Taking a gander at the new Cullinan SUV, one is certainly not left wondering where the Rolls went. Contemporary RR design language finds grace in assertion, and extending that language into high-bodied luxury SUV proportions has brought us a vehicle that expresses it for the new century. If Rolls decided to follow fellow aristocrat Bentley into the fray, they weren’t going to water down the result. Or the price. In for a penny, in for 250,000 GBP.
So what we have is a vehicle with a curb weight of nearly three tons, with an engine that is—to put it in terms of English understatement—rather substantial: a 6.75L V12 that pumps out 563 HP and 627 pound-feet of torque. Rolls wanted a diamond that could rough it, and that’s what they’ve delivered. The Cullinan is named after the biggest diamond in the world, and Rolls made sure to conduct extensive off-road testing on all kinds of global terrain as part of their seeding campaign before they formally rolled the vehicle into the public eye. Safari cred? You bet.
The Cullinan is 500 pounds heavier than the Bentayga, with a massive engine to get it where it needs to go despite the obstacles. It’s also taller than the Bentayga, and slightly less subtle in its desire to impress. It is, in short, a be-all-and-end-all of SUVs, the alpha of the class.
Keeping traditions alive is essential to the Rolls mystique, though, and the grille and coach doors both speak to the history of Goodwood; the latter detail adds subtlety to the overall conceit. Concessions to our tech-hungry period include an active suspension for off-road travel, cameras, a HR head-up display, night vision, and driver assist and safety systems.
The last SUV you’ll ever need? You bet. It’s a Rolls!
Pricing starts at $325K, with deliveries expected in the first months of 2019.