But internal combustion will eventually make way for batteries.
We were a bit surprised by the report earlier this month that claimed Rolls-Royce would offer the Cullinan with a hybrid powertrain option. For now, the ultra-luxurious SUV is offered with only one engine: a 6.75-liter twin-turbo V12 producing 563 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque. If a hybrid Cullinan were to arrive, it’d be the brand’s first-ever hybrid. Turns out, however, no hybrid is in the cards.
According to Bloomberg, Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Otvös has made clear there are no plans to launch a hybrid Cullinan or any other hybrid vehicle anytime soon, if ever. Instead, the foundation is being laid for an all-electric future.
"It’s great that BMW Group is so forward-looking and -thinking on iNext and so on," said Müller-Otvös. "I’m glad that I’m part of the bigger group (BMW), because we profit from that. Our engineers are embedded enough in the overall organization to grab into the shelf and say, ‘That’s great, we’ll use that for Rolls-Royce.’”
To be clear, without BMW’s assistance it would be impossible for Rolls-Royce to electrify its future vehicles.
For now, forget about the Cullinan offering an alternative hybrid powertrain, though we wouldn’t rule out a (slightly) less expensive twin-turbo V8 option, as was done with its arch-rival, the Bentley Bentayga. The Bentayga, however, does offer a hybrid version, but Rolls-Royce is sticking to its guns with pure internal combustion.
Müller-Otvös made something else very clear: “There is an electric future for Rolls-Royce. We have not made our plan about what comes first, and what comes when, but we know that we will go full electric. We will not do hybrids or whatever. Our proposition is full electric. It will come in the next decade, step by step by step.”
Fortunately, Rolls-Royce has no intention of departing with its “beloved 12-cylinder” any time soon. As long as government emissions allow for it to exist, Rolls-Royce will happily keep it around.