The anticipation for the Rolls-Royce SUV has been great since the company announced the Cullinan nearly 3 years ago. With a new attitude, and design features to match, the House of Rolls-Royce has targeted a younger, and the young at heart, consumer. The newest Phantom, Ghost and Wraith are energetic, sexy and refined, and they have attracted a new generation of first Rolls-Royce owners. JR Roper, General Manager of Carlock Rolls-Royce in Brentwood TN told us ‘we have been waiting for Cullinan and it is just not my past consumers but a few who have said the Cullinan would be their first Rolls-Royce.’ It is an exciting time for Rolls-Royce. The Head of Coachbuild design Alex Innes, and a forward thinking design team, have expanded on the legendary luxury and performance inherent in all Rolls-Royces to build this stunning ride for a generation of drivers with needs beyond luxury sedans.
Joining about 200 of the world’s top auto journalists and social influencers we drove the Cullinan in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. With its high style and luxurious appointments the Cullinan is instantly, and overwhelmingly, impressive. We took the Cullinan off-roading on rocky steep terrains, climbed hills and drove in sleet, rain and snow to test the substance behind this sexy beast. The all-wheel drive and the four-wheel steering facilitated our climbs, descent and changing road condition with silent and smooth ease. After driving the Cullinan we remembered the immortal quote of Sir Henry Royce, “Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it.”
The Cullinan is designed without the usual SUV trade-offs and compromises such as increased cabin noise due to the “two-box” formula, shared platforms that affect performance and comfort, and the choice of being good either on-road or off-road. It is designed to stand with dignity between the featureless SUV’s at ski resorts, beach clubs, mountain retreats and even the soccer field. Bringing untold rewards for the adventurous, the Cullinan can take you off the beaten track, and far from the maddening crowds, in uncompromised comfort and luxury.
The rear passenger compartment has been optionally outfitted to best suit the needs of their owners. With two rear configurations offered, lounge seats or individual seats, a plush mobile office, or family seating awaits. The rear seats also fold down and that is a first ever feature for a Rolls-Royce.
With one touch on the bespoke key control, the car lowers itself for easier entry and the doors unlock and open. Inside, the press of a door-close button and the driver and passengers doors auto close, silencing of the outside world. A touch to the sensor on the exterior door handle triggers an auto-close of the doors upon exit. Once behind the steering wheel all the technology and equipment is evident and intuitively within reach. The latest generation of digital instruments features the displays designed with clear and beautiful virtual needles, Rolls-Royce jewelry like chaplets and clear lettering. The central information screen is, for the first time, touch sensitive allowing the driver to quickly select functions, map views and vehicle set-up.
This also can still be controlled from the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy controller which is set on the central console with the ‘off-road’ button, hill descent control button and air suspension height adjustment controls.
A host of other cutting-edge technology makes Rolls-Royce Cullinan the most technologically advanced car of its type in the world. Further equipment includes: Night Vision and Vision Assist including daytime and night-time Wildlife & Pedestrian warning; Alertness Assistant; a 4-Camera system with Panoramic View, all-round visibility and helicopter view; Active Cruise Control; Collision Warning; Cross-Traffic Warning, Lane Departure and Lane Change Warning; an industry leading 7×3 High-Resolution Head-Up Display, WiFi hotspot, and of course the latest Navigation and Entertainment System.
The drivetrain system we engineered for Cullinan had one key job to do,” explains Caroline Krismer, Engineering Project Leader for Cullinan. “To bring the famed Rolls-Royce ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ to all other terrains possible, while ensuring class-leading on-road behavior in the SUV sector.
For such a large SUV off-road and on-road the Cullian felt nimble and light to drive thanks to the new architecture, and the latest generation of self-levelling air suspension.
For the first time in Rolls-Royce history, and the a reworking of the new 6.75 litre twin-turbo V12 Rolls-Royce engine was undertaken to deliver just the right level of torque at the lowest possible revolutions. The Rolls-Royce engineering team has ensured Cullinan will take owners to places no modern Rolls-Royce owner has traveled, in luxury, before.
The fact of the matter is that this is the best SUV money can buy. If you have the means, and the want, for a full size SUV opt for luxury, performance and the exclusivity that only a Rolls-Royce can bring.
Photographed on location in Jackson Hole Wyoming by David Lewis Taylor.
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