Whatever your response to the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, you can’t fault the company’s credentials. Prestige players crave authenticity above all else – it’s a valuable USP, particularly in China – and rather than being fashionably late to the SUV party, Rolls-Royce can legitimately claim to have been a pioneer. With the ultimate celebrity endorsement.
“More valuable than rubies in the desert,” Lawrence of Arabia noted of his nine-strong fleet of Rolls-Royces, modified to handle the brutal theatre of war he operated in. His personal car was called Blue Mist (he’s said to have commandeered it from its owner after spotting it outside a Cairo nightclub); others were open-bed tender vehicles, and several were armoured. During his legendary campaign against the Ottoman Turks, none ever broke down.
A century later, Rolls has different reasons for being in the Middle East, newly armed with a high-minded manifesto for its all-terrain ‘high-bodied’ vehicle. “Our answer to history, to the visionaries, adventurers, explorers and those who believe in the supremacy of liberty is the Rolls-Royce Cullinan,” CEO Torsten Müller Ötvös says. (Rather than rubies, the name references the biggest rough-cut blue diamond ever found.)
Then there’s the traditional Parthenon grille – which came in for some serious stick recently, courtesy of Aston Martin’s design director, Marek Reichman. It’s fashioned from hand-polished stainless steel, and sits proud of the bodywork here. Eleanor, the Spirit of Ecstasy retracts electrically, of course, and sits higher too, presumably so she can get a better view of the vista ahead as well. Or possibly the contents of Prada’s shop window.
Read more: https://www.topgear.com/car-news/british/rolls-royce-cullinan-suv-it
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