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High Roller

The super luxe Cullinan has come calling after four years in the making

 In Rolls-Royce tradition, the Cullinan retains the distinct boxy shape.
The interiors hide cutting-edge technology behind acres of wood veneer and top quality leather.
Like other four-door Rollers the rear doors are hinged at the back and the flat floor frees up space. 
This might be an all-terrain vehicle, but while other cars have cup holders, this one has two clips to hold champagne flutes steady. 
Buttons on the centre console can increase or decrease the ground clearance of the car, control hill descent and select the ‘Off Road’ mode. The centrepiece is the Spirit of Ecstasy controller.

Rolls-Royce (RR) has almost made a virtue of being verbose. Last week it rolled out the Cullinan, what it described as “an authentic, three-box, high-bodied, all-terrain car”. Everyone else calls them SUVs. Named after one of the biggest diamonds in the world, it is squarely being aimed at successful, young buyers. 

What RR’s design director Giles Taylor is claiming to be the differentiating third box is essentially a stylistic bustle on the two part tailgate. Functionally, there can be many configurations of the boot space and it can be either kept separate from the passenger compartment or merged with it. So this whole three-box thing seems a bit tenuous at best.

But call it what they might, the fact is that this is RR’s first all-terrain vehicle. “Luxury is no longer an urban concept. More and more it is about embracing and experiencing the wider world,” said RR Motor Cars CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos, launching the Cullinan. He says that one can go anywhere in it.

In the rarified world of super luxury cars, the Cullinan joins the Lamborghini Urus and the Bentley Bentayga as the first SUVs from the respective marques. 

The Cullinan comes with a lot of promise of on-road and, particularly, off-road capability. Its near-seven-litre V12 produces a maximum 563bhp, while bags of torque is available from a lazy 1,600rpm to haul the nearly three tonnes this vehicle will weigh with a full complement of passengers and their luggage. It has the latest aluminium underpinnings to shave off weight. It also has all-wheel drive and steer systems to tackle roadless tracts. 

Rear seating options include a lounge seat for three, or two individual seats with a fixed central console with a liquor cabinet (with whisky glasses and champagne flutes) and refrigerator in between. Further, there is a glass partition to separate the passgenger compartment from that for luggage. 

The car is right up there as the tech goes with night vision and vision assist, including wildlife and pedestrian warnings, panoramic view, collision warning, cross-traffic warning, and Wi-Fi hotspot. The options list is a long one and the bespoke possibilities are virtually endless. This is a car that has been announced to cost $325,000 for the basic model. That would take it to around Rs 5 crore at least after duties and taxes if one were to buy it in the stock configuration. For that kind of money, demands are bound to be high. And the Cullinan has been designed to deliver!

CULLINAN IN NUMBERS

Form: Three-box, four-door, high-bodied, all-terrain car
Dimensions (LxBxH in mm): 5,341 x 2,164 x 1,835
Wheelbase: 3.295mm
Boot volume: 600 or 526 litres
Engine: 6.75-litre, 48-valve, twin-turbo, V12, petrol
Peak power: 563@5,000 bhp@rpm
Peak torque: 850@1,600 Nm@rpm
Unladen weight: 2,660kg
Fuel: Petrol, minimum 91 octane
Top speed: 250 km/h (governed)

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