High Roller: the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is here

The first ever Rolls-Royce sport utility vehicle makes its Southeast Asian debut here in Singapore



It’s not every day that a new Rolls-Royce, er hrm, rolls into town, which means that anytime it does happen is a special occasion indeed. That’s what happened on 7 August, when the Cullinan was unveiled to guests and the media at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

It’s only been a scant three months since the car’s international debut, so this local launch signifies just how important Singapore is to the fabled British brand. By comparison, the industry standard for most all-new models is typically six months or more to go from big premiere to hitting Singaporean showrooms.

We’ve already thoroughly explored the Cullinan at its world debut in Beijing, but as a reminder, here’s a recap of the interesting highlights in what Rolls calls its “high-bodied motorcar”:

– Mechanically, it’s related to the Phantom flagship. It sits on the brand’s proprietary scalable platform, the Architecture of Luxury (think MQB, but a bajillion times posher), and also shares its 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12. Power is the same (563bhp), but torque is slightly lower (850Nm; 50Nm less).

– It’s got all-wheel drive (a first for Rolls), and is designed to go well into the wilderness. Instead of a multitude of different settings, there’s just a single “Off-Road” button instead, and the car will set the car up for the conditions as it sees fit.

– Two different seating arrangements are available. The first is called the Lounge Seat, basically a regular three-person bench with folding rear seats (another Rolls first). This makes the Cullinan the most family-friendly Rolls-Royce ever, and is expected to be the more popular option overall.

– In this configuration, the Cullinan is also the most practical Rolls ever, with 600-litres of boot space (with the rear parcel shelf removed). Fold those seats down (electrically of course), and that swells up to 1,930-litres. The company is especially proud of the 2,245mm maximum load length, which it claims is greater than “reputed load-luggers” like the Volvo V90 and Range Rover EWB.

– The other seating option is more luxurious, traditional Rolls-Royce fare. Called the Individual Seat, it features two separate chairs (thrones, basically) divided by a centre console with an integrated drinks cabinet. There’s also a glass partition separating passengers from the boot area, to aid refinement, as well as maintain cabin temperature if the tailgate is opened.

– The Cullinan is seen as a lifestyle vehicle, which is why it’s designed to support owners’ hobbies and leisure pursuits, with the Recreation Module. It’s basically a motorised drawer that plugs into the boot area, with owners able to commision customised storage solutions for their hobby equipment; anything from drone racing to fishing, photography, snowboarding or even base jumping.

– The Recreation Module can also house the Viewing Suite, which are basically two flip-up leather chairs and a little table that deploy onto the rear tailgate. Basically, it’s the poshest picnic bench in the world.

And how much does all this luxury and potential for adventure cost? If you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it, which is why we’ve done the dirty work for you: the Cullinan starts at $1,268,888 before options and Certificate of Entitlement. To put that into perspective, the Phantom starts at $1,778,888, and the smaller Ghost, $1,198,888. Almost makes the Cullinan seem a bit of a bargain, doesn’t it?


about the author

Jon Lim
CarBuyer's staff writer was its fourth historical Jonathan. Old-fashioned in all but body, he thinks car design peaked in the '90s and is enthusiastic about vintage cars and old machinery.