Rolls-Royce gets down and dirty

Getting down and dirty with the all-new Rolls-Royce Cullinan


AS ANY girl of class and breeding will attest, diamonds - good ones - can be their best friends. So when a brand like Rolls-Royce Motor Cars names the latest piece of hand-chiseled magnificence to come out of its Goodwood digs after the biggest-ever sparkler to have been unearthed, well, you sit up and pay attention, don’t you?

The Cullinan Diamond - all 3106 carats of it - was cut out of a South African mine in 1905 and has since been divvied up nine ways. The two largest portions ended up in British Royal adornments, a crown and a sceptre.

The Cullinan of Rolls-Royce lineage, however, must surely be considered a diamond in the rough given what it’s done in shattering the Rolls-Royce mould to move into SUV territory. However rough it gets, though, this vehicle is unlikely to lack any final touches that might prevent it from standing out in a crowd. It’s definitely going to stand out.

It’s been three years since Rolls-Royce Motor Cars launched the prototype of its all-new high-sided vehicle (Rolls-Royce lingo for SUV). Rolls-Royce Chief Executive Officer Torsten Müller-Ötvös says the company settled on the name Cullinan as it embodies the many facets of all that the new motor car promises. 

“It speaks of endurance and absolute solidity in the face of the greatest pressures,” Müller-Ötvös says. “It emerges when it is perfect and exists above all others.” That sounds like a best friend to me.

Speaking of best friends, here’s something that has the underpinning of a brilliant day out wherever you travel together. The Rolls-Royce bespoke team has crafted a clever leather seating and cocktail table arrangement to emerge from the Cullinan’s rear compartment at the push of a button. Imagine that at the Polo, the races or as a vantage point from which to take in a magnificent view on a road trip. Turning up to school sport would never be boring again. Even camping could look glamorous. Hmmm, maybe not. 

Rolls-Royce has not revealed how much the optional Viewing Suite is going to cost, and we are still waiting for the bottom-line on the Cullinan itself. Compared to other luxury SUVs in the market, however, this one will no doubt be priced like a diamond of impeccable colour, clarity and cut.