‘One life, many lifestyles’ in Rolls-Royce SUV Cullinan

‘One life, many lifestyles’ in Rolls-Royce SUV Cullinan


WILL the Rolls-Royce Cullinan be effortless, everywhere? Rolls-Royce Motor Cars went to a great deal of trouble - and expense, no doubt - to prove that this first-ever sports utility vehicle from the most opulent carmaker on earth will be just that.

The proving grounds for the Cullinan - named after the world’s largest diamond - spanned Europe and stretched to the US in a “Final Challenge” series of tests designed to enable National Geographic to document, in spectacular detail, the off-road capabilities of the company’s inaugural high-sided vehicle. Never mind  that it may never again ride the lochs and glens of the Scottish Highlands, wear the monotonous grit of the dunes of the Middle East or face the toughest terrain of America. The Spirit of Ecstasy would never be out of place, however, at such ski environs as Aspen, Verbier, Mt Buller … Yeah, maybe not. But you never know.

Much has been said about this break from tradition by the historically austere British marque’s traditional base of two- and four-door coupes, sedans and convertibles to today’s buyers’ favourite, the SUV. Has Goodwood, the global HQ of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, sold out? Should not this company just have stuck to its knitting? Proof will be in global sales. 

With most high-end marques admitting that their highest sales - real or expected - are coming from their SUV lines, it will be interesting to see where the Cullinan lands (slides or glides) for Rolls-Royce. If early local interest is any guide, the road ahead may be paved with, well, Cullinans. Rolls-Royce's regional sales manager, Ian Grant, says he's seeing an “overwhelming response” to the vehicle with 80 per cent of those buying into it first-time Rolls-Royce customers. Australians were among the first to put money down on Cullinan, and those deposits would have been large - the vehicle's drive away price here starts at $A685,000. Still, if it delivers on its promise of providing “one life, many lifestyles”, it might just be the perfect Aussie fit.