One of the most anticipated vehicles of this year, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, has been officially revealed. Goodwood has been building up excitement around the ultra-luxury off-roader for the past three years with teaser images and occasional updates. The wheels team even got a preview, under strict embargo, of the production car a few weeks ago at Abu Dhabi. Named after the largest diamond ever discovered, the Cullinan promises to deliver Rolls-Royce’s celebrated ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ on and off the road.
“Luxury is no longer an urban concept. More and more it is about embracing and experiencing the wider world,” says Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “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,” he adds.
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Built on a new lighter architecture, and featuring the latest generation of self-levelling air suspension, the Cullinan is touted as being capable of cushioning the “blows of the toughest of terrains.” Being an SUV, it’s also the most practical of Rolls-Royces. The tailgate, dubbed ‘The Clasp’, opens to reveal a “rear compartment” or boot that offers 560 litres of space as standard. This grows to 600 litres with the parcel shelf removed. Electronically raising the boot floor to meet the seat base frees up even more space, with a loading length of 2,245mm and load capacity of 1,930 litres.
Like the Phantom, the rear passenger compartment of the Cullinan has been designed to offer the best seats in the house and can be configured as Lounge Seats or Individual Seats. The Lounge Seat configuration leaves space for three passengers in the rear, and will suit the demands of a larger family. The rear seats also fold down electronically in a number of configurations, creating a flat load area or in a 2/3 and 1/3 split, increasing practicality even further. The Cullinan’s rear partition wall that separates passengers from the luggage compartment. “The label SUV is now applied to anything with a two-box silhouette and the least suggestion of going off tarmac. We envisioned an authentic, three-box high-bodied all-terrain car with a convention-challenging design and absolute capability that would satisfy the adventurous urges of our clients,” says Giles Taylor, Director of Design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
The Cullinan is also positioned as a highly capable off-roader. Powered by a 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 engine that delivers 563bhp and 850Nm at 1,600rpm, the Cullinan’s suspension makes millions of calculations every second as it continuously varies the electronically controlled shock absorber adjustment system – reacting to body and wheel acceleration, steering inputs and camera information. A new double-wishbone front axle and 5-link rear axle controls lateral roll and shear forces and increase agility and stability, as does the addition of four-wheel steering. When driving off-road, the electronically controlled shock absorber adjustment system uses air compression o actively push down any wheel it detects losing traction and ensures maximum torque is being provided to all wheels.
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Rolls-Royce also draws your attention to the off-roading pedigree of the Cullinan by referring to the drive British businessman Frank Norbury undertook in a Silver Ghost over 620 miles from Bombay to Kolhapur in 1907, through the rough terrain of the India Ghat mountain-passes, and to Maharajahs and Maharanis of India who use their Rolls-Royces for their hunting trips to the jungles.
As you would imagine, the Middle East is one of the major markets for the Cullinan. Although prices are yet to be announced, it’s going to be well over Dh2 million. We will update you as soon as details are announced.