The most anticipated car of 2018 and, quite possibly, the most anticipated Rolls-Royce of all time has just landed in SA.
Named after the largest diamond ever discovered which now resides in the British Crown jewels, the new Rolls-Royce Cullinan is an all-terrain high-bodied car that makes the idea of authentic, luxury off-road travel a reality for the first time.
“The launch of a new Rolls-Royce model is always a seminal moment in the luxury industry. Today we are setting a new standard by creating a new class of motoring and motor car for customers who are well-connected, highly mobile and have a global perspective,” says Peter Schwarzenbauer, Chairman of Rolls-Royce, adding, “They want a new type of motor car that gives them unbounded access in ultimate luxury. Cullinan is that motor car.”
Contemporary and functional in its design, the Cullinan gains iconic status in the face of increasingly bland SUV designs. The first “three-box” car in the SUV-sector, Cullinan’s rear partition wall creates a distinct environment for passengers, separated from the luggage compartment. Tested to destruction all over the planet, the Cullinan is an incredibly capable off-roader that sees the development of the ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ for off-road enjoyment, without sacrificing any Rolls-Royce on-road behaviour.
The new Cullinan offers a suite of Bespoke features developed specifically for the many various lifestyles of its owners including the Viewing Suite and the Recreation Module. The 6.75 litre twin-turbo V12 Rolls-Royce engine delivers 563bhp/420kW and 850Nm/627lb ft of torque to the all-new all-wheel drive, all-wheel steer system needed to overcome any challenge.
For the first time a Rolls-Royce has an opening tailgate, called ‘The Clasp’. In a nod to the era when luggage was mounted on the exterior of the motor-card, so the occupants did not travel with their belongings, the rear profile of Cullinan is a two-part, ‘D-Back’ format, with the bustle denoting the place of the luggage. ‘The Clasp’ opens and closes it its two sections automatically at the touch of the key fob button.
The rear passenger compartment of Cullinan has been designed to offer the best seat in the house for the owner’s particular needs. Two rear configurations are offered – Lounge Seats or Individual Seats.
The Lounge Seat configuration is the more functional of the two. With space for three passengers in the rear, it will likely be more attractive to families. The rear seats also fold down – a first for Rolls-Royce. 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 effortlessly fold down, whilst at the same time moving the headrests upwards to avoid making an imprint on the seat cushion.
Both seat backs can be folded completely, creating a flat load area or in a 2/3 and 1/3 split, increasing practicality even further. Rear passengers can still travel with a long load, or use the carpeted seat back as an occasional table on which to rest personal items. 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. The rear compartment or boot area offers a standard 560 litres of space, growing to 600 with the parcel shelf removed. Furthermore, the base of the rear seats sits higher than the boot floor, so even with both rear seats folded, the items in the boot cannot slip forward and are safely contained, unlike in any other SUV.
The Individual Seat configuration is for those who value the ultimate luxury an SUV can offer over practicality. The two individual rear seats are separated by a Fixed Rear Centre Console incorporating a drinks cabinet with Rolls-Royce whisky glasses and decanter, champagne flutes and refrigerator. The seats also move in a number of planes to offer ultimate comfort whilst travelling in the rear. One final feature brings Rolls-Royce’s ultimate level of luxury to this configuration of Cullinan, creating the first ‘three-box’ SUV. A glass partition isolates the passenger cabin from the luggage compartment, creating an inner ecosystem for the occupants, as well as class-leading silence within the cabinet, so occupants can remain in the optimum temperature even when the luggage compartment stands open.
The Cullinan awakes at the touch of the unlock button on the Bespoke key, or by simply reaching out to its stainless steel door handle. It lowers itself by 40mm to make entry effortless as the iconic Rolls-Royce coach doors stand open to welcome driver and passengers to their adventure. A touch of the start button then elevates it to its standard 40mm, commanding ride height. The driver instantly recognises Cullinan as a driver’s car thanks to its thicker, smaller steering wheel. It’s heated, pliant rim hints at epic voyages, whilst heated and ventilated seats mean passengers will be perfectly acclimatised. All information is clearly communicated by the latest generation of digital instruments, with the displays themselves designed with clear virtual needles, Rolls-Royce jewellery-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 whilst on the trail. This portal can still be controlled from the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy controller which nestles 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 the 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 and 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 the latest Navigation and Entertainment systems.
The final piece of ensuring the Cullinan is effortless, everywhere is one single button. Known within Rolls-Royce as the ‘everywhere’ button, one single push is all it takes to harness the Rolls-Royce engineering and unleash the Cullinan’s off-road capability. Once engaged, the driver can finesse the off-road setting to glide over any situation, whether it be rough track, gravel, wet grass, mud, snow or sand delivering all 850Nm of torque to all four wheels without interruption.
Simply put, The Cullinan will take the world in its stride.