BRIEF­ING

The Rolls-Royce of SUVs is here

Evo India - - CONTENTS -

From the new Rolls-Royce Cul­li­nan to the in­side of Fer­rari’s turbo V8, we’ve got it all cov­ered

T

HREE YEARS IN THE MAK­ING, the highly an­tic­i­pated Cul­li­nan is a first for Rolls-Royce – the first 4x4, the first hatch­back, and of course the brand’s first SUV. Looks like the SUV trend has fi­nally caught up with the man­u­fac­turer that’s sat atop the au­to­mo­tive pyra­mid for over a cen­tury. With di­men­sions of 5.3 me­tres in length and 1.8 me­tres in height, the SUV has com­mand­ing pres­ence with a high-body, large metal-to-glass ra­tio and long bon­net em­pha­sis­ing its grand­ness. Named af­ter the 3106-carat Cul­li­nan di­a­mond, the largest gem-qual­ity rough di­a­mond ever mined, this new SUV sits above the ul­ti­mate Range Rover, above the Ben­tayga, above the Urus, above any 4x4 ever made and this is our first look at the ve­hi­cle that could only be a Rolls-Royce.

UN­DER­PIN­NINGS

1

Pro­pel­ling the Cul­li­nan is a mas­sive 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 en­gine which pow­ers the Phantom, de­liv­er­ing the same out­puts, which means it has 563bhp with 850Nm of torque avail­able at just 1600rpm. Con­nected to the en­gine is Rolls's eight-speed au­to­matic gear­box, pow­er­ing all four wheels. Rolls-Royce dif­fers from Bent­ley by hav­ing built its SUV from its own brand-spe­cific ar­chi­tec­ture, us­ing the all-alu­minium space frame chas­sis sup­ported by a sim­i­lar air-sus­pen­sion sys­tem to that of the Phantom, sport­ing con­tin­u­ally self-ad­just­ing dampers that re­act to both cam­era and satel­lite data to try to recre­ate the ‘magic car­pet' ride qual­ity fa­mous of Rolls-Royce mod­els. Four-wheel steer­ing has also been adapted for the Cul­li­nan.

IN­TE­RI­ORS

Rolls-Royce has out­done it­self with the de­sign of the wood and leather fin­ished dash­board and con­sole. The cen­tre stack is flanked by hand-pol­ished metal pil­lars, join­ing the dash­board to the cen­tre con­sole. The up­per part of the dash­board is clad in black, durable and wa­ter-re­sis­tant leather, which is used in Ital­ian high-end lug­gage. The leather pad­ding at the top is in a wing-like pat­tern giv­ing the cabin the feel of a cock­pit. To com­plete the look, the door arm rest too is lined with same leather. How­ever, the party piece is the boot. This is the first 'three-box' SUV where the rear is di­vided into a seat­ing space and the boot by a solid glass par­ti­tion so when the boot is opened the cabin re­mains sealed off from ex­ter­nal el­e­ments.

Self-ad­just­ing dampers re­act to both cam­era and satel­lite data to try to recre­ate the ‘magic car­pet’ ride

OFF ROAD­ING

To aid ingress, the sus­pen­sion low­ers it­self by 40mm when you touch the stain­less-steel door han­dle. The all-wheel drive and four­wheel steer­ing sys­tem prom­ises easy go­ing when off the road. The stan­dard se­lectable off-road drive mode can al­ter the sus­pen­sion and en­gine set­tings to make it suit­able to deal with any ter­rain. The elec­tron­i­cally con­trolled shock ab­sorbers use an air com­pres­sion sys­tem to ac­tively push down any wheel it de­tects los­ing trac­tion. From sandy dunes, snow-cov­ered moun­tain tracks, muddy wilder­nesses to gravel-laden ter­rain, this SUV prom­ises to pro­tect the pre­cious back­sides of Rolls-Royce pa­trons from every jerk and bump. And it can ford through half a me­tre of wa­ter.

THE THIRD BOX

One press of the but­ton and the seats au­to­mat­i­cally fold down, ad­just­ing the head­rest to avoid im­print­ing on the seat cush­ion. The floor of the boot can also elec­tron­i­cally rise to the height of the folded seat, giv­ing a flat sur­face at the back. An­other add-on fea­ture are the pull-out seats be­neath the floor of the boot. On touch­ing the rear with the key fob, the tail­gate opens into two sec­tions and two seats slide out for you and your part­ner to en­joy the view from the com­fort of your SUV. The tail­gate can in­cor­po­rate an op­tional ‘life­style mod­ule', a cus­tom-fab­ri­cated box, which plugs into the cargo area, fa­cil­i­tat­ing what­ever out­door ac­tiv­ity its owner might wish to com­plete, in­clud­ing vol­cano board­ing.

Top: Coach doors hinged on the C-pil­lar for the rear quar­ters. Above: V12 mo­tor bor­rowed from the Phantom VIII

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