Rolls Royce has passed in to our lexicon as the term for the very best, the apex, the pinnacle, the top dog.
Their latest offering to our shores is the Rolls Royce Cullinan SUV.
From their lofty perch, Rolls Royce could see a world outside the bounds of city streets, luxury hotels, and posh resorts. A Rolls Royce Spokesman said, “our customers want to take the luxury of their every day car, off-road.
“And, even if they never actually take it off-road, they known they can.”
Cullinan is the name if the biggest diamond ever found at 3,106.75ct. It was cut into 105 stones, the 2 biggest of which reside within the crown jewels of the United Kingdom.
The remaining 7 largest gems are owned by the queen privately.
The Rolls Royce Cullinan is likely to find similar owners after they leave their birthplace at Goodwood.
It is hard to imagine a more imposing SUV. Like the sedan, convertible, and coupe models, this SUV sits in a segment uniquely carved for it by clever marketing, and by even cleverer design.
Everything about it is huge, including the price.
Laser headlights are operated via an intelligent high-beam assistant. The headlights light 600m ahead while the assistant looks a further 400m to make sure no one is dazzled.
They sit either side of the handmade Parthenon-style grille.
The grille is topped by the Spirit of Ecstasy (aka the flying lady, Emily, the Silver Lady) and sits at about chest height.
It retracts when the car is locked or during a crash. It can be manually lowered from inside the cabin.
Most SUVs have a 2-box design but Rolls Royce is a 3-box design with slight bustle around the back. It is a nod to the luggage once carried on the drop-leaf boot ledge of early cars.
It creates an odd look which at first doesn’t quite fit.
A rear two-part hatch is powered, of course.
Also powered are the 4 passenger doors. The rear suicide doors open wide in the manner her Ghost, Wraith, Dawn and Phantom sisters.
Of course, the brolly sits inside each of the rear doors and can be accessed as long as the front doors are open.
Their heated housing makes sure they’re always dry, ready to be gracefully unfurled.
Colour choices are as varied as the whim of the buyer. One such buyer asked for a candy pink car with a cream interior.
While that might make some of us gag, it takes all types.
22” wheels are shod in road tyres which, according to the video, are as happy crossing a creek or a desert dune, as they are crossing Mayfair.
Looking just at the pictures, you might be forgiven for thinking Cullinan was perhaps not the most handsome steed in the stable, but reality is quite another thing.
In the metal, it is stunning.
Most cars have pinstripes, but Rolls-Royces have coach lines. They are hand painted with a fine brush by one of a pair of artisans. No transfer decals here.
The cabin has been lavished with every conceivable luxury appointment.
There are either 4 or 5 seat options.
In the 5 seat configuration, the 2nd row and be lowered electrically to give a 2m space for surfboards (yes, surfboards). With only 4 seats, the situation is a bit more exclusive.
The powered, heated/cooled seats have a glass partition behind them to keep the luggage compartment at arm’s length.
It keeps the cool air inside when the tailgate is opened on top of a desert dune.
It is fixed though, so there is a limit to how the space can be used.
There is a plethora of plug-in modules which can be fitted in the back. One module has seats which can be electrically deployed so you can perch on the tailgate at the polo without being uncomfortable.
Modules can be custom made at any time and added at home.
One such unit holds a buyer’s jewelry and dress suit for dinner.
Another was specified for an owner’s fossil collection for the times when putting them in wrappers inside a plastic bin just won’t do.
Fishers, shooters, and skiers are also catered for.
Rolls Royce Bespoke will build anything the customer asks for.
8 hides are used for each interior because any imperfections are cut around. It doesn’t go to waste though. Oh no. Offcuts are used to cover key fobs, and other accessories.
In the back:
The back seats have a fridge, crystal decanter and glasses, and champagne flutes and bottle of fizz. All this can be carefully poured while stretched out without being able to touch the seat in front.
Heating, cooling, and massage functions feature in all seats.
There are tray tables and LCD screens for each occupant where tv and video can be enjoyed. A central command system mirrors that of the one in the front.
Like the exterior colour choices, leather and wood can be selected as desired.
Our car had Open Pore Blackwood and Chevron Wood, with leather in Scivaro Grey, Black, and Mandarin. I asked if the carpets were Wilton, like in Rolls-Royces of old, but no one seemed really sure.
To finish things off nicely, there is a set of the softest lambswool mats I have ever felt
Vents are controlled by old-world pull-knobs.
The capacious cabin still manages a cosy atmosphere. Gadgets fold away discretely because some folk will want their driver to take the reins
A canny enthusiast will notice a certain familiarity between some aspects of the infotainment system and the BMW 7 series.
There are clever one-touch buttons where favourites like radio stations, navigation points, and phone numbers can be set. A single press could bring up your home address for the SatNav or the number of your tailor.
Exterior sensors provide information to the driver, and work with the driver aids to keep things calm, cool, and collected.
A tasteful analogue clock sits in a panel of leather in front of the passenger. Perfectly matched wood veneers are created by Rolls-Royce craftspeople, because every car is hand made.
An LCD screen hidden behind a leather-clad door appears as the ignition is switched on.
- Head-Up Display
- DAB Tuner
- Laser Headlights
- Comfort Access
- 4-Wheel Drive
- Rear Wheel Steering
- Universal Garage Door Opener
- Automatic Door Close
- Chrome Plated Visible Exhausts
- Individual Seat Configuration
- Rear Theatre Configuration
- 22″ Part Polished Twin Spoke Wheels
- Rolls-Royce Bespoke Audio
- Panorama Glass Sunroof
- Exterior Stainless Steel Package
- Polished Stainless Steel Package
- Front & Rear Ventilated Seats
- Front & Rear Massage Seats
- Illuminated Treadplate
- Driving Assistant System
- Television Tuner
- Engine: 6.75L V12 twin-turbo petrol producing 420kW/850Nm
- Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
- Warranty: 4 years/ unlimited km
- Safety: Not tested
- Origin: UK
- Price: from $675,000