New Rolls-Royce Cullinan revealed - aimed over and above Bentley's Bentayga

Rolls Royce Cullinan teaser image

It's based on a new-generation aluminium spaceframe platform that Rolls-Royce calls the Architecture of Luxury (also used for the current Phantom limousine).

There's also a button known within Rolls-Royce as the "Everywhere" control, which activates max-attack off-road mode. Rolls-Royce have been drip feeding teasers for months now ahead of the car's official launch later this week. Designed from the ground up, it uses components reconfigured into a spaceframe, which should deliver "extraordinary vehicle body stiffness for exceptional "best-in-class" functional performance". The variance comes in what Rolls Royce describes as an "all-terrain, high-bodied auto". Even Bentley and Lamborghini now offer them and Ferrari seems to be toying with the idea of something similar. Rolls-Royce didn't announce the price, although Bloomberg News reports it will sell for about $325,000.

The Cullinan is the first SUV the company has ever released and it will enjoy its world debut on May 10th from 7:00 am EDT (12:00am BST). The now shrunken bustle at the back still hints at a separate luggage compartment and that is partitioned off by a glass panel in some models.

The cargo compartment is extraordinarily flexible. Power-folding rear seats, split 70/30, are another first for a Rolls-Royce, as is a touchscreen infotainment system.

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Those opting for the conventional Lounge seats still get the traditional SUV versatility perks, such as the ability to fold the rear seats flat (for a 1930 litre load capacity) when large objects need to be moved around - in this case likely a large and expensive painting from some exquisite gallery. Though its exterior silhouette is relatively linear, upright, and inflected with more than a bit of refined restraint, the cabin reveals impressive swaths of mirror-matched veneers, wraparound leather surfaces, and niceties like an available fixed rear center console with a refrigerator, a whiskey decanter and glasses, and Champagne flutes. Cullinan is named for the largest rough diamond ever found, over 100 years ago, and weighing in at 3,106.75 carats.

Optional "activity modules" can quickly outfit the Cullinan for a variety of outdoor endeavours.

The Cullinan is also the first all-wheel-drive offering from Rolls-Royce, and also features trick self-levelling air suspension, which helps it provide the famed "Magic Carpet" ride quality across all manner of terrain. That's thanks to the all-wheel-drive SUV's self-leveling air suspension. If one wheel loses traction, that wheel's shock absorber will push down on it until it makes contact with the ground. Four-wheel steering has also been adapted for the Cullinan.

"Today we are setting a new standard by creating a new class of motoring and motor auto for customers who are well-connected, highly mobile and have a global perspective. Easily slotted and plugged into the boot of Cullinan, each Recreation Module contains a motorized drawer housing the equipment and paraphernalia specific to each Cullinan owner's pursuits". The Cullinan, however, could be the first Rolls-Royce that puts owners in the driver's seat, according to Road & Track Editor-in-Chief Kim Wolfkill.

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