There has been a bit of a war going on recently. Not the literal kind but one of those wars that warrants inverted commas to denote that it’s merely a literary device to raise the reader’s interest. In this case it’s the ‘war of the SUV’, and it is well and truly finished.
If you’ve had your eyes open over the last few years you may have noticed that the world’s car makers have been slugging it out to capture a slice of the SUV market. It seems that everyone - and we use that term loosely - wants an SUV. Big, comfortable, practical, high-driving, go-anywhere SUVs are the car of choice for many people, and manufacturers are eager to promote their particular product.
Except that everything that has gone before has been firmly placed in the shade by the enormous chunk of wonderfulness that is the Rolls Royce Cullinan. It’s even named after the largest diamond ever found.
Yes, you did read that right. Rolls Royce, the epitome of all things luxury, has built an SUV. Forget your Audi Q7, your Range Rover, even your Bentley Bentayga. If you want a luxury SUV nothing beats the Rolls.
Everything about the Rolls Royce Cullinan is bigger and better. Longer than the Bentley, taller than the Range Rover, heavier than the average house, and with an options list that stretches to the moon, and back.
The attention to detail is equally impressive. Unlock the doors and the Cullinan lowers itself by 40mm to make getting in and out easier. A glass partition between the boot and rear seats protects the occupants from adverse weather conditions when you open the tailgate.
You can even opt to replace the centre rear seat with a long centre console containing a drinks cabinet and fridge. You name it, the chances are Rolls Royce has already thought of it, and then added a bit more for good measure.
When the Rolls Royce Cullinan goes on sale later this year it will be available with a choice of one engine. But don’t worry, it’s an eminently suitable engine to grace such an imperious engine bay.
The 6.75-litre, V12 petrol engine generates a suitably regal 563bhp that should take the Rolls to 60mph in under five seconds and has been limited to a top speed of 155mph. That means the Cullinan won’t be the fastest SUV on the market, but we suspect that was never the point. Rolls Royce describe the Cullinan as “Effortless, everywhere”, and that sums it up perfectly.
So, now you really want one, would you like to know how much it costs? As the saying goes, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it. Which in this case will quite literally be true for most of us. Rolls Royce is usually quite reticent about things like price but we do know that the Cullinan will start somewhere around the £250,000 mark. Of course, that doesn’t take into account the level of personalisation available, which will inevitably push the final figure way north of the starting price. It is a Rolls Royce so what else did you expect?
Not to worry though. Just because Rolls Royce has decided to join the SUV club doesn’t mean the existing choices have suddenly become rubbish. The Cullinan may well have moved the goalposts to somewhere you can’t see without an enormous telescope, but we are still here to help you lease a more cost effective and usable SUV that us mere mortals can actually afford to run.
Although if you really want the Rolls we can always work something out for you…
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