The lucrative luxury SUV race arguably really kicked off in the early 2000's, when Volkswagen launched the Touareg and Porsche churned out the Cayenne. Since then, more and more manufacturers have joined the high-end SUV bandwagon for just how much cash it rakes in, and now, today, we can add one more manufacturer to the ever-growing list: Rolls-Royce. Not exactly the prettiest thing in the world, is it? Read on for the lowdown.
The Cullinan isn't exactly a surprise to the experts of the industry; it was well-known that Rolls-Royce had an SUV in the pipeline for the past few years, thanks to requests from buyers who wanted all the luxury of a Phantom, paired with the commanding ride height that SUV owners all rave about.
The name, in case you were wondering, comes from the largest raw diamond in the world. It seems suitable, then, considering the Cullinan starts at around £250,000.
Inside, those familiar with Rolls-Royce vehicles will feel right at home. The technology is lifted from the latest BMW models, and the styling is unapologetically Rolls. And yes, the Cullinan continues the tradition of having a 'Power Reserve' instead of a rev counter. Classy.
Despite its luxurious interior, the Cullinan is supposedly going to be a very serious off-roader, with Rolls-Royce claiming that it will match anything and everything a Range Rover is able to do. Quite why you'd want to take your quarter-of-a-million waft mobile onto the muddy stuff is beyond me, but I suppose it's nice to know the ability is there.
Power comes from the tried and tested 6.75-litre V12 unit slapped with some turbochargers. It produces a respectable 563bhp at 5000rpm, but more importantly for this kind of vehicle, it generates a mammoth 627lb/ft of twist at just 1600rpm. That will enable the Cullinan to drive everywhere at any speed without breaking a sweat - just as a Rolls-Royce should be. How does 0-60 in around 5 seconds and 155mph sound, sir?
Mind you, all that power combined with a hefty 2.6 tonne kerbweight means fuel economy isn't exactly this car's strong point. With an average combined MPG of just 18, and an Earth-choking 341g/km of CO2, the Cullinan won't be welcomed by Greenpeace anytime soon. Not that wealthy owners would give a toss, mind.
Sales are due to start around the festive period of 2018. You better get furiously saving on that ISA account right now...