2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Will Be First RR SUV

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It seems that every car manufacturer is trying to jump on the SUV bandwagon right now, the only real things stopping some of them is their traditional role – take Rolls-Royce for example.

Rolls have been building super luxury vehicles that waft their passengers along in extreme comfort for decades, and although some of the very early explores used a Rolls-Royce as a base for hand built coachwork when going on an expedition, they haven’t really been known for their off-roading ability.

The launch of the Bentley Bentayga proved to Rolls-Royce that they should also be playing in this arena; a high end Range Rover is one thing, but a Bentley or a Roller with the same styling and off road prowess could be a winner.

One More Player among Luxurious SUVs

Contents

1. One More Player among Luxurious SUVs
2. Pricing
3. Testing
4. Design
5. Powerplant
6. Platform

The difference between the Range Rover and the Bentley (and the yet to be released Cullinan) is that the Range Rover makes big and boxy beautiful, whereas the super luxury offerings are… maybe hideous is too strong a word, but they certainly aren’t pretty.

When Rolls-Royce finally decided to build a competitor to the likes of the Range Rover, Bentley, Lamborghini Urus, Mercedes-AMG G65 and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, they knew that it should ride like a Rolls but still have at least 90% of the off road ability of the Range Rover.

2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Pricing

We don’t know many technical details of the Cullinan, even the pricing is a little vague; we’ve been told that it will be more than €300,000 which at today’s current exchange rate, would put the U.S. price in the region of $323,000 as a minimum.

How this works in reality is difficult to say though – the base model Bentayga starts at $229,000 – nearly a hundred thousand dollars cheaper if that pricing structure goes ahead. Surely, Rolls-Royce need to be more competitive?

After all, Rolls-Royce are putting a lot of faith into the Cullinan – back in 2014, Rolls sold just over 4,000 units in total, they are expecting sales in the region of 7,000+ when the Cullinan goes on sale. That’s a lot of numbers for one model.

Testing

The 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan has been seen out testing in public; most recently in the north for extreme cold and now making its way to the Middle East for extreme heat.

Although it was lightly camouflaged the spy shots show a number of details that we believe will make it to production, including those infamous suicide doors that Rolls just seem to love.

Design

We would guess that as the rear of the vehicle has been most camouflaged, that is where most of the changes are going to take place between the prototype test mule and finalized production version.

We think that Rolls-Royce will be fitting a split twin section tailgate, like the sort Range Rover have put to good use for the last number of decades.

Having said that, we think the rear bumper and square section exhaust outlets will remain, along with the trademark oversized front grille.

Speaking of the front grille – we can see in the pictures that there is some sort of radar sensor tucked in the front there, so we’d expect to see some form of autonomous driving mode technology to be fitted as standard. After all, Rolls-Royce is all about being a passenger – driving should be left to others.

2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Powerplant

What’s going to power this behemoth? We think that it will be a development of the Ghost’s 6.6 liter twin turbo V12 – Rolls-Royce doesn’t do less than 12 cylinders, purely because you need to have that ‘power reserve’ as they call it.

There is rumor of a plug in hybrid, and given that manufacturers are being encouraged to build hybrids, we’d guess that they’ll put one into production at some point.

But it’s doubtful that it will be there at the launch, which is expected to happen in the first half of 2018. Whether that will make it a 2018 or ’19 model year will remain to be seen.

Platform

As for the underpinnings, the Cullinan will be built on the new aluminum spaceframe architecture, which will also be used for the next generation Rolls-Royce Phantom. Rolls have also developed a brand new suspension system for the Cullinan, and of course, an All-Wheel Drive system – they don’t have a current offering to use.

We don’t know what the ride will be like, if the Double R have their engineering right, it will have the ‘magic carpet’ ride quality, but they need to ensure that it isn’t soft and soggy. Regardless of wanting some off road ability built in, let’s be honest, the Cullinan will probably spend 99.9% of the time on the road, only really going off road when navigating the Polo field or equestrian trials parking. This ISN’T an off roader.

And in case you’re wondering – the Cullinan name comes from the Cullinan diamond, the world’s largest rough diamond ever found.

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Editor's rating
4.5 overall
  • Safety4.8
  • Performance4.4
  • Design4.5
  • Features4.8
  • Fuel economy4
Summary

The very first Rolls-Royce SUV might be a masterpiece or... something to hate. The soon release date will show how good the SUV will be.

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