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Rolls-Royce ventures off-road with Cullinan

Bad and boujee: The Cullinan has been under development for more than three years, with the production model managing to not stray too far from the established Rolls-Royce formula.

Q1 2019 arrival, $685,000 d/a price set for first Rolls-Royce Cullinan ultra-lux SUV

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Rolls-Royce logo11 May 2018

TOUTED by the British marque as “the most anticipated car of 2018 and, quite possibly, the most anticipated Rolls-Royce of all time”, the luxurious Cullinan upper-large SUV has been revealed ahead of its Australian deliveries that start in the first quarter next year.

 

According to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars regional sales manager Ian Grant, the Cullinan is indicatively priced from $685,000 driveaway before various option packages are added.

 

Despite it being the most expensive SUV on the market, local customers are some of the first in the world to put down deposits for the Cullinan, the brand has confirmed.

 

Riding on the same Architecture of Luxury all-aluminium platform as the eighth-generation Phantom upper-large sedan, the Cullinan “delivers extraordinary car body stiffness for exceptional ‘best-in-class’ functional performance on rough terrain whilst offering better ride comfort”, according to the car-maker.

 

As such, Rolls-Royce’s signature Magic Carpet Ride has been applied to an off-road vehicle for the first time, thanks to the Cullinan’s re-engineered self-levelling air suspension.

 

Specifically, the set-up consists of a double-wishbone front axle and a five-link rear axle, which both feature electronically adjustable shock absorbers that pushes down any wheel it detects is losing traction.

 

The Everywhere driving mode enables all of the Cullinan’s off-road capabilities, regardless of the specific conditions, while its wading depth is 540mm – claimed to be higher than that of its rivals.

 

The Cullinan is also the first Rolls-Royce model to employ an all-wheel-drive system, which is complemented by four-wheel steering to ensure more nimble handling.

 

Taking its 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V12 petrol engine from the Phantom, the 2660kg Cullinan produces 420kW of power at 5000rpm and 850Nm of torque at 1600rpm – 50Nm less than its sedan counterpart.

 

Claimed fuel consumption on the combined cycle test is 15.0 litres per 100 kilometres, while carbon dioxide emissions have been tested at 341 grams per kilometres. Top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h.

 

According to Rolls-Royce Motors Cars director of design Giles Taylor, the Cullinan has a purposeful design that is backed by its off-road capabilities.

 

“The label SUV is now applied to anything with a two-box silhouette and the least suggestion of going off tarmac,” he said.

 

“We envisioned an authentic, three-box, all-terrain, high-bodied car with a convention-challenging design and absolute capability that would satisfy the adventurous urges of our clients.”

 

Measuring in at 5341mm long, 2164mmmm wide and 1836mm tall with a 3295mm wheelbase, the Cullinan is easily identifiable as a Rolls-Royce models thanks to its signature Pantheon front grille, Spirit of Ecstasy ornament, and headlight and tail-light designs, while 22-inch alloy wheels round out the imposing exterior look.

 

Upon unlocking the Cullinan, ride height is automatically reduced by 40mm to increase ease of access, which is also aided by Rolls-Royce’s signature suicide rear doors.

 

Two rear seating configurations are on offer, either Lounge or Individual, with the former featuring a 60:40 split-fold three-seat bench that can be folded down.

 

A power two-section tailgate, dubbed The Clasp, provides access to the luggage compartment, which has a cargo capacity of 560 litres that can grow to 600L when the parcel shelf is removed, or 1930L if the boot floor is electronically raised to meet the seat base, creating a flat load area that is 2245mm long.

 

Alternatively, the Individual seating configuration includes two separate seats that are intersected by a fixed rear centre console, which incorporates a drinks cabinet with Rolls-Royce whiskey glasses, decanter, champagne flutes and refrigerator.

 

All seats feature heating and ventilation, while the smaller, thicker steering wheel also picks up heating functionality alongside the front door armrests, front centre-console lid, lower C-pillar, rear side armrests and rear centre armrest.

 

A large touchscreen infotainment system is integrated into the dashboard, while a digital instrument cluster resides to its left with a head-up display projected ahead of it.

 

Inside, a panoramic sunroof, five USB ports, wireless smartphone charging, a rear touchscreen, and keyless entry and start, and power-closing doors, wood and hand-finished metal trims, and Box Grain leather upholstery, satellite navigation and a Wi-Fi hotspot also feature.

 

Claimed to be the first ‘three-box’ SUV, the Cullinan features a glass rear partition that separates occupants from the luggage compartment, creating a sealed cabin which is quieter on the move and cooler or warmer when the tailgate is open.

 

Cullinan buyers can also commission the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective personalisation service to create several Recreation Modules – or bespoke storage containers – that are suited to their individual hobbies.

 

These accessories are slotted into the boot floor and each contain a motorised drawer that houses the equipment necessary for the given hobby.

 

Advanced driver-assist safety technologies extend to Night Vision, Vision Assist (includes daytime and night-time wildlife and pedestrian warning), driver attention alert, surround-view cameras, adaptive cruise control, collision warning, cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and hill descent control.

 

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars chief executive officer Tortsen Muller-Otvos said: “The super-luxury lifestyle is evolving and Rolls-Royce is in the lead.

 

“Luxury is no longer an urban concept. More and more it is about embracing and experiencing the wider world.

 

“Our customers expect to go everywhere in luxury, effortlessly and without compromise, conquering the most challenging terrain to enjoy life’s most enriching experiences, wherever they may be.

 

“For this reason, they have asked us to create a Rolls-Royce that offers uncompromised luxury wherever they dare to venture. Cullinan is that car. It is ‘Effortless, Everywhere’.”

 

The Cullinan is named after the largest diamond discovered yet, which now resides in the British Crown Jewels.

 

When it arrives Down Under next year, the Cullinan will go toe to toe with other ultra-luxury SUVs, such as the Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus, Porsche Cayenne and Maserati Levante.


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