When you think of Rolls-Royce, the notion of luxury without peer is what instantly comes to mind, and as such it came as some surprise that the brand has an esteemed history in military off-road vehicles; a legacy of endurance, in especially arduous conditions, during especially dangerous times, as an excerpt from ‘The Tank Corps Journal’, October 1922 clearly highlights:

“The most outstanding incident since the war has been the trip of three Rolls-Royce armoured car tenders from Jerusalem to Baghdad last year. This journey was undertaken with the aid of aeroplanes who daily kept in touch with the cars and brought them supplies. In addition to these three tenders, fitted with Vickers machine guns, the convoy consisted of some other makes, over which the former demonstrated only too often their vast superiority. Upon one occasion a back axle complete was brought out by air and, in all, thirteen back axles were broken on twelve accompanying vehicles whereas the Rolls-Royce cars had no mechanical breakdown, either on the outward or on the return journey.”

If anything, this knowledge makes the arrival of their new Cullinan SUV all the more surprising— not that it has happened, in that it didn’t happen sooner.

Typical of the brand, they don’t rush, they ensure that everything is done with the utmost authenticity and respect to their clientele, the brand’s heritage and also to their future legacy that they as a brand are looking to create. In that they have created a new standard for the SUV, a standard that all models from this point forward will be looking to as the pinnacle to reach, if not exceed.

The first all-wheel drive Rolls-Royce vehicle, Cullinan fronts a completely new provide front and rear axel, that deliver astounding levels of control over lateral roll and sheer forces, whilst providing high degrees of agility and stability.

“It is incomparable and dramatically evolves the parameters of super-luxury travel, translating Rolls-Royce’s ethos of ‘Effortlessness’ into physical capability, anywhere in the world. Cullinan will simply take the world in its stride.”
~ Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Having said that the true power of the vehicle is not revealed until you press a button simply labelled “Off-road” that triggers a series of changes and engages Cullinan’s full off-road capabilities.

One of many distinctive features of the Cullinan is the first 3 box SUV environment, allowing passengers to be encapsulated in their own ecosystem, even when the rear compartment is open. The boot space is both acoustically and hermetically sealed, meaning that the signature “Magic Carpet Ride” experience can be retained at all times.

And then there is of course the viewing suite; two seats and table that are retractable and appear out of the back of the vehicle, perfect for watching sport, or enjoying an impromptu sunset with a glass of bubbly.

I won’t truly know until I’ve had a chance to fully test the vehicle in one of our DRIVEN reviews, but on first appearances it certainly looks like it’s once again mission accomplished for Rolls-Royce; the Cullinan is quite simply luxury in its purest, form combined with perfect practicality.

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