Rolls Royce Cullinan Review
As people’s appetite for SUVs has long since officially passed that of food, shelter and human love, it’s easy to think Rolls-Royce is just the latest name to be dragged into the gold rush with its new Cullinan, named after the largest gem-quality diamond ever found.
But then you remember this is Rolls-Royce, and when it tells you that now is the perfect moment for the marque to launch an SUV it probably is, and it’s calling this one a high-bodied vehicle anyway, so just sit back on the fine leather seats and stop all the fretting.
To illustrate the point, while other brands might use a pouting influencer or fading rapper to help launch a new model, the unofficial ambassador of this car is Lawrence of Arabia, 83 years dead, who created a squadron of armoured Silver Ghosts to fight in the desert in Palestine during WWI.
It’s a neat link but perhaps the most surprising thing is just how much work has been done to make the Cullinan actually deliver on this adventurous philosophy.
It would have been easy to have made a taller Phantom for just negotiating Mayfair traffic jams but push the 'Everywhere' button and this car is also capable of trawling through 21in of water, speeding along jungle tracks before ploughing up the side of a sand dune, naturally while keeping your preferred Champagne chilled at the optimum temperature in the rear refrigerator (there’s also a whisky decanter if you’d prefer, you don’t have to decide now). The self-leveling air suspension promises an unflustered ride in even the harshest conditions and surfaces.
It’s this need for both robustness and refinement that shaped designer Giles Taylor’s approach, bringing as it does the R-R lifestyle into new territories and terrains.
The car has a blocky and aggressive 'I’ll go where the hell I like' presence, married with typically classy details to play up this new passenger experience, from a glass-partitioned luggage window to fold-out boot seats for surveying the vista over a pot of darjeeling. Rolls-Royce: civilising the great outdoors, one SUV at a time.