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At last! You can take your Rolls off-road – anywhere

  • ‘Possibly the most anticipated Rolls-Royce of all time’
  • Named after giant diamond mined in South Africa.
  • All-terrain, high-body for authentic off-road travel
LAMBORGHINI CULLINAN: All-terran, off-roader. Image: NewspressUSA
ROLLS-ROYCE CULLINAN: All-terrain off-roader for the seriously, seriously, rich. Image: NewspressUSA

LONDON, England -When Rolls-Royce announced three years ago that it would launch a super-luxury on/off-roader to be called the Cullinan, an all-terrain three-boxer, it was because the seriously, seriously, rich around the world asked it to.

It’s described as ‘The Rolls-Royce of SUVs’  with luxury, performance and usability never before seen. The customers? Younger, very successful, high net worth who who wanted to ”drive to ends of the Earth in ultimate luxury”.

There are, for sure, already luxury SUV’s – think Range Rover and tricked-out Land Cruiser, for instance – but Rolls realised there was a market which had to be perfected to net such customers and so the concept of the Cullinan was born.

ROLLS-ROYCE CULLINAN: All-terrain off-roader for the seriously, seriously, rich. Image: NewspressUSA
ROLLS-ROYCE CULLINAN: All-terrain off-roader for the seriously, seriously, rich. Image: NewspressUSA

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, chief executive officer of the once purely British old chap Rolls-Royce Motor Cars: “History set our precedent and today Rolls-Royce answers its call to action. Our answer to the visionaries, adventurers, explorers and those who believe in the supremacy of liberty is the Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

‘ULTIMATE LUXURY AND STYLE’

“We knew we had to offer clients what they couldn’t find in the SUV market. They do not accept limitation or compromise in their lives. They are the new pioneers and for them it’s about their sense of adventure and daring – in how they live their experiences.

”This approach to life demands a motor car that can go anywhere in ultimate luxury and style – so here it is. Cullinan is luxury in its purest form blended with perfect practicality and off-road capability,. Everywhere is not just the promise behind Cullinan – it’s a fact.”

READ MORE Rolls-Royce features on Carman’s Corner

For the first time a Rolls-Royce has an opening tail luggage hatch to separate passengers from the luggage.  ‘The Clasp’ – nothing so common as tailgate – opens and closes in two sections, automatically, at the touch of the key-fob button.

Two rear configurations are offered for the all-aluminium shell – Lounge Seats or Individual Seats – the former being the more functional, the other more posh – but there will be three spacious leather seats which can be folded – another first for Rolls-Royce… powered, of course!

ROLLS-ROYCE CULLINAN: All-terrain off-roader for the seriously, seriously, rich. Image: NewspressUSA
ROLLS-ROYCE CULLINAN: All-terrain off-roader for the seriously, seriously, rich who can choose from two rear-vehicle layouts (see above image). Image: NewspressUSA

The seats fold electronically in a number of configurations by pressing the appropriate button in the boot or rear door pocket. One press sees each backrest fold while moving the head restraints upwards to avoid making an imprint on the seat cushion.

READ where the brand name came from

For those who intend to transport large items back from their adventures, the rear of Cullinan offers a large amount of space in different arrangements. Depending of fold choice, the rear offers 560-600 cubic metres

The rear compartment or boot area offers a standard 560 litres of space, growing to 600 with the parcel shelf removed. Maximum load length is  2.25m and load volume of 1930 litres by electronically raising the boot floor so items can slide in. Which, R-R points out, is longer than that of a Range Rover Vogue Extended Wheelbase.

EVEN THE QUEEN WAS INVOLVED

The alternative configuration is ”for those who value the ultimate luxury an SUV over practicality”. Two individual rear seats separated by a fixed rear centre console that contains a drinks cabinet with Rolls-Royce whisky glasses and decanter, Champagne flutes and a refrigerator.

FULL BAR SERVICE: The Cullinan has a rear-seat range of glasses and plates - even a fridge. Image: NewspressUSA.
FULL BAR SERVICE: The Cullinan has a rear-seat range of glasses and plates – even a fridge. Image: NewspressUSA.

The two seats can be adjusted through a number of planes. All of which makes the Cullinan a station-wagon or a three-box raised sedan – and both models can be raised/lowered through four cm for ”effortless” ingress and egress – a concept dreamed up by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth many years ago her Range Rover, and later adopted as an option by that automaker.

An experienced driver will instantly recognise the Cullinan as a driver’s car thanks to its thicker, but smaller, heatable steering-wheel and all information is clearly communicated by the latest generation of digital instruments.

BIG, BUT STILL A DRIVER’S CAR: The steering wheel is thick, the instrument panel all-digital, with a choice of displays managed by a ‘tween-seats controller. Image: NewspressUSA

The driver is assisted by a four-camera system with Panoramic View, cruise control, collision and cross-traffic alerts, and lane-departure and lane-change warnings. Best of all is a hi-res head-up displayed on the windscreen. Satnav, wi-fi and entertainment systems are each in the package.

Rear passengers ride higher than the front and have their own satnav screen. Five USB ports are standard and cellphones can used wireless charger. All areas throughout the interior are heatable – front-door armrests, front centre console lid, lower C-pillar, rear door armrests and rear centre armrest.

Occupants can dismount without dirtying trouser legs or long dresses because the door sills curve under the car and keep road dirt out.

‘THERE’S ROLLS’ ENGINEERING EVERYWHERE’

More from Müller-Ötvös: “The proposition of this car is an engineering masterpiece. Its off-road capability, while maintaining the brand’s ‘Magic Carpet Ride’  had a number of guiding principles.”

The component parts of the base architecture were reconfigured into a spaceframe higher but accommodate the tail access. The all-new aluminium sub-structure delivers ”extraordinary” car body stiffness for ‘best-in-class’ functional performance on rough terrain – all resting on a principal of ‘Effortless. Everywhere’.

V12 ENGINE TOTALLY REWORKED

There’s been a re-working of the new 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 Rolls-Royce engine to deliver 850Nm at only 1600rpm. The suspension checks itself with, Rolls says ”millions of calculations every second” to react to body and wheel acceleration, steering input and camera information.

Off-road, the electronically controlled shock-absorbers uses air compression to push down any wheel it detects losing traction to ensure every wheel is constantly in contact with the ground and maximum torque is going to each wheel.

“Put simply, ” Rolls says, ”what makes the car great on-road makes the car great off-road.” All of which can be activated through a single-push button.

HALF-METRE WADING POSSIBLE

The Corner was told: ”Faced with deep snow, sand or a river crossing, the Cullinan will deliver the deepest wading depth of any super-luxury SUV – more than a half-metre

Giles Taylor, Rolls’ director of design, weighs in: “At this point in the history of automotive design, SUV’s have become homogenous and ubiquitous. The label SUV is now applied to anything with a two-box silhouette and the least suggestion of going off-tarmac.

SPLIT-LEVEL BOOT, SERIOUS ARMOUR: No missing the Cullinan's off-road credentials. Image: NewspressUSA
SPLIT-LEVEL BOOT, SERIOUS ARMOUR: No missing the Cullinan’s off-road credentials. Image: NewspressUSA

”We envisioned an authentic, three-box all-terrain high-bodied car with 22” wheel rims, a convention-challenging design and absolute capability that would satisfy adventurous clients.

‘STANCE OF A WARROR’

“One of the first benefits of the Cullinan was the ability to place the wheels and create a unique silhouette to match the Rolls-Royce pedigree. This gave Cullinan the commanding stance of a warrior, immediately communicating its strength and power.”

The grille is hand-polished stainless-steel, and the Spirit of Ecstasy rides above the wing-line.

Away from the face of Cullinan the vertical lines that run from the A-pillars down along the raised bonnet edge, down the side of the grille and into the metal skid plate below emphasise the height of the car and its dominant character.

TAKE ALONG YOUR FAVOURITE PASTIME

Fly fishing, photography, rock-climbing, snowboarding, parascending, kite boarding, base-jumping, volcano boarding or simply sitting and taking in the view is possible thanks to modules that can be slotted into the car’s boot.

Each module contains a motorised drawer housing the equipment and paraphernalia specific to each Cullinan owner’s pursuits. When the owner is ready to play, it presents itself.

CLEVER IDEAS: The Culllilnan's doors cover the sills, the shell can be dropped for easier access. Image: NewspressUSA
CLEVER IDEAS: The Cullinan’s doors cover the sills, the shell can be dropped for easier access. Image: NewspressUSA

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