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The second Rolls-Royce to sit on the Architecture of Luxury, the Cullinan is the most technologically advanced, and only purpose-built luxury SUV in the world.

11 May 2018 | International News : U.K.


When Rolls-Royce announced three years ago that it would make an all-terrain high-bodied car, it did so in the knowledge that its customers around the world had asked it to build 'The Rolls-Royce of SUVs', with luxury, performance and usability not seen before in the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) market.

Contemporary and functional design ensures the Cullinan gains iconic status in the face of increasingly bland SUV designs
Answering this call to action in a manner appropriate to a marque such as Rolls-Royce was not a simple or obvious task. It was clear that customers wanted a Rolls-Royce that would take them completely off the beaten track and reward them with life's most enriching experiences.

But what they did not want was a vehicle as ubiquitous as an SUV with its compromises. Compromises such as increased cabin noise - due to its 'two-box' formula - old-fashioned or shared platforms, the choice of being good either on-road or off-road, and the relentless drive to make SUVs lower and more featureless. In short, blending in and becoming just another car.

The all-terrain high-bodied car that would become the Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV was made possible by one key factor - the recently created Architecture of Luxury - Rolls-Royce's proprietary all-aluminium architecture. The Architecture of Luxury will underpin every future Rolls-Royce. The first result of this was the new Phantom, launched last year.

Cullinan takes owners to places no modern Rolls-Royce owner has travelled in luxury before
However, it uses this new architecture in a wholly different manner to deliver an iconic design and presence, uncompromised comfort, space and usability, cutting-edge technology and the peerless on-road and off-road driving experience and capability that meets the requirement to be 'Effortless, Everywhere'.

The component parts of the base architecture were reconfigured into a spaceframe that was higher but shorter than the new Phantom, whilst also delivering a completely new feature never seen before on a series production Rolls-Royce - a tailgate. The all new tailgate delivers extraordinary car body stiffness for exceptional 'best-in-class' functional performance on rough terrain whilst offering better ride comfort.

A new double-wishbone front axle and five-link rear axle deliver astounding levels of control over lateral roll and shear forces and deliver incredible agility and stability, as does the addition of four-wheel steering, all contributing to incredible drivability but unperturbed passengers whatever the driving conditions.

The new V12 engine employs two turbochargers that contribute to a low-end torque output of 850Nm
Rolls-Royce's celebrated Magic Carpet Ride impresses off-road, as well as on-road thanks to the new lighter architecture, and the latest generation of self-levelling air suspension. 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.

Through a thorough re-engineering of the existing air suspension system, the strengthening of drive and prop shafts, the inclusion of drive to the front wheels, as well as the back for the first time in Rolls-Royce history, and the complete reworking of the new 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 to deliver 850Nm of torque at 1,600rpm, the Rolls-Royce engineering team has transformed the capability of the Architecture of Luxury.

The Flagbearer stereo camera system integrated in the windscreen monitors the road or terrain ahead, adjusting suspension proactively rather than reactively up to 100km/h whilst Satellite Aided Transmission, married to a ZF eight-speed gearbox also ensures that the driver and car is prepared for whatever the road ahead has in store for them.

The driver instantly recognises the Cullinan as a driver's car, thanks to its thicker, smaller steering wheel
This strength and power are immediately apparent from the face of Cullinan. Key features such as lights and air intakes are deep set into the bodywork, whilst strong vertical and horizontal lines create a powerful visage, with the prominent brow of a Saxon warrior created by the line that runs across the top of the pantheon grille and eyebrow-like daytime running lights.

Finally, the cabin of Cullinan combines authentic Rolls-Royce luxury with simple, symmetrical functionality to express the car's inherent strength to its occupants. Whether the fascia and centre stack of the dashboard or the arm rests on the doors, structural horizontal and vertical elements underpin the interior design before being clothed in the finest leather, wood and metal.

The seats in Cullinan have a bold, confident character, showcasing Rolls-Royce quality and craftsmanship. Designed to suit the more casual and dynamic quality of Cullinan, they feature a simple but modern horseshoe graphic, which emphasises the supportive bolsters of the seat. These new seats also showcase Rolls-Royce's mastery of leather craft as this entire backrest panel has been crafted from a single piece of leather to pick out a highly three-dimensional surface.
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