Task mas­ter

From off-road­ing to opera-go­ing, Rolls-royce’s first SUV of­fers a very par­tic­u­lar take on util­ity

Wallpaper - - July - Pho­tog­ra­phy: John Short Writer: Jonathan Bell

Right royal off-road­ing with Rolls-royce’s de­but SUV

‘View­ing Suite’, an in­te­gral rear plat­form that swings out of the boot at the push of a but­ton with leather-covered event seat­ing for two, is a bet­ter in­di­ca­tion of where this car will go.

It’s cer­tainly an im­pos­ing ma­chine. ‘It re­tains a sense of author­ity, with the long bon­net and high nose,’ Tay­lor says, adding – only slightly tongue-in-cheek – that the re­cessed head­lights and sculp­tural, faceted front end give a cer­tain ‘bat­tle-hard­ened’ look, like an an­cient Saxon mask. ‘We were keen to have a raked screen that gives the car el­e­gance,’ he says. At the rear, there’s an equally prom­i­nent ‘bus­tle’, a raised boot-lid that juts out from be­neath the slope of the rear screen, with the rear head­lights set into equally im­pres­sive flanks. In­spired by 1920s bolt-on lug­gage trunks, it’s paired with an in­ter­nal glass screen to shield oc­cu­pants from in­clement weather when the boot is opened.

Rolls-royce has a his­tor­i­cal ace up its sleeve in the form of TE Lawrence, who fa­mously ran a fleet of nine Sil­ver Ghost ar­moured cars in the Ara­bian desert to bat­tle with the Ot­toman Turks. ‘For a de­sign team that needed an an­chor, it was an in­cred­i­bly res­o­nant story,’ Tay­lor says. It also di­rected him to another in­flu­ence. ‘For pro­por­tion and char­ac­ter, we looked at staff cars,’ he says, adding that these stately of­fi­cer trans­port ve­hi­cles were the per­fect mix of grandeur and abil­ity to tackle ‘chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ments’.

Le­gend also has Lawrence com­man­deer­ing a pri­vately owned Rolls-royce in Cairo for his per­sonal use and nam­ing it ‘Blue Mist’. The com­pany’s his­tory is rich with tales of ec­cen­tric­ity and wealth, me­chan­i­cal su­pe­ri­or­ity and en­gi­neer­ing acu­men. High, mighty and bold, the Cul­li­nan should in­spire some con­tem­po­rary equiv­a­lents.∂

Tap­ping in­flu­ences from lawrence of ara­bia To staff cars, The cul­li­nan pre­sents a suit­ably com­bat­ive-look­ing ex­te­rior, with re­cessed front and rear lights

The long bon­net and raked screen are bal­anced by a jut­ting boot That nods To bolt-on lug­gage TrunksView­ing suiteA rear plat­form swings out of the boot to of­fer leather seats with A small ta­ble in-be­tween

de­tail de­signev­ery facet of the car is crafted with cus­tom­ary At­ten­tion to de­tail, with pol­ished metal used through­out the cabin

Bells and whis­tlesthe sig­na­ture in-door rolls-royce um­brella is A stan­dard fea­ture

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