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Rolls-Royce first super-luxury SUV in SA: 8 things you should know about the new Cullinan

2019-07-25 15:04
rolls-royce cullinan

Image: Rolls-Royce

In 2018, Rolls-Royce launched a revolutionary vehicle - the luxury automaker's first SUV, the Cullinan, in England.

In July 2019, the uber luxury SUV makes it way to South Africa at a glamorous showcase of Rolls-Royce models in the Western Cape.  

SA connection

The name of the new SUV is linked to South Africa as the Cullinan was the name given to the largest diamond ever found. It was found at a mine in Gauteng in 1905.

rolls-royce cullinan

                                               Image: Supplied

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.

GALLERY: Rolls-Royce Cullinan

New era for Rolls-Royce

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is Rolls-Royce as it’s never seen before. When Sir Henry Royce said, “Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it”, he could have had Cullinan in mind. 

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said: "We knew we had to offer our clients what they couldn’t find in the SUV market. 

"They do not accept limitations or compromises in their lives. They are the new pioneers, and for them it’s about their sense of adventure and daring in how they live their experiences. This approach to life demands a motor car that can go-anywhere in ultimate luxury and style – Rolls-Royce style. Hence Cullinan."

                                               Image: Rolls-Royce


Here's 8 things you should know about the new Cullinan:

1. It's named after the largest diamond ever discovered which now resides in the British Crown Jewels.
2. It's the second Rolls-Royce to sit on the all-new aluminium 'Architecture of Luxury'. 
3. The 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 Rolls-Royce engine delivers 420kW/850Nm mated to all-new all-wheel drive.
4. Tested to destruction all over the planet, Cullinan is an incredibly capable off-roader that sees the development of the ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ for off-road enjoyment.
5. The first 'three-box' car in the SUV-sector. Cullinan's rear partition wall creates a distinct environment for passengers, separated from the luggage compartment.
6. It's an all-terrain high-bodied car for an "authentic, luxury off-road travel a reality for the first time" says Rolls-Royce.
7. Contemporary and functional design ensures Cullinan gains iconic status in the face "of increasingly bland SUV designs" says the automaker.
8. Cullinan offers a suite of Bespoke features developed specifically for the many various lifestyles of its owners including the Viewing Suite and the Recreation Module.



The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is Rolls-Royce as it’s never seen before. When Sir Henry Royce said, “Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it”, he could have had Cullinan in mind. 

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said: "We knew we had to offer our clients what they couldn’t find in the SUV market.

"They do not accept limitations or compromises in their lives. They are the new pioneers, and for them it’s about their sense of adventure and daring in how they live their experiences. This approach to life demands a motor car that can go-anywhere in ultimate luxury and style – Rolls-Royce style. Hence Cullinan."

Luxury meets practicality

For the first time a Rolls-Royce has an opening tailgate, called 'The Clasp' In a nod to the era when luggage was mounted on the exterior of a car (so the occupants did not travel with their belongings), the rear profile of Cullinan is a two-part, ‘D-Back’ format, with the bustle denoting the place of the luggage. 'The Clasp' opens and closes in its two sections automatically at the touch of the key fob button.

                                                Image: Rolls-Royce

The rear passenger compartment of Cullinan has been designed to offer the best seat in the house for the owner’s particular needs. Two rear configurations are offered – Lounge Seats or Individual Seats.

The Lounge Seat configuration is the more functional of the two options. With space for three passengers in the rear, it will likely be more attractive to families. The rear seats also fold down – a first for Rolls-Royce. 

The seats fold electronically in a number of configurations by pressing the appropriate button in the boot or rear door pocket. One press sees each backrest effortlessly fold down, whilst at the same time moving the headrests upwards to avoid making an imprint on the seat cushion. Both seat backs can be folded completely, creating a flat load area or in a 2/3 and 1/3 split, increasing practicality even further.

Rear passengers can still travel with a long load, or use the carpeted seat back as an occasional table on which to rest their precious personal items.

For those who intend to transport large items back from their adventures, the rear of Cullinan offers a large amount of space in different arrangements. 

The rear compartment or boot area offers a standard 560 litres of space, expanding to 600 with the parcel shelf removed. Furthermore, the base of the rear seats sits higher than the boot floor, so even with both rear seats folded, the items in the boot cannot slip forward and are safely contained, unlike in any other SUV.

But for those wishing to carry a long item back from their trip – whether it be a Mark Rothko from the Art Gallery or a newly discovered artefact from the latest archaeological dig – a loading length of 2245mm and load capacity of 1930 litres is accessed by electronically raising the boot floor to meet the seat base, allowing the item to slide through effortlessly.


rolls-royce,luxury cars,cullinan

                                                   Image: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce’s investment in making the rear of Cullinan effortlessly and ultimately practical has the side benefit of offering a loading length longer than a Range Rover Vogue Extended Wheelbase. A very practical Rolls-Royce indeed.

Knowing that the Rolls-Royce customer expects to bespoke his or her Cullinan, a second rear configuration is offered. 

The Individual Seat configuration is for those who value the ultimate luxury an SUV can offer over practicality. The two individual rear seats are separated by a Fixed Rear Centre Console incorporating a drinks cabinet with Rolls-Royce whisky glasses and decanter, champagne flutes and refrigerator. The seats also move in a number of planes to offer ultimate comfort whilst travelling in the rear.

One final feature brings Rolls-Royce’s ultimate level of luxury to this configuration of Cullinan, creating the first truly 'three-box' SUV. Inspired by the age when one never travelled with one’s luggage, a glass partition isolates the passenger cabin from the luggage compartment, creating an inner ecosystem for the occupants.

In addition to enhanced and class-leading silence within the cabin, a further benefit becomes clear in the hottest and coldest of environments. Thanks to the sealed cabin created by the glass partition wall, the occupants can remain in the optimum temperature even when the luggage compartment stands open.


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