The Hyperluxury SUV
What It Is: Rolls-Royce’s answer to the Bentley Bentayga, set to arrive at the party fashionably late but likely to steal all the attention when it does. The Cullinan name was inspired by a giant diamond.
Why It Matters: Though the company’s sedans and coupes are doing well, the folks in Goodwood realize that the superrich want SUVs. Bentley says that it has sold 50 percent of its Bentaygas to people new to the brand, and the Cullinan is likely to do the same for Rolls.
Platform: Like the new Phantom, the Cullinan sits on R-R’s so-called Architecture of Luxury, a pompously named aluminum structure that creates some clear engineering space over the top-flight BMW models on which smaller Rollers are based. It also can be had with what the company calls a Viewing Suite—two seats that slide out of the back for outdoor spectating but are more likely to be used as a place to put on your wellies.
Powertrain: A version of the new Phantom’s twin-turbo 6.7-liter V-12 with 563 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque that works in conjunction with an all-wheel-drive system. The company is also working on EV drivetrains; the Cullinan’s raised floor should make housing a large battery pack easy.
Competition: Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus, Land Rover Range Rover SVAutobiography, and the rumored Ferrari SUV. Or the Tibetan mastiff that guy in China bought for $1.9 million.
What Might Go Wrong: China’s discouragement of superconspicuous consumption could blow some icy winds over this segment.
Estimated Arrival and Price: Late this year, and we’re told it will undercut the $500,000 Phantom EWB but outprice the $236,000 Bentayga. So $325,000 plus, and that’s before you ask for monogrammed chinchilla-fur upholstery.
· Rolls-Royce Cullinan revealed
· The brand’s first SUV
· Phantom-inspired looks
· Powered by a 6.75-litre V12 engine
Rolls-Royce has finally revealed its first SUV, the Cullinan – named after the world’s largest uncut diamond. It’s an absolutely vast 4×4 that’ll be one of the most luxurious cars of any kind on sale when it appears in showrooms in late 2018.
If you’re looking for something a little more modest, read our list of the best luxury SUVs and 4x4s you can buy. If you’ve already got your sights set on a specific car, click ‘login’ in the top-right-hand corner to sign up and configure a brand new model, or browse our extensive selection of pre-reg, ex-demo, new, nearly new and used cars.
Rolls-Royce Cullinan styling
A few contrasting silver trims on the doors, around the windows and on the wings help to disguise its colossal silhouette, but it doesn’t quite hide its size as elegantly as a Bentley Bentayga. The Mercedes G-Class pulls off the deliberately boxy look much more convincingly, too.
Cullinan buyers will probably never venture off-road in their new cars, but should they ever get (very) lost on the way to Knightsbridge, there are some contrasting silver protectors that’ll keep the bottom edges of its expensive paintwork mostly scratch-free.
Rolls-Royce Cullinan interior
You can choose to fit the Cullinan with either what Rolls-Royce calls Lounge or Individual seats. The former is the most practical option and comes with three rear seats that can be folded down should you ever need to carry more than the Cullinan’s 560-litre boot (600 litres with the parcel shelf removed) can manage. The car’s huge size should mean there’ll be ample head, leg and shoulder room for three large adults to sit very comfortably indeed.
The Individual rear seat option replaces the central rear seat with a drinks cabinet – complete with Rolls Royce whisky glasses, Champagne flutes and a fridge.
The Cullinan is the first Rolls-Royce to come fitted with a touchscreen infotainment system – although you can still control it using the rotary dial on the centre console like BMW’s iDrive. Through this, you can tweak the sat-nav, adjust the set-up of the standard air suspension and access a live feed from the panoramic surround-view camera system.
If you’re worried that the Cullinan’s imposing size and huge doors will make it difficult to climb into, there’s no need. It’ll lower its huge body to help you climb in as gracefully as possible – just like a London bus – as soon as you touch one of the door handles.
Rolls-Royce Cullinan engines and driving
The Cullinan comes with just one engine – a 6.75-litre V12 that produces 571hp and drives all four wheels through an automatic gearbox. No performance figures have been confirmed, but the Cullinan is expected to reach a top speed in the region of 150mph and should accelerate from 0-62mph in between four and five seconds.
Rolls-Royce has said the car comes with four-wheel steering to make it as manoeuvrable as possible around town and air suspension to isolate your and your passengers’ backsides from the unpleasant thud of large potholes.
Also standard are selectable off-road driving modes that alter the engine, suspension and gearbox settings to help the Cullinan deal more effectively with sandy, snow-covered and gravel-strewn surfaces. It’ll also wade through more than half a metre of water without risking any damage to your handmade Italian leather shoes.
Rolls-Royce Cullinan price and release date
Rolls-Royce hasn’t announced how much the Cullinan will cost when it goes on sale later in 2018, but you can expect it to sport a similarly hefty pricetag to thePhantom. Entry-level models will set you back from £250,000, while fully kitted-out cars could nudge past the £400,000 mark.