10 May 2018

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is Rolls-Royce's first SUV

The most anticipated car of 2018 and, quite possibly, the most anticipated Rolls-Royce of all time is now here, says luxury car brand. Named after the largest diamond ever discovered - now in the British Crown- the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is an all-terrain high-bodied car that makes the idea of authentic, luxury off-road travel a reality for the first time.

“The super-luxury lifestyle is evolving and Rolls-Royce is in the lead. Luxury is no longer an urban concept. More and more it is about embracing and experiencing the wider world. Our customers expect to go everywhere in luxury, effortlessly and without compromise, conquering the most challenging terrain to enjoy life’s most enriching experiences, wherever they may be. For this reason, they have asked us to create a Rolls-Royce that offers uncompromised luxury wherever they dare to venture. Cullinan is that car. It is effortless, everywhere.

"It is incomparable and dramatically evolves the parameters of super-luxury travel, translating Rolls-Royce’s ethos of Effortlessness into physical capability, anywhere in the world. Cullinan will simply take the world in its stride,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

Cullinan is the first “three-box” car in the SUV-sector, built in response to younger customers who wanted “The Rolls-Royce of SUVs”. The vehicle impresses off-road as well as on-road thanks to new lighter architecture and the latest generation of self-levelling air suspension.

Through a thorough re-engineering of the existing air suspension system – including adding larger air struts with more air volume to cushion the blows of tough terrains – the strengthening of drive and prop shafts, the inclusion of drive to the front wheels as well as the back for the first time in Rolls-Royce history, and the complete reworking of the new 6.75 litre twin-turbo V12 Rolls-Royce engine to deliver just the right level of torque (850Nm) at the lowest possible revolutions (1,600rpm), the Rolls-Royce engineering team has ensured that Cullinan will take owners to places no modern Rolls-Royce owner has travelled in luxury before.

The suspension makes millions of calculations every second as it continuously varies the electronically controlled shock absorber adjustment system – reacting to body and wheel acceleration, steering inputs and camera information. A new double-wishbone front axle and five-link rear axle deliver new levels of control over lateral roll and shear forces and deliver agility and stability, as does the addition of four-wheel steering.

In the case of driving off-road, the electronically controlled shock absorber adjustment system uses an air compression system to actively push down any wheel it detects losing traction to ensure every wheel is constantly in contact with the ground and maximum torque is being provided to all wheels.

Once the "Everywhere" button is engaged, the driver can finesse the offroad setting to glide over any situation, whether it be rough track, gravel, wet grass, mud, snow or sand delivering all 850Nm of torque to all four wheels without interruption. And faced with deep snow, sand or the need to ford streams, Cullinan delivers the deepest wading depth of any super-luxury SUV at 540mm thanks to its highest ride height.

“History set our precedent, and today Rolls-Royce answers its call to action,” said Müller-Ötvös. “Our answer to the visionaries, adventurers, explorers and those who believe in the supremacy of liberty is the Rolls-Royce Cullinan.”

According to Rolls-Royce, more adventurous customers wanted an SUV, but not one with compromises such as increased cabin noise due to the “two-box” formula; shared platforms that affect performance and comfort; the choice of being good either on-road or off-road; or a "just another" SUV.

“The launch of a new Rolls-Royce model is always a seminal moment in the luxury industry. Today we are setting a new standard by creating a new class of motoring and motor car for customers who are well-connected, highly mobile and have a global perspective. They want a new type of motor car that gives them unbounded access in ultimate luxury. Their sense of adventure and daring demands a 'go-anywhere in ultimate luxury” motor car that will both take them to and meet them at the pinnacle of life. Cullinan is that motor-car,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, Chairman of Rolls-Royce and Member of the Board of the BMW Group.

“From the very beginning the design team treated this brand new Rolls-Royce as a unique, high bodied car. With global customer expectations in mind, our aim was two-fold – realise a presence to match the magnificent capability of Cullinan, whilst setting sector defining standards for luxury and elegance. We know that many of our luxury patrons pursue sports or leisure hobbies that require precisely this type of go anywhere vehicle – Cullinan’s design gesture had to possess an immediate sense of effortless accomplishment.”

The second new Rolls-Royce to sit on the all-new aluminium architecture of luxury, Rolls-Royce’s proprietary all-aluminium architecture, the Cullinan has a 6.75 litre twin-turbo V12 Rolls-Royce engine delivers 563bhp/420kW and 850Nm/627lb ft of torque to the all-new all-wheel drive, all-wheel steer system. 

For the first time a Rolls-Royce has an opening tailgate, which it calls the clasp. The rear profile of Cullinan is a two-part, ‘D-Back’ format, with the bustle denoting the place of the luggage. The clasp opens and closes in its two sections automatically at the touch of the key fob button.

Two rear configurations are offered – lounge seats or individual seats. The lounge seat configuration has space for three passengers in the rear. The rear seats also fold down – another first for Rolls-Royce.

“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 high-bodied all-terrain car with a convention-challenging design and absolute capability that would satisfy the adventurous urges of our clients,” said Giles Taylor, Director of Design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

The seats fold electronically in a number of configurations. One press of the appropriate button in the boot or rear door pocket sees each backrest fold down, whilst at the same time moving the headrests upwards to avoid making an imprint on the seat cushion. Both seat backs can be folded completely, creating a flat load area or in a 2/3 and 1/3 split. Rear passengers can still travel with a long load, or use the carpeted seat back as an occasional table.

For those who intend to transport large items back from their adventures, the rear of Cullinan offers a large amount of space in different arrangements. The rear compartment or boot area offers a standard 560 litres of space, growing to 600 with the parcel shelf removed. Furthermore, the base of the rear seats sit higher than the boot floor, so even with both rear seats folded, the items in the boot cannot slip forward and are safely contained, unlike in any other SUV. A loading length of 2,245 mm and load capacity of 1,930 litres is accessed by electronically raising the boot floor to meet the seat base. This is a longer loading length than for a Range Rover Vogue Extended Wheelbase.

Source: Rolls-Royce. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV.
Source: Rolls-Royce. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV.

In the individual seat configuration two individual rear seats are separated by a fixed rear centre console incorporating a drinks cabinet with Rolls-Royce whisky glasses and decanter, champagne flutes and refrigerator. 

A glass partition isolates the passenger cabin from the luggage compartment, creating silence within the cabin, and maintaining the cabin temperature even when the luggage compartment stands open. The steering wheel is heated, as are the ventilated seats. 

The central information screen is for the first time touch sensitive, allowing the driver to quickly select functions, map views and vehicle setup. This screen can be controlled from the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy controller which nestles on the central console with the off-road button, hill descent control button and air suspension height adjustment controls. Those in the rear sit higher than those in the front of the car on Rolls-Royce’s pavilion seating. They can zero in on their location on the rear touchscreen map.

Further innovations include: 
  • Night vision and vision assist including daytime and night-time wildlife and pedestrian warnings; 
  • An alertness assistant; 
  • A four-camera system with panoramic view, all-round visibility and helicopter view; 
  • Active cruise control; 
  • Collision warning; 
  • Cross-traffic warning, 
  • Lane departure and lane change warning; 
  • A 7x3 high-resolution head-up display, 
  • Wi-Fi hotspot, and 
  • The latest navigation and entertainment systems. 
All electronic devices can be charged via the five USB ports around the cabin, whilst phones can be wirelessly charged in the front of the cabin. 

Source: Rolls-Royce. The interior of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
Source: Rolls-Royce. The interior of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan.


Technical Specifications

Magma Red


Number of doors / seats
Vehicle length
5,341 mm
Vehicle width
2,164 mm 
Vehicle height (unladen)
1,835 mm
3,295 mm 
Turning circle
13.23 m
Boot volume
600 ltr


Unladen weight (DIN)
2,660 kg / 5864 lb


Engine / cylinders / valves
6.75 ltr / 12 / 48
Power output @ engine speed
563 bhp / 571 PS (DIN) / 420kW @ 5,000 rpm
Max torque @ engine speed
850 Nm @ 1600 rpm
Fuel type1


Top speed
250 km/h (governed)

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel Consumption (combined)2
15 ltr/100km 
CO2 emissions (combined)2 341 g/km

Darkest Tungsten


Number of doors / seats Four/four
Vehicle length 5,341 mm
Vehicle width 2,164 mm
Vehicle height (unladen) 1,835 mm
Wheelbase 3,295 mm
Turning circle 13.23 m
Boot volume 526 ltr


Unladen weight (DIN)
2,660 kg 


Engine / cylinders / valves 6.75 ltr / 12 / 48
Power output @ engine speed 563 bhp / 571 PS (DIN) / 420kW @ 5,000 rpm
Max torque @ engine speed 850 Nm @ 1,600 rpm
Fuel type1 Petrol


Top speed
250 km/h (governed)

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel Consumption (combined)2
15 ltr/100km
CO2 emissions (combined)2
341 g/km

Hashtags: #RollsRoyceCullinan, #EffortlessEverywhere

1 The engine is designed for Octane grade 95 fuel; however, it may be run on fuel with a minimum Octane grade of 91.

2 Preliminary data not yet confirmed, subject to change. The values of fuel consumptions, CO2 emissions and energy consumptions shown are determined according to the European Regulation (EC) 715/2007 in the version applicable at the time of type approval. The range shown considers optional equipment and the different size of wheels and tires available on the selected model and may vary during the configuration.

The values are already based on the new WLTP regulation and are translated back into NEDC-equivalent values in order to ensure the comparison between the vehicles. For the assessment of taxes or other duties based (at least inter alia) on CO2-emissions the CO2 values may differ to the values stated here.