Named after the largest diamond ever discovered – which is now part of the British Crown Jewels – the Rolls-Royce Cullinan combines generous dimensions (5,341mm x 2,164mm x 1,836mm) with practical features, off-road capabilities, extreme luxury and advanced technologies.
In terms of proportions, the height is partly balanced by the length, the long wheelbase, and the 22-inch wheels, however the imposing presence of the Cullinan is stille evident (more in the photos than in the “sleek” sketches).
The front end combines the trademark grille with the “face” of recent Rolls-Royces, while the prominent nose and the vertical lines underline the car’s height.
At the rear, the design is characterized by the hint at a three-box body style, while the Rolls-Royce’s DNA is reflected in the design of the LED tail lights.
The luxurious interior combines exclusive finishes with simple, symmetrical functionality that underlines the car’s strength and qualities.
Whether the fascia and centre stack of the dashboard or the arm rests on the doors, structural horizontal and vertical elements underpin the interior design.
The rear passenger compartment offers two configurations are offered – Lounge Seats or Individual Seats.
The Individual Seat configuration features two individual rear seats separated by a Fixed Rear Centre Console incorporating a drinks cabinet with Rolls-Royce whisky glasses and decanter, champagne flutes and refrigerator.
Among the distinctive features is the opening tailgate, called ‘The Clasp’, which opens and closes in its two sections automatically at the touch of the key fob button.
A glass partition inspired from the vehicles of the past isolates the passenger cabin from the luggage compartment. The loading capacity if 560 liters, growing to 600 with the parcel shelf removed.
The Cullinan is based on Rolls-Royce’s all-aluminum architecture which was adapted to the particular proportions of the high-bodied car.
A goal of the engineering team was to extend the trademark “Magic Carpet Ride” effect when driving off-road, and was achieved by evolving the self-leveling air suspension system, which varies the electronically controlled shock absorber adjustment system in real time.
The 6.75 liter twin-turbo V12 Rolls-Royce engine was tuned to deliver the right level of torque (850Nm) at the lowest possible revolutions (1,600rpm).
For more details on the design you can read the press release below.
“At this point in the history of automotive design, SUVs have become homogenous and ubiquitous,” comments Giles Taylor, Director of Design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
“The label SUV is now applied to anything with a two-box silhouette and the least suggestion of going off tarmac. We envisioned an authentic, three-box all-terrain high-bodied car with a convention-challenging design and absolute capability that would satisfy the adventurous urges of our clients.”
Working with the Architecture of Luxury, Taylor and his team designed the car he knew would meet expectations. Iconic design, proper Rolls-Royce proportions inside and out, and uncompromised levels of luxury.
“One of the first benefits of the Architecture of Luxury to the design of Cullinan was the ability to place the wheels and create a unique roofline silhouette that would give Cullinan an immediate sense of Rolls-Royce pedigree,” comments Taylor. “This gave Cullinan the commanding stance of a warrior, immediately communicating its strength and power, whilst at the very same time allows effortless entry and exit from the rear cabin.”
This strength and power are immediately apparent from the face of Cullinan. Key features such as lights and air intakes are deep set into the bodywork, whilst strong vertical and horizontal lines create a powerful visage, with the prominent brow of a Saxon warrior created by the line that runs across the top of the pantheon grille and ‘eyebrow’-like daytime running lights. This approach lends a toughness of expression to the front of Cullinan.
The grille is created from hand-polished stainless steel, but for Cullinan it is set slightly proud of the surrounding bodywork that pushes it up and forward. The Rolls-Royce badge and Spirit of Ecstasy ride significantly above the line of the wing, giving them a unique vantage point.
Away from the face of Cullinan the vertical lines that run from the A-pillars down along the raised bonnet edge, down the side of the grille and into the metal skid plate below emphasise the height of the car and its dominant character.
From the side, the purposefulness of Cullinan is clear. There is an uncompromising sheerness of the typical Rolls-Royce long bonnet profile, with the bonnet itself seen to be set higher than the wings of the car to communicate greater toughness.
The line then rises quickly on the A-pillar to resolve in an ultimate height for Cullinan of 1,836mm, a height accentuated by the glass to metal ratio as seen from the side. From just over the B-pillar, the roofline becomes quite fast and drops away to the even faster rear glass which resolves in an elegantly protruding boot lid that reminds one of the D-Back Rolls-Royces of the 1930’s, some of the last of the marque to still carry their owner’s luggage on a shelf outside the car.
Taylor’s famous rotating line then takes the eye back towards the front of Cullinan as it shoots forward through the 22-inch wheel hubs to give it a beautiful balance, whilst the depth of the side profile is optically broken up by a most authentic and honest piece of metal, like a Saxon spear, that flies down the lower door surface and gives the whole side of the car a beautiful sense of tension.
The rear view of Cullinan continues the theme of functionality, with the design reduced to a functional baseline. Any jewellery is subdued. So for instance, the Rolls-Royce badge stands on its own smaller plinth separate and above a thin metal finisher over the number plate housing. The design theme for the rear lights also remains simple as two narrow upright units house all the lights and are minimally adorned by thin narrow strips of jewellery at their centre. A final mark of functionality are the exposed metal exhaust pipes and skid plate, both reminding one of Cullinan’s power and ability.
Inside, the cabin of Cullinan combines authentic Rolls-Royce luxury with simple, symmetrical functionality to express the car’s inherent strength. Whether the fascia and centre stack of the dashboard or the arm rests on the doors, structural horizontal and vertical elements underpin the interior design.
The centre stack is framed by hand-finished metal pillars that bridge the upper fascia and middle console, giving it a sense of robustness, whilst also suspending the horizontal elements of the fascia to give a more commanding feel.
The upper fascia is clad in a newly developed contemporary ‘Box Grain’ black leather – a durable and water resistant boarded leather similar to that used in Italian high-end luggage and handbag design. It gives the fascia a sense of width as it runs across its upper segment, allowing the jewellery-like elements of clock and air vents to stand out beautifully.
Supporting this upper section is a strong band of wood that is moulded in three-dimensions to flow out to the centre stack, whilst the entire dashboard is protected by leather pads on top and at the bottom. The top pad is fashioned in a wing like fashion, suggesting muscularity and movement, as well as the functionality of a cockpit.
Finally, the seats in Cullinan have a bold, confident character, showcasing Rolls-Royce quality and craftsmanship. Designed to suit the more casual and dynamic quality of Cullinan, they feature a simple but modern horseshoe graphic which emphasises the supportive bolsters of the seat. These new seats also showcase Rolls-Royce’s mastery of leather craft as this entire backrest panel has been crafted from a single piece of leather to pick out a highly three-dimensional surface.
All areas throughout the interior that are now heated include the front door armrests, front centre console lid, lower C-Pillar, rear side armrests and rear centre armrest.