rolls-royce cullinan takes authentic luxury effortlessly everywhere
following countless teasers, including the news of its testing phase in 2016, the wait to see the world’s most anticipated SUV is now over and, of course, it was worth the wait. revealed to the public for the first time, the rolls-royce ‘cullinan’ is the british marque’s most versatile, family orientated and fun-to-drive car to date, one that truly is effortless everywhere. it all started as a mere sketch four years ago but now, for the first time, makes the idea of authentic, luxury off-road travel a reality.
‘in terms of where we started the cullinan’s design journey, it was this recognition that, for the first time, rolls-royce was to have this extremely functional and practical vehicle, where versatility and capability would be combined with luxury. considering this, we were always going to design this vehicle on a functional premise,‘
the sculpture continues from the bonnet edge to the A-pillars, before defining a purposefully clear side. ‘it is very apparent that the cullinan has the longest bonnet of any SUV in the world. this is partly due to housing a V12 engine, but also because of the relationship between the A-pillar and front wheel axle, which we designed in order to make the car appear more forward-looking.’
‘this forward stance creates a character – one that is handsome yet with functional elegance – that is typically ascribed to military machines,‘ describes giles. ‘there is nothing more authentic to off-roading than for military purposes, which, in fact, references a small chapter of our history 100 years ago when lawrence of arabia used rolls-royces in the deserts of northern africa. that established a very spiritual understanding of what our SUV could be, but, at the same time, the side view details a sense of a limousine with the windows surrounded by metal and the coach doors.‘ all these elements help create another unique roofline silhouette for the marque, one that declines rapidly to reach the elegantly protruding boot lid.
similar the exterior, the interior of the SUV only further exceeds the authentic luxury renowned to rolls-royce. the ‘cullinan’ combines this luxury with symmetrical functionaility, with bold seats that once more highlight the brand’s quality and craftsmanship. the space is paired with a center stack, framed by hand-finished metal pillars, that bridges to the middle console and upper fascia, which is clad in a contemporary ‘box grain’ leather to accentuate jewellery-like elements, such as the clock and air vents. this is completed with an upper section that is supported by a band of wood.
the most notable part of the interior – and one that makes the ‘cullinan’ the first ‘three-box’ car in the SUV-sector – is the rear cabin. the space is separated by a glass enclosed luggage compartment, which references an era when bags were mounted on the exterior so that occupants did not travel with their belongings. ‘we were always 100% committed to putting the luxury of the phantom and ghost into the culinan, and the rear further highlights this,‘ states rolls-royce’s design director. ‘whereas most other SUVs on the market places passengers with their luggage, rolls-royce has not. we created this perception where our clients’ luggage would travel in a separate space in the truck. a glass screen hermetically, acoustically and climatically seals this compartment off from the rest of the interior.‘
accessed via an opening tailgate called ‘the clasp’, rear passengers are offered the best seats with two configuration options: lounge or individual seats. the former is much more functional by fitting three users and being able to electronically fold to create a flat area load of 560 liters of space; the latter defines the ultimate luxury with two seats separated by a fixed rear center console, fitted with a drinks cabinet and refrigerator. ‘the rear design – another first of a kind for rolls-royce – offers a large flat low floor and automatically deploying seats. we call this the best seat in the house as, when our customers stop at their favourite view point, they can relax in effortless enjoyment. the whole car enables clients to bring their luxury lifestyle, which is normally used to the ‘phantom’, anywhere in the world without any compromises,‘ concluded giles taylor.
delivering their renowned ‘magic carpet ride’ was imperative for rolls-royce, and with a single push of the ‘everywhere’ button, the ‘cullinan’ transcends this to unleash its off-road capability. its lighter architecture, drivertrain and self-levelling air suspension ensures this ever-comfortable experience is delivered. on the road, the car features technologies such as night vision and vision assist, active cruise control, and the latest navigation and entertainment system. however, enhancing these technologies further and using a 6.75 liter twin-turbo V12 engine that enables 563 bhp and 850 nm of torque, the SUV truly takes luxury effortlessly everywhere.