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Spy Shots: Rolls-Royce Cullinan – The SUV of those who find the Phantom too small

Kamil Kaluski May 9, 2018 All Things Hoon 28 Comments

If you think Rolls Royce making an SUV is a blasphemy, you’re wrong. Rolls-Royce has been making SUVs for decades, it just that they were all disguised as cars. That is quite opposite from a modern cross-over vehicle which is a car disguised as a utility vehicle. If you don’t believe me, find one of the smaller Rollses, like the Dawn or the Ghost. Stand next to it and observe. You’ll notice that belt-line is near your chest, that the side mirrors are similar in side to those on a full-size pickup, and that the vehicle footprint is similar to that of a Chevy Tahoe, if not bigger. 

Make no mistake, the Cullinan will be a huge vehicle if for no other reason then to show its superiority over lesser vehicles. You see, to have a Rolls is to be seen and when everyone at the country club or posh restaurants switched to huge SUVs, the Rolls-Royce vehicles were no longer the dominant ones. They no longer got all the looks and they got lost is the sea of huge vehicles. The only way for Rolls to go is to go bigger, and hence the Cullinan which will easily surpass six feet in height. 

Thanks for sending these, and the Supra spy shots in, Brandon! Sorry it took us so long to get to them.

I think the bigger-is-better approach will work well for Rolls. Look at Mercedes and their jacked-up and 6×6 versions of the G-class, they get all the attention. Like the G-class, the Cullinan will be overly square, to further show that the alpha-male has arrived. For reference, recall the Bentayga, the new “sporty” SUV from Bentley. It does not dominate in size and it has curvy body design. I see one almost everyday, it looks like just another family hauler. But the Cullinan, you’ll never mistake that for an Audi or anything else but a Rolls-Royce. 

Rolls-Royce makes no secret about developing their first ever SUV. Not only is on the first page of their cooperate website, they actually collaborated with National Geographic magazine (because prime target audience reads it?) for some videos, which are all over their YouTube channel.

No details are revealed but assume a V12 engine and it wouldn’t surprise me to see some form of an electric propulsion or electric power adder. It will surely have air suspension, too. In addition to the most comfortable ride and handling, air suspension maximizes load and towing capacities. It will also allow the big Rolls to raise up for additional ground clearance, something clearly seen in the videos. Not to be outdone by the Range Rover and the G-class, expect locking differentials and magic electrical wizardry controlling them. 

Also assume the Cullinan to be a two-row vehicle, because this is, after all, a Rolls-Royce. The rear passengers are the most important occupants in a proper Rolls-Royce and they will be getting all the room and all the amenities, not unlike the Phantom or the Ghost. One doesn’t drive a Rolls-Royce, one is driven a Rolls-Royce. Third row seat? Ha! This ain’t a Suburban.