Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
London, United Kingdom (4E) – Rolls-Royce, the most famous luxury car marque in the world, has entered the off-road arena with the introduction of the Cullinan, its first SUV.
Priced at $325,000, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is an ultra-luxury SUV that’s also the brand’s first all-wheel drive vehicle. The SUV is named after the Cullinan Diamond, the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever discovered. Series production of the Cullinan is expected during the second half of this year, while first customer deliveries will take place either at the end of the year or by early 2019.
Cullian comes with 6.75 liter, twin-turbo V12 Rolls-Royce engine delivering 563 bhp and 627 pound-feet of torque to the all-new, all-wheel drive, all-wheel steer system. This is the same engine that’s on the Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe, the exquisite handmade luxury car that received a perfect 10 for quality from Top Gear, one of the most popular shows on British TV.
The all-new, all-wheel drive and an all-wheel steering system on the Cullinan is the first in Rolls-Royce history and comes standard. The SUVs top speed is 250 km/h.
The BMW Group, which owns Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said the stately and huge Cullian has been “tested to destruction” all over the world. The Cullinan stands six feet off the ground, or four inches taller than its closest competitor, the Bentayga. At 5,864 pounds, it’s more than 500 pounds heavier than the Bentayga.
Angular sides and a high, flat top give it a more imposing look than the rounded Bentayga or the Lamborghini Urus, which extensively uses carbon fiber reinforced polymer and is powered by a new 641 hp (478 kW) 4.0 L twin-turbo V8.
The Cullinan’s front grille has the same steel vertical slats but is elevated to a more regal height. A touch of the start button elevates the Cullinan 40 millimeters, to its standard ride height. The Cullinan can wade in water up to 21 inches high.
The four coach doors close in the traditional coach format, which means the two rear doors open towards the rear. A rear tailgate automatically opens in two sections with the touch of the key fob button. Massive 22-inch rims flank each of its four corners.
The Cullinan’s interior offers seating for only five people. The rear seat comes in two configurations: two cockpit-style seats in the rear or a single lounge seat that allows seating for three. Folding down the sets frees up a huge 600 liters (21 cubic feet) of storage space. The rear seats are higher than the front seats due to Rolls-Royce’s pavilion-style seating
The Cullinan’s steering wheel is small and thick. There’s a high-resolution, heads-up display with night vision, including daytime and night time wildlife and pedestrian warning; an alertness assistant that helps avoid drowsy driving; a four-camera parking system with panoramic view, all-round visibility and helicopter view; active cruise control; different crash-avoidance systems; Wi-Fi and the standard navigation and entertainment systems. There are five USB ports around the cabin, and phones in the cabin’s front can be wirelessly charged.
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