2022 Rolls-Royce Cullinan: Supreme Liberty
The Architecture of Luxury really comes into its own in creating Cullinan. The engineering team behind Cullinan adapted the Architecture of Luxury to the design template of a high-bodied car laid down by Giles Taylor and his design team thanks to its innate adaptability.
It was designed and engineered from the ground up in such a way as to be scalable to the size and weight requirements of different future Rolls-Royce models, including those with different propulsion, traction and control systems, thus underpinning the long-term future product roadmap.
Cullinan uses this new architecture in a wholly different manner to deliver an iconic design and presence, uncompromised comfort, space and usability, cutting edge technology and the peerless on-road and off-road driving experience and capability.
The component parts of the base architecture were reconfigured into a spaceframe that was higher and shorter whilst also delivering a completely new feature never seen before on a series production Rolls-Royce – a tailgate.
The all-new aluminium sub-structure delivers extraordinary car body stiffness for exceptional ‘best-in-class’ functional performance on rough terrain whilst offering better ride comfort.
Sir Henry Royce once said, “Small things make perfection, but perfection is no small thing.”
Since its launch in 2018, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan has embarked on a remarkable journey. An all-terrain motor car that makes the idea of authentic, luxury off-road travel a reality for the first time. Named after the largest diamond ever discovered, which now resides in the British Crown Jewels, the Cullinan makes luxury travel, whether it be driving over land, up rocky hills or through mud, Effortless, Everywhere. Tested to destruction all over the planet, the Cullinan is an incredibly capable off-roader that sees the development of the ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ for off-road enjoyment.
Sure, some may think that the exterior design is slightly awkward, but the hood ornament and comfort are almost a guarantee that most people will overlook its slight eccentricity. This time around Miami, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan comes packed with modern technology like digital gauges. However, Cullinan’s cabin continues to be quiet and offers the ability for occupants can further personalize the space.
We soon learned that there is more to the Rolls-Royce Cullinan than just the quarter summary of our experience above.
Performance At A Premium
The 6.75-liter V-12 of the Cullinan delivers an incredible 563 horses, with the Black Badge model delivering slightly more at 592 HP. Despite the high-power output, it is a whisper-quiet engine, which means you can hold a conversation like nothing is going on.
No test of power can be complete without the traditional 0-60 mph test; in the case of the Cullinan, it was 4.5 seconds, and that’s super quick for a vehicle that weighs nearly three tons. Plus, the all-wheel drive is standard, but there is a good chance that 90% of those buying it will not take it off the tarmac.
The ‘Magic Carpet Ride’
The integration of new technologies into the architecture of the Cullinan is also key to ensuring the fundamental quality of this ultra luxury SUV as Effortless, Everywhere. The Cullinan is not a half million dollar ride just because it’s a Rolls, the reason behind the money is Perfection and Perfection leads to delivering Uniqueness. That is why the engineering team began by creating a drivetrain that would bring Rolls-Royce’s famous ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ off-road. And it’s very important for us to speak in this review about it, because our readers I am sure would like to get more understanding about these technologies that justified the price and value that a Cullinan will held.
“The drivetrain system we engineered for Cullinan had one key job to do,” explains Caroline Krismer, Engineering Project Leader for Cullinan. “To bring the famed Rolls-Royce ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ to all other terrains possible, while ensuring class-leading on-road behaviour in the SUV sector.”
Rolls-Royce’s celebrated Magic Carpet Ride impresses off-road as well as on-road thanks to the 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 the toughest of 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 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 5-link rear axle deliver astounding levels of control over lateral roll and shear forces and deliver incredible agility and stability, as does the addition of four-wheel steering, all contributing to incredible drivability and nimbleness.
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.
“Put simply, what makes the car great on-road makes the car great off-road,” concludes Krismer.
The final piece of the puzzle of ensuring that the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is Effortless, Everywhere is one single button. Known within Rolls-Royce as the ‘Everywhere’ button, one single push is all it takes to harness all the aforementioned peerless Rolls-Royce engineering and unleash all of Cullinan’s off-road capability.
Once engaged, the driver can finesse the off-road 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.
Interior styling and Comfort
We briefly touched upon the interior earlier, but it is worth adding that the cabin is spacious, with a beautiful design, lambswool carpeting, box grain leather and intricately milled aluminium accents. However, as always, you can step things up with Rolls Royce’s ability to customize every part of the lavish interior with everything you want.
The liftgate configuration comes with an optional Viewing Suite, mainly consisting of leather-wrapped seats and a small foldable table that comes from the floor. This is probably best suited for anyone who wants to enjoy a private polo match without leaving the comfort of their vehicle. Although the Cullinan is a slight detour from the traditional brand’s styling and design, it is still uncompromising in every sense.
Finally, the Cullinan has a beautiful 12.0-inch touchscreen with a controller on the center console. The model supports Apple CarPlay. However, the rear seat has an optional 12.0-inch screen at the back of every front seat. In addition, these support Wi-Fi hotspots and a bespoke audio system with 18 surround speakers.
The 2022 Rolls-Royce Cullinan is precisely what you’d expect from the brand. While the brand has taken a few design risks, it isn’t at the expense of quality, comfort and performance.
Driving to your remote location is simply the first part of the adventure in a Rolls-Royce Cullinan.