Rolls-Royce’s long awaited all-terrain vehicle makes its debut in Malaysia
The Cullinan, named after the world’s largest diamond, formed from the hardest substance known to man is here. Rolls-Royce’s first ever car with four-wheel drive is built around a rigid all-aluminium architecture that is unique to the off-roader which also has four-wheel steer, the latest generation of self-levelling air suspension that continually delivers maximum traction to every one of its 22-inch wheels and a twin-turbo, 6.75-litre V12 Rolls-Royce engine that unleashes 850Nm of torque at just 1600rpm. The off-road driving mode offers four different programmes and with a 540mm maximum wading depth, the Cullinan leaves other luxury SUVs behind in flood conditions.
This particular Cullinan has Infinity Black Commissioned Collection exterior with single Mandarin coachline, hand-painted by one craftsman at the Rolls-Royce facility. This one man has applied, freehand, in a single stroke, every coachline on every Rolls-Royce produced for the last 15 years.
Unlock the doors with the custom key and the Cullinan lowers by 40mm to facilitate effortless entry. The touch-sensitive doors open wide in Rolls-Royce’s signature coach style. The panoramic glass sunroof topped interior of the four-seater is swathed in black leather with Scivaro Grey, Mandarin and Slate contrasts. There’s box grain leather on the upper dashboard fascia, inserts of textured leather and highly polished stainless steel highlights at the centre stack. There’s Chevron Wood and Open Pore Blackwood veneer, and illuminated treadplates with the thin door sills were especially designed to make ingress and egress effortless. The Spirit of Ecstasy is embossed on to the doors which have a crash-tested, teflon-coated, custom-coloured umbrella, matching the bespoke coachwork, stowed into each rear passenger door.
The Cullinan was designed as a driver’s car with a smaller, thicker steering wheel. It has digital instruments displayed analogue-style with virtual needles, Rolls-Royce jewellery-like chaplets and clear lettering.
The windows are a sandwich of two layers of 3mm glass with an acoustic layer in between. It has over 100kg of soundproofing in the car and the tyres. Combine them with high compression four-corner self-levelling air suspension primed by radar, infra-red cameras and a satellite-aided eight-speed gearbox to anticipate the topography ahead to reduce the roughest of rides to a mere jostle and the Cullinan is practically its own biosphere complete with WiFi hotspot. Passengers are more likely to be able to hear each other breathing than intrusions from the outside world and should the sound of silence become too deafening, they can drown it with the 18-channel, 18-speaker, bespoke sound system
One’s journey can be plotted using the latest navigation systems beamed on to the windscreen through a 7×3-inch High-Resolution Head-Up Display. To stave off unwanted detours or delays, the path ahead would also be aided by laser headlights, Night Vision and Vision Assist including daytime and night time Wildlife & Pedestrian warning; a 4-Camera system with Panoramic View, all round visibility and helicopter view; Active Cruise Control; Collision Warning; Cross Traffic Warning, Lane Departure and Lane Change Warning. Should the Cullinan sense the driver’s concentration beginning to wane, the Alertness Assistant is triggered.
Lambswool floor mats adorn the footwell of the cabin. Exclusive to the Individual Seat configuration is the Fixed Rear Seat Middle Console. This holds the essentials that make a life confined to luxury bearable: a drinks cabinet with Rolls-Royce whisky glasses and decanter embedded in the front, and champagne flutes and refrigerator concealed in the rear. A rest glides out at the touch of a button, designed with sleeves to cradle the base of the flutes and prevent accidental spillage. A touchscreen monitor to control the infotainment system and Picnic Tables are folded and embedded into the back of the front passenger seats, ready to be deployed at the press of a button. All four seats feature ventilation and massage functions with additional adjustments over a number of planes for the rear seats to offer improved comfort over longer journeys. Passengers in the rear also sit higher than those in front affording them a grandstand view of their surroundings. The four-seater’s cabin is hermetically sealed from the boot with the same double-glazing as the windows to maintain a separate environment against temperature variances, dust, smells and other intrusions when the boot is opened.
In the Lounge Seat configuration, there is space for three passengers in the rear. The rear seats also fold down – a first for Rolls-Royce – 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 so it can take rear passengers while carting a long load.
The Cullinan has an opening tailgate, called ‘The Clasp’. Taking its cue from an era when luggage was mounted on the exterior of the motor-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.
The Cullinan has a large amount of cargo space which can be accessed in different arrangements. The rear compartment or boot area offers a standard 560 litres of space, growing 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. For extra long items, the load capacity of 2245mm and 1930 litres is achieved by electronically raising the boot floor to meet the seat base, allowing the item to slide through effortlessly. The Cullinan’s loading length surpasses that of the Range Rover Vogue Extended Wheelbase offering buyers a very practical reason why the Rolls-Royce is the better option.
The boot can be outfitted to hold a treasure trove of goodies for playtime. Whether it’s the pair of outward facing seats called the Viewing Suite stowed in a specially constructed platform on the floor of the boot or one of the Recreation Modules, a motorised drawer housing whatever the owner needs for a particular hobby, all it takes is a press of the button and out they glide.
Every inch of a Cullinan may be outfitted to its owner’s desire, so while the world’s most luxurious SUV may start from RM1.8 million before taxes, none will be.