The Cullinan might come with 22-inch rims, but when equipped with its R63 Michelin XDRs, each wheel and tire combo of the ultimate Roller will stand over 13 feet tall. With a driver’s seat a full story off the ground, it’s so lofty you won’t even see the plebes that you crush in their feeble Coachbuild Dawns as indifferently as Loxodonta africana steamrolls a line of ants. Serve as your own life-size Spirit of Ecstasy as you look down at the puny Parthenon radiators of run-of-the-mill Phantoms from atop your soaring grille, located a full flight of stairs above the lowly earth.
All jokes aside, the Rolls-Royce truck mainly serves to promote its new MTU V12 2000-series industrial 12-cylinder engines. Rolls-Royce doesn’t even produce the haul trucks; typically, they provide the engines for installation into rigid dumpers built by Liebherr, Hitachi, or Selex.
The new hybrid mill produces 1,560 horsepower, meant to replace the V16 4000-series 16-cylinder engines making 2,500 horsepower. However, Rolls-Royce says performance will be the same while dropping carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent in new installations, or 22 percent with retrofits.
Like a Prius, the engine uses a battery pack to store regenerative energy captured as the trucks descend into quarries, then expends that juice to climb back up. It also requires no additional space for an exhaust gas treatment system or diesel urea additives, which are apparently concerns in a mining truck.
In addition, Rolls-Royce is in the process of engineering its industrial engines to run on sustainable fuels such as hydrogen brewed from renewable energy (not the way we do it in the U.S.). The company hopes to have hydrogen fuel engines ready by 2023 in stationary applications. It’s all part of the company’s goals for a — say it with us — carbon-neutral future.
The concept truck was conceived for MINExpo 2021, a mining convention taking place September 26-29 in Las Vegas. Hopefully they’ll put it into production and offer a constellation headliner in the cab.