Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Ultimate SUV Roller

17 May 2018

THE biggest and best SUV in the world is what Rolls-Royce says it has created with its new Cullinan, which is expected to cost about £230,000.

Design boss Giles Taylor says that the company is unashamedly aiming to bring something ``really big’’ to the market, both in terms of size, ability, equipment and even price.

The tricky bit was to achieve this objective without creating the sort of monster that would outrage public opinion, and even be in danger of verging upon tackiness.

The result is a vehicle that may be big and bold but which also encapsulates the Rolls-Royce ethos of traditional elegance, if such a thing is possible within the Chelsea tractor sector of the market.

The price may seem formidable to most of us, but is an irrelevance to  the sort of folk who appear in this weekend’s Sunday Times rich list.

This also applies to the Cullinan’s lack of environmental friendliness, with the draconian taxes incurred for its fuel consumption and exhaust emissions being considered a small price to pay for such an extraordinary show of unbridled wealth.

Powered by a 12-cylinder 6.75-litre petrol engine with the benefit of twin turbochargers, there is an output of 563bhp, with pulling power of 850Nm from just 1,600rpm.

The CO2 emissions are a whopping 341g/km, whilst economy is said to average 18.8mpg, which means it will do about 13mpg around town.

Annoyingly, Rolls-Royce declines to give performance figures for its vehicles, but when the Cullinan is independently tested long before its on-sale date at the end of this year it is likely to achieve a 0-60mph acceleration time of about six seconds, with an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph.

This is pretty impressive for an SUV that is 5341mm long and  2164mm wide, encumbered by all of the paraphernalia that enables it to be a proper go-anywhere 4x4.

Immediately identified by its huge Rolls-Royce chrome grille, it also has front-opening rear doors, which are hinged at the back.

They create a vast opening area that reveals either a traditional folding three-abreast bench or a pair of individual seats, with both configurations giving passengers higher seating than those in the front.

There are also optional rear-facing seats stored within the luggage area that swing out for those who wish to watch outdoor sports whilst seated beneath the raised tailgate.

Otherwise there is a total luggage capacity of 1,930 litres with the family-orientated rear bench seat folded flat, and a load length for carrying DIY stuff back from B&Q of 2,245mm.

As one would rightly expect from a Rolls-Royce, the combination of bespoke interiors and choice of wood, leather and metals is boundless.

There are also truly awesome levels of technological wizardry inside to cater for those with the most discerning tastes in sound and vision, plus the sort of safety suites that render the vehicle as close to invincibility as possible.

In addition to four wheel drive there is also four wheel steering, and as was the case with the rival Bentley Bentayga, a hybrid option will arrive in due course.

Also in common with the best-of-British Bentley is the German ownership of Rolls-Royce, which is part of BMW, just as Bentley is now part of Volkswagen.