Rolls-Royce Cullinan launched in India, will rival Bentley Bentayga

Rolls-Royce has launched its first-ever SUV, the Cullinan, in India. Priced at Rs 6.95 crore, it’s considerably more expensive than its arch-rival, the Bentayga, which is priced from Rs 3.78 crore to Rs 3.85 crore (all prices ex-showroom pan-India). The Cullinan is based on the aluminium space frame architecture, called ‘The Architecture of Luxury’. It is the same platform that also underpins the Phantom VIII.

As far as design is concerned, it looks largely similar to its siblings. The front fascia comprises of the signature Rolls-Royce grille, which sits between the rectangular headlamps. Other family design elements include suicide doors, a sharp flat shoulder line across the length of the car and the vertically stacked tail lamps.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan launched in India, will rival Bentley Bentayga

The Cullinan also features a protruding boot, which pays homage to the D-Back Rolls-Royces of the 1930s. As far as dimensions are concerned, the Cullinan measures 5341mm x 2164mm x 1835mm (LxWxH), which makes it 200mm longer and 166mm wider than the Bentley Bentayga. At 3295mm, its wheelbase is also longer by 303mm.

On the inside, the Cullinan looks like any other Rolls-Royce out there. The cabin is wrapped in opulent materials with wooden inserts on the dashboard, central console and door trims. It also gets the quintessential Rolls-Royce watch on the dash. While the Cullinan stays true to its roots, it also gets some modern age features. It comes with the digital instrument cluster and a touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, which is a first for Rolls-Royce.

In the Cullinan as well, the rear continues to be the showstopper like in any other Rolls Royce. The rear seats are placed higher than the front seats in order to provide the rear occupants with a ‘grandstand-like view’ of its surroundings, thanks to the large windows and a panoramic sunroof.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan launched in India, will rival Bentley Bentayga

The Cullinan comes with a bench seat at the rear, which can be replaced by two captain seats for plusher experience. The uber-luxurious SUV also gets a Viewing Suite, wherein two leather seats and a cocktail table can come out from the Cullinan’s luggage compartment at the touch of a button. Since it is the first time in a Rolls that the luggage compartment is shared with the passenger cabin, a glass partition isolates the passenger cabin from the luggage compartment. It not only makes the cabin more silent, but also helps in maintaining the temperature when the boot lid is open.

The Cullinan is powered by a 6.75-litre V12 petrol engine that makes 571PS/850Nm. Power is sent to all four wheels of the SUV via a four-wheel-drive system, which is another first for Rolls-Royce. To take on various types of terrains like rough track, mud and gravel, the Cullinan also comes with electronically adjustable suspension that uses an air compression system to actively push down any wheel it detects losing traction, to ensure every wheel is constantly in contact with the ground. Thanks to the variable ride height, the Cullinan has a water wading capacity of 540mm.

For the Cullinan, Rolls-Royce has redesigned the air suspension system, compared to the Phantom. The new system continuously alters the electronically adjustable suspension  – reacting to body and wheel acceleration, steering inputs and camera information, making the 2.5-tonne SUV more agile.

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