As one of the last luxury motor brands to launch a 4X4, and perhaps the swankiest of them all, Rolls-Royce has certainly come in with a bang. Named after the largest diamond ever discovered, the Cullinan is set to be Rolls-Royce’s most popular vehicle ever.
Did we mention, it’s also the most expensive SUV in the world?
From its rear-hinged doors to its retractable Spirit of Ecstasy watching over the road from atop the mammoth stainless-steel grille, there is no mistaking this vehicle for another. While, this may be “new territory” for the brand synonyms with its silky smooth “Magic Carpet Ride” and bearer of the world’s most sought-after luxury saloons, it was never going to change the DNA of the vehicle.
It’s imposing, it’s luxurious, and most of all it’s very Rolls-Royce.
Slotting into the range between the Ghost and the Phantom, the Cullinan uses the Phantom’s twin-turbocharged V12 engine with 563 bhp and 850 Nm of torque. All of that power goes through an eight-speed automatic transmission, which accelerates the bespoke aluminium platform to 100 kph from a standstill in 5.2 seconds. That’s very impressive, to say the least for this rather large SUV.
ENTERING AND EXITING
As with all Rolls-Royce’s the Cullinan has a long list of unique features. Some of my favourites include the button on the exterior door handle that closes the door for you. There are also buttons on the inside that again close the door on your behalf. No need to strain any muscles here. The Cullinan also lowers itself 40mm to let you in and the doors wrap under the vehicle to prevent any dirt from entering the cabin.
Continuing that trend inside, high-quality materials feature everywhere. Notably, even the air condition dials are wrapped in leather. While an analogue clock is still a prominent feature in the cabin, Rolls-Royce has done an amazing job of blending old world charm and 21st century technology. This can be seen everywhere from the hidden infotainment screen to the digital dials that mimic analogue ones. To make your journey even more comfortable,
the front and rear seats feature massaging, ventilation, and heat
There is also the option to heat the front and rear armrests for those who suffer from cold elbows. You know who you are.
Speaking of the rear seats. They come in two different layouts. The first is the three-seat bench, which is by far the most practical and has taken the majority of the current orders. If choosing the bench seats, it is possible to fold the rear seats down, which optimises the functionality of the Cullinan.
The other option is to have two individual reclining chairs, with a large console that includes room for a decanter, whisky glasses, champagne flutes, and a refrigerator. Video screens, USB ports and wireless phone charging are also available. There is also a glass partition option to divide the boot from the passenger cabin.
It is expected that customers purchasing from the Cullinan will equip their vehicle for various leisure activities. To assist with this, Rolls-Royce has created special hampers and modules that will fit perfectly in the boot for a number of different purposes. Whether you’re into drone-racing, falconry, or even snowboarding, you’ll never be without the perfect place to store your equipment. The Cullinan can also come with built-in picnic chairs and a centre table that is operated via a motorised system in the boot, perfect for tailgate parties.
OFF-ROAD CAPABILITY Ready to venture into the unknown? The Cullinan features four-wheel drive and three suspension settings, however as with all Rolls-Royce’s it keeps things simple for the user. If you want to head off road there is merely a button that says, “off road”. Push it and you’re good to go. The vehicle rises, dampers stiffen, traction control allows the wheels to move more freely, and the throttle response becomes softer. Four-wheel steering also enables the Cullinan to move around tight terrain with ease due to a tight turning radius you wouldn’t believe possible on such a large vehicle.
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE Rolls-Royce went out of their way to ensure that although the Cullinan is capable of going into the thick stuff, it still has to behave on road in the same manner as other vehicles.
It drives insanely smooth.
The Cullinan has a camera that will detect potholes and uneven surfaces in the road ahead and adjust the suspension accordingly at speeds of up to 100kph. While the eight-speed gearbox links up to the satnav to prepare the vehicle for bends in the road ahead.
whisper-quiet, thanks to 220 pounds of insulation.
SHOULD I BUY ONE
If you’re in the market for a luxury off-roader and money is no object, then the easy answer is yes. The Cullinan reaches levels of refinement that no other SUV can currently match. It’s as you would expect a Rolls-Royce to be both on-road and off and there is no denying the impact it will have on others as you cruise in sheer comfort and style down your high-street. Expect more custom models and limited editions as the Cullinan really gets into its production stride.
Some would say that the Cullinan takes Rolls-Royce into relatively new territory. They’ve had military vehicles in the past that had off-road capabilities. However, these were never meant for civilian use and haven’t been seen for more than half a century. Although for very different purposes, they were the best vehicles in the world, being reliable, luxurious and equipped with almost anything imaginable. Today that DNA carries over to the Cullinan. Although we’re not likely to see any military version out with the Royal Marines, the vehicle still provides its owner with everything that makes Rolls-Royce the
“best vehicle in the world”
PARTNERSHIP WITH SANLORENZO
Rolls-Royce has partnered with luxury Italian yacht builder, Sanlorenzo, who is represented in Asia by Simpson Marine, to launch the Cullinan across the continent. The partnership has seen the brands showcase the vehicle in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore. Next year will see the continuation of the partnership, with Cullinan on display at the Singapore Yacht Show and the Singapore Rendezvous.
For more information: www.rolls-royce.com / www.simpsonmarine.com