Rolls-Royce is an enduring brand legendary for levels of luxury that appeal not only to the wealthy elite, but to world leaders throughout the course of history. Their attention to detail when it comes to comfort, style, and performance have made them a household name for generations, although the households that can afford to drive them are few and far between.
It’s almost unthinkable that a Rolls-Royce would be used for the purposes of exploring rugged terrain – the cars in this company’s lineup are more likely to grace red carpets and royal weddings than seek entry at a national park. And yet, the company that caters to kings and celebrities alike has decided to launch the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the first ever Rolls-Royce SUV from a company that’s been around more than a century.
Why has this storied brand decided to throw its hat in the ring of rugged off-road vehicles? What does the Cullinan have to offer? And will buyers be impressed enough to shell out the dough for a luxury vehicle designed to get dirty?
Why Make a Rolls-Royce SUV?
The push to make luxury SUVs stems from a seller’s market, plain and simple. When sports-car company Porsche first introduced the Cayenne in Europe back in 2001 (and later in the U.S. in 2003), it was unexpected, to say the least. Since then, several luxury car brands have followed suit, bolstered by the popularity of Porsche’s ploy.
With a price tag around $60K, the starting price of the Cayenne is several thousand dollars above the average for this type of vehicle, but there are several SUVs that are more expensive, including the Maserati Levante at just over $75, the Range Rover at close to $90K, and the Bentley Bentayga at nearly $230K, just to name a few. At a sticker price of $325K, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is set to attract an entirely different class of buyer, but apparently, the demand for this pricy SUV is high.
People who drive Rolls-Royce vehicles are just like the rest of us, insomuch as they, too, need daily drivers that can transport kids, pets, and cargo and take a bump or two in the road without ruining the case of bubbly in the back. Skeptical that the Rolls-Royce SUV will sell like hotcakes? It already has. It’s sold out more than a year in advance, and demo models are only just reaching dealers, with customer deliveries expected to begin in November or December.
What Stands Out About the Rolls-Royce Cullinan
Ok, so this thing is happening. What is it about the Rolls-Royce Cullinan that makes it so special? Named for the world’s largest diamond, this model looks to be equally rare and valuable, thanks in part to the brand’s insistence on delivering bespoke vehicles. Says Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös, “Rolls-Royce would be dead without bespoke. International legislation makes it harder for companies to be bespoke, but we have done it.” Along those lines, the company employs 100 people for the sole purpose of helping owners customize cars to their specifications.
This begins with bespoke elements particular to the company, including foundational pieces like the bespoke aluminum spaceframe architecture (first seen in last year’s Phantom and slated for introduction across the Rolls-Royce line moving forward), as well as entertainment features like the bespoke audio system featuring 16 speakers. What else will customers love about the world’s fanciest station wagon?
Let’s start with the 6.7-liter twin-turbo V-12, which delivers 563 horsepower and 627 foot-pounds of torque. This puppy goes 0-60 mph in five seconds flat – not bad for a vehicle that weighs over three tons. It’s also the first Rolls-Royce to feature 4-wheel drive.
There’s plenty to love on the inside, as well, including premier Spanish leather from high-altitude cows (less mosquitos, natch), accents in open pore royal walnut, seats that are heated and ventilated, lounge or console seating configurations in the rear, and way too many luxury bells and whistles to enumerate. Suffice it to say, it’s a Rolls-Royce SUV. Draw your own conclusions about the level of comfort and class.
With the age of Rolls-Royce buyers steadily decreasing over the last several years, the timing couldn’t be better for a vehicle geared toward well-to-do, young couples and families with children. Sure, wealthy Baby Boomers may get in on the action, but it’s families that need SUVs to whisk them away on their Aspen ski vacations.
Whether or not you’re interested in a luxury SUV like the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, you’ll find plenty of listings to whet your automotive appetite on Dealer Strip, which makes buying, selling, and trading new, used, luxury, exotic, and classic cars easy and convenient.