Rolls-Royce has officially entered off-road territory. Today, the Goodwood-based, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG brand debuted the $325,000 Cullinan, its first SUV.
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.
There is ample information now: It’s huge. The Cullinan stands six feet off the ground—four inches taller than its closest competitor, the Bentayga. At 5,864 pounds, it’s more than 500 pounds heavier than the Bentayga, too. Angular sides and that high, flat top make it look more imposing than the rounded Bentayga or even Lamborghini’s crouching, super-sporty Urus.
Its front grille has the same steel vertical slats and flat, stark form as the one on the new Rolls-Royce Dawn, but it’s elevated to regal height in the new SUV. (The Cullinan can wade in water up to 21 inches high, again beating the Bentley equivalent.) Futuristic LEDs surrounding each headlight give it a slightly new, rectangular shape.The first thing you notice, though, are the four doors, which close in the traditional coach format.
A rear tailgate automatically opens in two sections with the touch of the key fob button. Massive 22-inch rims flank each of its four corners.Inside, the Cullinan offers space sufficiently broad and open to fit a regent and retinue though officially, it can seat only up to five people. The rear seat comes in two configurations, with two cockpit-style seats in the rear or a single lounge seat that allows seating for three—or, when folded down, up to 600 liters (21 cubic feet) of storage space, equal to that of the Urus. That’s enough to hold a small dog house or a week’s worth of safari-style luggage.
Rolls-Royce has also made a new, smaller, and thicker steering wheel for the Cullinan, augmented with a high-resolution, heads-up display and all the technology expected in the family: night vision, including daytime and nighttime wildlife and pedestrian warning; an alertness assistant that helps avoid drowsy driving; a four-camera parking system with panoramic view, all-round visibility, and helicopter view; active cruise control; myriad crash-avoidance systems; Wi-Fi; and the standard navigation and entertainment systems.
As expected, from hints the company dropped in recent months, the Cullinan comes with a 6.75 liter, twin-turbo V12 engine that gets 563 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. This is the same engine Rolls-Royce put in the Phantom, which also shares the SUV’s aluminum-intensive platform. The famous “magic air ride” feel that rendered the Phantom peerless is present here, too. It’s been re-engineered by adding larger air struts with greater air volume and by strengthening the drive and prop shafts to cushion blows from the toughest terrain—though it’s most of the buyers of this epic SUV probably won’t be taking it to Moab.
All-new, all-wheel drive and an all-wheel steering system—the first in Rolls-Royce history—come standard. Top speed is 155 miles per hour.
Article Credits : Bloomberg