After months of teasers and spy shots of camouflaged mule flooding the internet, the hotly anticipated Rolls-Royce SUV is finally here. Meet the Roll-Royce Cullinan, the British luxury carmaker’s first ever SUV in its 112-year long history. With a starting price of $320,000, it is the most expensive and most lavishly appointed utility ever built. It was three years ago when CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos announced that Rolls-Royce was planning an SUV, following requests from buyers who asked for a high-bodied alternative to the Phantom with similar luxury quotient. “Our answer to history, to the visionaries, adventurers, explorers and those who believe in the supremacy of liberty is the Cullinan,” he said at the launch.
Named appropriately after the world’s largest raw diamond, which was found in South Africa over a century ago, The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is the second model in the carmaker’s line-up to be built on it’s all-aluminum “architecture of luxury,” with the recently unveiled Phantom VIII being the first one. Designed from the ground up, it uses components reconfigured into a spaceframe, which should deliver “extraordinary car body stiffness for exceptional ‘best-in-class’ functional performance.” The new Phantom’s spaceframe is already 30% stiffer that its predecessor’s, and the Cullinan is even more stiffer.
The Cullinan comes fitted with an self-leveling, adapted version of the computer-controlled self-levelling air shocks Rolls-Royce uses on its other models. The system makes millions of calculations every second to adapt itself to the road. As compared to the new Phantom, it is shorter by over 400 mm and higher by nearly 200mm; yet, it’s quite large in comparison to Bentley Bentayga. It is powered by a 6.75-liter, twin-turbocharged V12 engine, which produces 562 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. The power is sent to all four wheels through a ZF automatic gearbox. The top speed of the Rolls-Royce SUV is electronically limited at 155 miles per hour. “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,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, chair of Rolls-Royce and member of the board of BMW Group. “They want a new type of motor car that gives them unbounded access in ultimate luxury.” The Cullinan will arrive in the US at the beginning on next year.