May 31, 2018

The Cullinan, Rolls-Royce's first SUV allows magic carpet ride in rough terrains

As the luxury SUV segment is now taking off, Rolls-Royce is also beaten by this bug. The British car maker has revealed its first super luxury off-roader, the Cullinan, capable of offering its carpet-ride experience even in rough terrains.

Back in 2015 at the Frankfurt Auto Show, Bentley had introduced its first off-roader, the Bentayga with a new radical design form amidst a lot of hue and cry from the purists. But the off-roader proved to be one of the most popular models from the company as it continues to be in high demand in various markets, especially in the US and China.

Now following in the footsteps of Bentley, the arch-rival Rolls-Royce has revealed its off-roader SUV, the Cullinan, which is named after the largest 3106-carat raw diamond discovered in South Africa in 1905.

With an eye to dethrone the Bentayga, the British carmaker isn't positioning the vehicle as a mere SUV, but it bills the vehicle as the "all-terrain high-bodied" off-roader. This clearly gives away that the Cullinan is meant for luxury riding even in rough terrains. For this, the SUV has a dedicated off-road mode to tackle any kind of off-roading challenge.

A few videos posted on YouTube feature the Cullinan prototypes with an apt slogan that reads, "effortless, everywhere," as they negotiate the rough roads and massive dunes across different continents.

Design

At first glance, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan flaunts a luxurious and aggressive design with a V-shaped bonnet, tall and upright stainless grille along with fabled Spirit of Ecstasy emblem. A belt line originating from the thin headlights stretches to the whole body of the car. The front bumper, lights, and air intakes are more rugged looking and entrenched deep into the body. The front of the Cullinan, in fact, resembles the last year's Phantom. Also, the LED headlights and muscular wheel arches are seemingly Phantom-like.

Interior

On the inside, the off-roader oozes luxuriousness with a few elements borrowed from the Phantom such as the sloping center console and the digital instrument panel behind the steering wheel. When pressing the start button, it raises the vehicle by 40mm, offering a clear and commanding view for the occupants. The central instrument display is now touch-sensitive to seamlessly access the infotainment and vehicle control set up and map viewing. The inside makes a liberal use of leather and wood.

The Cullinan comes with a "three-box" design, which consists of a glass partition that segregates the luggage area from the rest of the cabin. By this passengers are ensured of noise-free as well as hassle-free seating environment. The optional pair of seats lets the occupants sit in the boot when the vehicle is static.

Engine & Security

The Cullinan shares the same 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V12 engine of the Phantom Saloon car. The engine cranks out 563bhp at 5,000rpm and 850Nm of peak torque at 1,500rpm. The vehicle has all-wheel drive support with top speed reaching up to 155mph/250kmph. The acceleration rate is, however, not revealed as yet. The self-leveling air suspension irons out the bumps and potholes in the road to ensure its signature magic carpet ride experience.

The vehicle is armed with tons of safety features such as Night Vision and Vision Assist, Alertness Assist, Active Cruise Control, Collision warning, Cross Traffic Warning, and Lane Change/Departure warning. A Wi-Fi hotspot, 5 USB ports, and wireless phone charging keep the phones connected and juiced up in every situation.

Price and availability

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan will hit the showrooms later this year or early next year with a starting price of $325,000 (around PHP17,100,000). As mentioned earlier, the Cullinan will butt head mainly with the Bentayga but others vehicles in the segment such as the recently introduced Lamborghini Urus and the upcoming Aston Martin Verkai will also come in the line of competition.

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