Rolls-Royce Cullinan Spotted in the Wild

Rolls’ first-ever SUV can tackle any desert, duo of test vehicles spotted on the 210

When Rolls-Royce revealed the Cullinan in May, customers went wild despite or perhaps because of its $325,000 price tag. It was only a matter of time that the stalwart luxury brand from Goodwood would respond to the global elite’s unquenching thirst luxury SUVs.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce.

The backordered Bentley Bentayga is a case in point. Rolls responded with the aptly named Cullinan (so named for the largest diamond in the world), promising “effortless, everywhere” capability to do anything a Range Rover can do – but cocooned in absolute comfort. Demand has been so high that CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös recently had to quell rumors that a baby Cullinan was in the works, stating that Rolls would rather focus on the high-end vs. dilute its brand with lower cost offerings. Perhaps part of this has to do with not wanting to cannibalize from sister brand BMW’s SUV offerings.

In any case it was exciting to notice a pair of Cullinans the other day not bombing down sand dunes in Dakar, but stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 210 East. This turned what would have otherwise been an excruciating drive (SGV to Orange County in rush hour is one step above a dental cleaning in my books) into a slow-speed pursuit. I could not bring myself to ruin the test driver’s performance review so I snapped only a few pics. In person I was struck by how reasonably-sized these Cullinans are. They are big, but not unwieldy. I went from cursing SoCal traffic to being so grateful our weather and said traffic make us a hotbed of OEM testing.

SoCal – testing ground of the OEMs.

 

I’ll have to find a way to get behind the wheel of one and see how they drive. I’m assuming that they drive like every other Rolls – ridiculously fast for the size, and with an emphasis on smoothness. The twist is the off-road capability. In that department Rolls replaces the myriad of switches (e.g. Crawl Control, ATRACs, Downhill Descent, etc.) with one very simple button that says in typical British understated fashion “Off-Road.” I would love to be in a position to spice things up, perhaps on a trip to Baja, in a Cullinan someday. Or even just take one for a spin on the 210.

by: Glenn Oyoung