ROLLS-Royce has unveiled its new luxury SUV named after the largest diamond ever found – and it will be produced at Goodwood in West Sussex.
Cullinan, born and bred at Goodwood, is the most technologically advanced and only purpose-built luxury SUV in the world and boasts features including lowering itself as passengers board, a touch-sensitive central information screen, a stereo camera system integrated in the windscreen that ‘sees’ the terrain ahead, adjusting the suspension proactively, pavilion seating for back-seat passengers, a newly developed contemporary Box Grain black leather upper fascia and a drinks cabinet with Rolls-Royce whisky glasses and decanter, champagne flutes and refrigerator.
It also has leather seats that can unfold from the boot, while the carpeted seat backs can be used as an occasional table.
A glass partition separates the passenger cabin from the luggage compartment, creating an inner ecosystem for the occupants. It means occupants can stay warm even when the luggage compartment stands open.
Rolls-Royce announced three years ago that it would launch Cullinan, named after the largest diamond ever discovered, now part of the Crown Jewels, and inspired by Lawrence of Arabia’s iconic Blue Mist Rolls-Royce.
It was responding to its customers around the world, who had asked it to build “The Rolls-Royce of SUVs”, with luxury, performance and usability not seen before in the SUV market. Rolls-Royce says many of these customers were “younger, very successful high-net-worth individuals heavily engaged in the experience economy, and wanted a Rolls-Royce that would take them to the ends of the Earth in ultimate luxury”.
“The launch of a new Rolls-Royce model is always a seminal moment in the luxury industry,”, says Peter Schwarzenbauer, chairman of Rolls-Royce and member of the board of the BMW Group. “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. They want a new type of motor car that gives them unbounded access in ultimate luxury. Their sense of adventure and daring demands a “go-anywhere in ultimate luxury” motor car that will both take them to and meet them at the pinnacle of life. Cullinan is that motor-car.”
Giles Taylor, director of design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, adds, “From the very beginning, the design team treated this brand new Rolls-Royce as a unique, high bodied car. With global customer expectations in mind, our aim was two-fold – realise a presence to match the magnificent capability of Cullinan, whilst setting sector defining standards for luxury and elegance. We know that many of our luxury patrons pursue sports or leisure hobbies that require precisely this type of go anywhere vehicle – Cullinan’s design gesture had to possess an immediate sense of effortless accomplishment.”
“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 high-bodied all-terrain car with a convention-challenging design and absolute capability that would satisfy the adventurous urges of our clients.”
The Cullinan, says Rolls-Royce, is “the most anticipated car of 2018 and, quite possibly, the most anticipated Rolls-Royce of all time”, describing it as “a car that makes the idea of authentic, luxury off-road travel a reality for the first time”. It adds that “contemporary and functional design ensures Cullinan gains iconic status in the face of increasingly bland SUV designs” and is “the first “three-box” car in the SUV-sector as its rear partition wall creates “a distinct environment for passengers, separated from the luggage compartment”.
It is also the second new Rolls-Royce to sit on the all-new aluminium Architecture of Luxury and has been “tested to destruction all over the planet”.
The off-roader sees “the development of the Magic Carpet Ride for off-road enjoyment without sacrificing any Rolls-Royce on-road behaviour”.
With bespoke features including the Viewing Suite and the Recreation Module, Rolls-Royce has imagined a scene in which these can be deployed: “Having chosen your adventure, you call down to your garage. ‘Jason, we’re going to go drone racing today. Can you load the Drone Module into the Cullinan?’ Downstairs, Jason selects the Drone Racing Module from the rack containing several other Recreation Modules that the owner has had commissioned from Rolls-Royce to satisfy his or her preferred recreational pursuits. Fly fishing, photography, rock climbing, snowboarding, parascending, kite boarding, base jumping, volcano boarding or simply sitting and taking in the view, anything is possible thanks to the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective. Easily slotted and plugged into the boot of Cullinan, each Recreation 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.”
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.