The all-wheel-drive rival to Bentley Bentayga, due to arrive this year, is Rolls-Royce's first SUV
Jimi Beckwith
21 February 2018

The reveal process of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan has begun, as the manufacturer has unveiled the car's pop-out, tailgate-mounted seats and table. 

It's the latest in a slew of recent developments surrounding the Cullinan. Rolls-Royce confirmed the car's name earlier this month, while recent spy shots showed the Cullinan with the least disguise we've seen yet, revealing much of the Phantom-like look of the car.

Each of the pop-out seats, which are rear-facing and intended for use while the car is not in motion, bears the Rolls-Royce logo, and they both fold back into a compartment in the boot floor. 

The Phantom's influence is clear to see, with a near-identical fascia at the front and D-shaped tail-lights at the rear. The boxy design shows that the Cullinan takes after the Phantom rather than the smoother-looking Ghost. Spy shots show that the rear doors are rear-hinged, as seen on the Ghost and the Phantom.

The rival to the Bentley Bentayga was called 'Project Cullinan' during its development. The name is inspired by the Cullinan Diamond, a 3106-carat jewel extracted from a South African mine in 1905. It was split into nine stones, with the two largest used in the British imperial crown and the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross.

Rolls-Royce boss Torsten Müller-Ötvös said the Cullinan name had been “hiding in plain sight”, adding: “It is the most fitting name for our extraordinary new product.”

The Cullinan, which Rolls-Royce refers to as a "high-sided vehicle" rather than an SUV, is likely to use a developed version of the Phantom’s 6.8-litre V12 engine. A plug-in hybrid powertrain could also be offered at a later stage, using technology from parent company BMW. Rolls-Royce has dismissed a diesel option due to the comparative lack of refinement offered by such units.

The all-wheel-drive car will use the same aluminium spaceframe platform, named the Architecture of Luxury, as the Phantom.

Review: Rolls-Royce Phantom

Rolls-Royce has conducted an extensive testing and development programme on the Cullinan and the car was spotted at the Nürburgring last year.

Read more

Rolls-Royce Phantom - bidding farewell to a luxury legend

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Our Verdict

Rolls-Royce Phantom

The new Rolls-Royce Phantom arrives, determined to retain its place as the pinnacle of luxury motoring

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Comments
43

1 December 2016
Why?
Lee J

1 December 2016
flappy88 wrote:

Why?

Profit

1 December 2016
The masking execution is unfortunate, making the car look like an old commercial van. Not sure that's the effect Rolls was after - do they really think prospective owners start salivating?

1 December 2016
soldi wrote:

The masking execution is unfortunate, making the car look like an old commercial van. Not sure that's the effect Rolls was after - do they really think prospective owners start salivating?

Prospective owners will have had personal invites to see it undisguised - these pictures are just for us plebs.

2 December 2016
flappy88 wrote:

Why?

Demand.

9 December 2016
Who teaches car designers to think 'pretty' is a rude word? There's something ugly about these tanks being aspirational and as for the people who think 'exclusive' is the same as expensive....

9 December 2016
Bullfinch wrote:

Who teaches car designers to think 'pretty' is a rude word? There's something ugly about these tanks being aspirational and as for the people who think 'exclusive' is the same as expensive....

'Elegance' in car design.... hmmm.... Ah yes, I remember that!

Before every manufacturer jumped onto the SUV craze bandwagon and started styling their vehicles to look like fat a**ed vans, walls of sheet metal instead of elegant design, overly aggressive front styling to bully other motorists.

13 February 2018

What has been clear since prototypes have been seen is that the proportions are all wrong. Specifically, the greenhouse is way too tall. Perhaps the full-fat Range Rover was the benchmark whereas the Velar should've been the model (though not revealed during the Cullinan's development). This totally lacks elegance which a far shallower top half would've created. Or tried to...  

8 February 2017
flappy88 wrote:

Why?

Rag heads

13 February 2018

Because it'll sell, an it'll be wonderful.

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