Meet Cullinan, the Downright Hedonistic First SUV by Rolls-Royce

Looking to drive a limo up a mountain? Today's your day.

By Alex Lauer

Meet Cullinan, the Downright Hedonistic First SUV by Rolls-Royce
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10 May 2018

We’ve been writing about it. You’ve been dreaming about it. There are car calendars across the world with today’s date circled in red Sharpie.

The 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the luxury marque’s first SUV, is here. Your first question: Does it live up to the hype that three years of anticipation and being named after the largest diamond ever found have created? 

Yes, and you should be ashamed for even asking.

Cullinan (10 images)

Here’s a quick rundown of what this chariot is packing:

  • A 6.75-liter twin-turbo V12 engine (563 horsepower, 627 lb.-ft. torque)
  • A “three-box” design that separates the passenger cabin from the luggage compartment
  • A new all-wheel drive and all-wheel steer system
  • The much-anticipated aluminum frame (it's only the second Rolls-Royce to feature it)
  • Rolls-Royce’s standard, super-smooth “Magic Carpet Ride” via a spankin' new drivetrain
  • Self-leveling air suspension
  • And the engine’s ability “to deliver just the right level of torque (850Nm) at the lowest possible revolutions (1,600rpm)”

But Rolls-Royce is not about to be humble in this release and let the specs speak for themselves. By offering what is most likely the world’s most expensive production SUV, they’re also calling out every other SUV in the class.

“At this point in the history of automotive design, SUVs have become homogenous and ubiquitous,” says Giles Taylor, Director of Design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, in a press release. “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 all-terrain high-bodied car with a convention-challenging design and absolute capability that would satisfy the adventurous urges of our clients.”

Talk about shots fired (shots that we wholeheartedly endorse, mind you).

Cullinan interior (6 images)

The image of the double-R insignia gleaming in the desert sun while the tires spit gravel is, for certain, an odd juxtaposition. But that’s exactly what the creators want owners to do with it. In fact, Rolls-Royce has a few ideas for how Cullinan owners can use not just the all-terrain capabilities, but also the massive amounts of space. In the press release, they mention carrying large cargo is no problem, “whether it be a Mark Rothko from the Art Gallery or a newly discovered artefact from the latest archaeological dig.”

Good to know.

But the real potential of this, as with any Rolls-Royce, is in the customization. Want more seating for the family? Done. Want “a Fixed Rear Centre Console incorporating a drinks cabinet with Rolls-Royce whisky glasses and decanter, champagne flutes and refrigerator”? Certainly, your grace.

Without the bespoke feature mentioned above, the starting price will be around $350,000, with availability beginning at the end of 2018, according to Forbes.

But don’t sweat small stuff like the price. Today is a glorious day, so go ahead and treat yourself to a coffee break and watch the full reveal video below.

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