example, Project Cullinan will enter the Arctic Circle to undergo cold weather durability and traction testing. Later in 2017, it will travel to the Middle East to endure the highest of temperatures and challenging desert conditions.

“This is an incredibly exciting moment in the development of Project Cullinan both for Rolls-Royce and for the patrons of luxury that follow us around the world,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “Bringing together the new four-wheel drive system and the new ‘architecture of luxury’ for the first time sets us on the road to creating a truly authentic Rolls-Royce which, like its forebears, will reset the standard by which all other luxury goods are judged.”

The car was confirmed as being a new development project in February 2015. It is expected to be launched in 2018. The codename, ‘Cullinan’ is the same as the world’s largest discovered diamond. R-R told the media in its February 2015 release that the model would use an aluminium architecture.

Rolls-Royce’s first crossover will have aluminium body panels and a new aluminium spaceframe that won’t be shared with BMW. This platform will then be modified and used for other future Rolls-Royce models.