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Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Cullinan, the Rolls-Royce of SUVs, has its global reveal

Cullinan, the Rolls-Royce of SUVs, has its global reveal

Hello, my name is Cullinan.

At noon the covers will come off the 4x4 - called the "Cullinan" after the largest diamond ever discovered. Today the British royal family owns it. Why do I mention this?

Allow us to introduce the Rolls-Royce Cullinan - an ultra-large, ultra-luxury SUV that's set to take on the Bentley Bentayga when order books open later in the year. Rolls-Royce says the 4x4 concept needed to fully mature before it saw fit to enter the automotive world's most profitable market segment on behalf of "those customers who will accept no compromise - the patrons of true luxury".

That's all well and good but what about the vehicle?

To aid this are what Rolls calls "Recreation Modules" - custom-built drawer and shelving systems that slot into the boot of the auto to house the paraphernalia needed to pursue your leisure activities in comfort and style. Rolls-Royce says that the Cullinan is in fact a three-box design, but with little more than a nib protruding on the tailgate, it's nothing like Mercedes-Maybach's freaky Ultimate Luxury Concept that shocked crowds at the Beijing motor show last month. The Cullinan measures 5,341 mm (210 in) in length, 2,164 mm (85 in) in width and stands 1,835 mm (72 in) tall, with a wheelbase of 3,295 mm (130 in).

Up front the majestic land yacht is powered by the company's 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 producing 420kW and 850Nm. Or One's horse racing. With the optional special seats, which are part of the rear tailgate, what better way to enjoy your canapés and bubbly (don't forget the Grey Poupon). Cullinan is just that.

Leading up to the May 9, 2018 launch, a heavily-camouflaged Cullinan has travelled far and wide.

According to the company, the Cullinan was tested in the searing deserts of Africa and the Middle East to the freezing snows of the Arctic Circle; from the grassy glens of the Scottish Highlands to the towering canyons of North America.

If you wanted go anywhere performance in the past, your only real option was a Land Rover of some description, or a Jeep. Hardly a single Rolls rolls down the line at the factory next to the Goodwood race course that hasn't had its price doubled by options and bespoke fixtures. Mostly, a Rolls can be stroked along on a footling five per cent of its engine's total might. In much more Rolls-Royce fashion, it also lowers the vehicle's ground clearance to let in passengers so they don't have to step.

Cullinan also has an intelligent four-wheel drive system and four-wheel steering. Clever? You bet - the air suspension system even can push down on any wheel that needs some assistance with traction. We'll call it an SUV, but the BMW-owned luxury marque prefers to call it a "high bodied vehicle".

Completing the package is the interior of the Cullinan. Inside, the cabin is as grandiose and opulent as you would expect - just look at those sumptuous seats.

That's assuming you got the rear bench seat.

Cullinan is meant to be the last word in luxury SUVs, with Rolls-Royce adamant that it has been "tested to destruction all over the planet" and is as capable off-road as it is on-road.

Despite that seemingly limiting trunk arrangement, which includes a glass partition, the Cullinan actually offers more cargo room (19.8 cubic feet) than the Bentayga and its conventional hatchback configuration (17.1 cubic feet).

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