Rolls-Royce, a brand that has been associated with the rich and famous around the world as a symbol of success, is paving the way to continue to be influential in the ever-evolving modern world.
Today, after centuries on the market, Rolls Royce is still the ultimate choice for many around the world who want to embody class and elegance. In the last few years, we have seen the launch of many new models such as Wraith, Dawn and Black Badge, all catered for the discerning car lovers who enjoy the driving experiences. The brand’s cars are among the biggest in terms of built, width, length and size. If you are not used to driving a car of this size, it can be overwhelming for most drivers especially in a city like Hong Kong.
When Wraith, Dawn and Black Badge were launched, Rolls Royce had made these cars a lot more user friendly and easier to drive without a chauffeur. One of the downfalls of all the aforementioned models, including the Phantom and Ghost, is that Roll-Royce has never been known to be catered for families. Have you ever seen a whole family piled up inside a Phantom? Or a family coming out of a Ghost? Well, the answer is pretty obvious because you will never see more than two or three people climbing out of these cars.
Most of car manufactures are in fact fighting to get into the family business. In recent years, the super SUV sector has been opened to all kinds of car manufacturers to take a piece of the pie, from normal SUV to performance SUV and super sports SUV, to – finally – the ultimate luxury SUV, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
As usual, I couldn’t turn down the chance to truly experience the ultimate luxury SUV when Rolls-Royce Hong Kong kindly offered me a test drive. This is not the first time I had driven a Rolls-Royce before as in the past, I had the pleasure to test out their Dawn model and thoroughly enjoyed that fast and sexy experience in the convertible.
The Cullinan, however, is totally different from any other Rolls-Royce model that you might have driven in the past. On the day of my test drive, I was literally the last one in the late afternoon to try the car. The sky was overcast by clouds and it started to drizzle with rain, which didn’t really dampened my mood as I was very excited to take some shots with the other Cullinan on display while I was waiting my turn.
Once inside the Cullinan, it is almost natural to feel like the most important and powerful person in the world. The mood was set by the luxurious surroundings and craftsmanship of the car’s interior. As a result, even my driving style became more refined and sophisticated. The Cullinan is superbly well designed for car lovers who – actually – love to drive. Although it’s still pretty big and wide, it effortlessly flies along the narrow country roads of Hong Kong’s Sai Kung Peninsula. The power steering is super light and the car simply glides along the road with hardly any bumps thanks to the new chassis and the suspension system.
The 6.75 litre twin-turbo V 12 Rolls-Royce engine delivers just the right level of torque (850Nm) at the lowest possible revolutions (1,600rmp); 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. In other words, the engineering team has designed so that the Cullinan’s lucky drivers will stylishly travel to places that no modern Rolls-Royce owner has explored before. However, while the SUV can be very fast, it’s important to remember that this is not a sport car.
According to Rolls-Royce, the electronically controlled shock absorber adjustment system uses an air compression system to actively push down any wheel it detects losing traction to ensure each one is constantly in contact with the ground and maximum torque is being provided to all wheels. Undoubtedly, the Cullinan was conceptualised with the ultimate goal of creating the perfect luxury car for the SUV sector. The look and feel are still very much as good as any Rolls-Royce pedigree, but a lot tougher.
Innovative features include one touch “Off Road” button, which automatically engaged into optimum performance on any terrain, gradient and surface whether wet or dry. Lounging seats at the back allow passengers to quench their thirst in a bottle of their best champagne, while two individually adjustable seats flank a centre console drinks cabinet.The two front seats are also equipped with touch screen theatre and picnic tables on the back for passengers to enjoy the ride in style. The viewing seats at the back of the trunk opens up automatically with two leather seats and a cocktail table for the voyagers to marvel the wonders of the world wherever the Cullinan takes them. At the moment, the car is the only SUV with a partition glass that can be opened or closed from the luggage compartment the help sealing off the sound when the back trunk is open and to keep the air con inside the car without losing it to the outside heat.
The Cullinan undoubtedly feels and looks like a Rolls-Royce and no matter how you look at it, it is “The King Of The Road”!