Three-years of waiting is now over, Rolls-Royce known for its opulent luxury vehicles have officially entered the SUV market with The Cullinan, the first sport-utility vehicle in the company’s 114-year history.
The new Rolls-Royce illustrates the broader trend and demand for SUVs and crossovers. Even ultra luxury automakers such as Rolls Royce have been swept up in the SUV wave.
Named after the largest diamond discovered to date, the vehicle is the latest in a long line of six-figure big rigs from the world’s most prestigious automakers. It is also one of the last major luxury automakers to add one: In April, Lamborghini unveiled its $200,000 Urus; Bentley showed its $200,000 Bentayga V8 late in 2017.
The Cullinan stretches 210 inches long on a 130-inch wheelbase, 17.2 inches shorter overall than a Phantom on a wheelbase 9.8 inches shorter. However, the SUV is 5.6 inches wider than the sedan and its roof stands 7.2 inches higher. Built around the same all-aluminum Architecture of Luxury as the Phantom, the extra bits that make the Cullinan ready for dirty work add just 200 pounds compared to the car, for a curb weight of 5,864 pounds.
The 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 (Rolls-Royce still refers to it as a 6.75-liter) produces 563 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque, matching the Phantom’s horsepower but losing 37 lb-ft of torque. However, the remaining torque comes 100 rpm sooner in the Cullinan than in the Phantom.
Rolls-Royce didn’t specify a standard ride height on the 22-inch wheels, but the SUV lowers itself 1.6 inches when the doors are unlocked, then rises 1.6 inches upon pressing the start button. Inside, passengers encounter a wing-like cowl atop the padded instrument panel, and a slightly rearranged interior compared to the Phantom.
Digital instruments and a smaller, thicker steering wheel face the driver, but gone is the glass-fronted “Gallery” available in the Phantom, replaced by “Box Grain” black leather facing. The center screen now responds to touch, but can also be controlled by the Spirit of Ecstasy controller that’s been moved from the armrest pull-out to the center tunnel.
The passengers in the rear Pavilion Seating sit higher than those in front so they don’t miss out on the views ahead. Lounge rear seating provides a fold-down bench that can fit three, with a 60/40 split. Another telltale Rolls-Royce detail comes in knowing the rear headrests move up when folding the seatback so that the headrests don’t leave unsightly imprints in the cushions.
Individual rear seating means two plush, powered seats, separated by a console that contains a refrigerator, drinks cabinet, whiskey glasses, champagne flutes, and decanter.
The Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV starts at $325000.
Source: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars