Similar to the largest rough diamond that it is named after, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan was partly borne out of pressure—the strong clamor from the market.
“There has been a huge customer demand behind it, of people wanting to have a car that is more utilitarian, that you can use in a practical sense. You can load something in the boot, you can use it as a family vehicle where you have kids in the back. That encouraged us really to step forward, to enter this new terrain,” explains Sven Grunwald, product and operations manager, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited, Asia Pacific.
So for the first time in its 115-year history, Rolls-Royce released a sport-utility vehicle (SUV). But it is not an entirely unfamiliar territory for the marque. “Rolls-Royce has been traditionally often used in a rugged environment. It’s always a car—given its quality and durability—that has been used off-road, in a way we see this as a natural progression,” he rationalizes.
Unveiled at the Manila Polo Club last week, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan easily made an impact with its massive body spanning 210 inches in length and 79 inches in width, and reaching a height of 72 inches. Its wading depth is the deepest among the super-luxury SUV at 540mm.
“Yes it’s a higher vehicle, but there’s a lot of development that went into the stiffness and rigidity of the whole architecture of luxury, the aluminum space frame that makes it very sturdy,” Grunwald describes. “It’s the only Rolls-Royce with an all-wheel drive that has beautiful steering to help you at high speeds to have a smoother change of lanes, and at low speeds to have a shorter turn.” Add to that the latest generation of self-levelling four-corner air suspension.
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Under the bonnet is a complete reworking of the new 6.75-liter twin-turbo V12 Rolls-Royce engine capable of 850Nm of torque at only 1,600rpm and a smooth eight-speed transmission.
Off-road, electronically-controlled air springs use a powerful compression system that ensures every wheel is constantly in contact with the ground and maximum torque is delivered usefully to all wheels. In addition to Hill Descent and suspension height controls, four different programs within the off-road driving mode is available with a touch of the Everywhere button.
The seats are made from a single piece of leather for a highly three-dimensional surface. The upper dashboard fascia is clad in a newly-developed and contemporary-looking Box Grain leather similar to that used in Italian high-end luggage and handbags. Its safety features include night vision and vision assist including daytime and night-time wildlife and pedestrian warning; collision warning; cross-traffic warning, lane departure and lane change warning, alertness assistant, a 4-camera system with panoramic view, all-round visibility and helicopter view.
Behind the segment-unique coach doors are two interior options. A four-seater version has two individual rear seats with ventilation and massage functions. In between is a console for drinks, glassware, and a refrigerator. A glass partition behind the rear seat prevents disturbance from outside temperature or noise when the luggage compartment is opened.
The more practical Lounge version can accommodate five passengers or have the rear seats fold down electronically, creating a full flat load area or in a 2/3 or 1/3 split.
To hold all adventure equipment and paraphernalia, the Cullinan has the Rolls-Royce Recreation Module, a motorized drawer that can be fitted to according to any recreational pursuit. “It’s sort of a blank canvas for our customer.” Whether they’re into fishing, photography, rock climbing, or just sight seeing. Rolls-Royce offers a viewing suite where two chairs pop out of the boot, providing comfortable seating on the tailgate so you can marvel at the view from the car. “That’s the beauty of bespoke, there are no limitations. Whatever you feel like, we can make for you,” volunteers Grunwald.
Rolls-Royce representatives refused to disclose figures but the buzz is that the price tag of the Cullinan is at P53 Million. Order delivery is expected on the fourth quarter of the year.
For more information, visit Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Manila at 5th Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, or Rolls-RoyceMotorCars-Manila.com.ph.