Rolls-Royce has finally whipped the covers off its long-awaited and often-teased Cullinan SUV, promising that the newcomer will bring “ultimate luxury” to the segment.
Billed as an “all-terrain high-bodied car that makes the idea of authentic, luxury off-road travel a reality for the first time”, the automaker claims the new Cullinan is the first “three-box” vehicle in the SUV segment (saying its rear partition wall creates a “distinct environment for passengers, separated from the luggage compartment”).
The Cullinan runs on the brand’s aluminium sub-structure and is powered by a 6,75-litre twin-turbo V12 delivering 420 kW and 850 N.m to all four wheels, with top speed limited to 250 km/h (interestingly, Rolls-Royce has opted not to list a 0-100 km/h figure). The 2660 kg Cullinan furthermore boasts an all-wheel steering system as standard and has a 540 mm wading depth at it loftiest ride height.
The new model measures 5 341 mm long, 2 164 mm wide and 1 835 mm high, with a wheelbase of 3 295 mm. Rolls-Royce says the luggage compartment can swallow some 526 litres, growing to 600 litres with the parcel shelf removed. Furthermore, a loading length of 2 245 mm and load capacity of 1 930 litres is accessed by electronically raising the boot floor to meet the rear seat base.
Rolls-Royce says the rear passenger compartment (accessed via coach doors) has been designed to offer “the best seat in the house”. Two rear configurations are available: Lounge Seats or Individual Seats. The former configuration is the more functional of the two, with space for three passengers in the rear.
The Individual Seat configuration is for those who “value the ultimate luxury an SUV can offer over practicality”. This version features two individual rear seats separated by a centre console incorporating a drinks cabinet with Rolls-Royce whisky glasses and decanter, champagne flutes and refrigerator. The seats move in a number of planes to offer “ultimate comfort”.
Up front, the Cullinan features a touch-sensitive central information screen, with functions manipulated using the “Spirit of Ecstasy” controller sited on the central console, along with an “Off-Road” button, hill descent control button and air suspension height adjustment controls. Five USB ports are scattered around the cabin, while phones can be wirelessly charged.
The new SUV boasts Rolls-Royce’s “Magic Carpet Ride”, thanks largely to a “thoroughly re-engineered” self-levelling air suspension system that the brand says “makes millions of calculations every second as it continuously varies the electronically controlled shock absorbers”. Suspension comes in the form of a double-wishbone arrangement up front and a five-link set-up at the rear.