The ‘Project Cullinan‘ is now the Cullinan, meaning Rolls-Royce has decided to keep the name for the production as well. It is named after the largest diamond ever discovered, which is now owned by the Queen Elizabeth II.
The Cullinan is built on the new aluminium Architecture of Luxury platform which also underpins the Phantom VIII. The Cullinan features a three-box design, claimed to be the first in the SUV segment.
Although the looks might be polarising, the three-box design helps in specifying the recreational options like the one above. The tailgate is dubbed as the clasp, as it opens in two sections.
The tailgate shape is a nod to the era when the luggage was mounted on the exterior of the car, so the occupants did not travel with their belongings, with the bustle denoting the place of the luggage.
The Cullinan offers a standard 560 litres of space, growing to 600 with the parcel shelf removed. With the 40:20:40 split rear seat configuration, the luggage space can be expanded to 1,930 litres.
As for the dimensions, the SUV measures 5,341 mm in length, 2,164 mm in width and the unladen height is 1,835 mm. The wheelbase measures 3,295 mm.
The interiors as you would expect are minimalistic in the typical Rolls-Royce fashion. The instrument cluster is a mix of digital display with the chrome outer bezels to make it appear analogue. There is a touchscreen infotainment system based on the BMW iDrive that can be hidden away if not needed.
However, the Cullinan doesn’t get the gallery in the dashboard, meaning the Phantom is still the brand’s flagship offering.
99% of the Cullinans won’t leave the asphalt (Middle East might be an exception), but for those who do wish to take it off-road, Rolls-Royce has made it simple by giving just a single Off Road button.
The systems including the self-levelling air suspension would take care of pretty much everything. The suspension makes millions of calculations every second as it continuously varies the electronically controlled shock absorber adjustment system – reacting to body and wheel acceleration, steering inputs and camera information, promising the trademark Magic Carpet Ride everywhere.
There is also the four-wheel steering for nimbleness and manoeuvrability. The super-luxury SUV’s wading depth stands at 540 mm.
The centre console also houses the Hill Descent Control button, Air Suspension height adjustment controls and a button to activate the 4-Camera system with Panoramic View, all-round visibility and helicopter view.
Further equipment includes Night Vision and Vision Assist including daytime and night-time Wildlife & Pedestrian warning, Alertness Assistant, Active Cruise Control, Collision Warning, Cross-Traffic Warning, Lane Departure and Lane Change Warning, High-Resolution Head-Up Display and WiFi hotspot.
The rear section can be had either in the aforementioned Lounge Seats or two Individual Seats like in the example above with some options for the middle section. The large windows already add a lot of airiness to the cabin and if that’s not enough, there is a large panoramic glass roof as well.
Powering the Cullinan is the same 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 from the Phantom, tuned to produce 563 bhp (420 kW) at 5,000 rpm and 850 Nm of torque at 1,600 rpm, paired to satellite-aided 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h.