Rolls-Royce’s Collaboration with The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Chain is a Celebration of The Chinese New Year
Three "Year of the Pig" Cullinan SUVs are the fruits of this partnershipby Kirby Garlitos, on LISTEN 05:45
The Chinese market is very important to Rolls-Royce. It’s so important that the British automaker is rolling a trio of special edition Cullinan SUVs to celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year, which just so happens to fall on the Year of the Pig. The special edition Cullinans were created in collaboration with the Mandarin Oriental hotel chain. Each of the three SE Cullinans sport unique exterior colors with identifiable badges to commemorate the Year of the Pig. Mandarin Oriental hotels in Miami, Boston, and Washington D.C. each have one of the three Cullinan special editions until today, February 8. They’re not just for display, too. Guests at the hotel can take chauffeured two-mile rides in them. Even better, the international hotel chain is also offering a chance for any of its guest to win the use of one of the Cullinan special edition models for a week.
In case it wasn’t clear before, it’s probably crystal clear now. Rolls-Royce has a lot invested in the Chinese market. Sales in the country surged by 40 percent in 2018 compared to its sales volume in 2017 and China accounts for almost 20 percent of Rolls-Royce’s total sales last year. The market’s demand for super luxury vehicles has been a boon for Rolls-Royce’s overall business, which set a record last year when 4,107 units found new owners. Last year’s tally beat the previous record of 4,063 sold units, which was set in 2014. To further put that in perspective, 2018 was the highest-selling year for Rolls-Royce in its 115-year history.
The Chinese market played a huge role in that, which brings us to these special edition Rolls-Royce Cullinans that Rolls developed specifically for the Mandarin Oriental hotel chain as part of the Chinese New Year celebration.
The new year, which started on Tuesday, February 5, marks the start of the Year of the Pig, specifically the Earth Pig. I’m not going to dive deep into the meaning of that, but the important thing is that Rolls-Royce understood the importance of the occasion and created the special edition Cullinans to reflect that importance.
So, what makes these Cullinans special, or at least different from standard versions of the luxury SUV? The short answer is the color, or two colors in this case.
Rolls-Royce dressed up two of the Cullinan SUVs in a Magma Red paint finish and the other one in a Scala Red paint finish.
The names of the colors are different, sure, but all three special edition Cullinans are sporting different shades of red. The color itself is arguably the most popular color in Chinese culture. It’s used by the government a lot, and the color itself is typically associated with happiness, wealth, and good luck.
Just like the exterior, the interior of all three special edition Cullinans is mostly stock in nature. All the luxury amenities you can find inside a standard Cullinan — the large center console, the fancy, multi-function seats, and all the premium materials that $300,000 can buy — are all there in the Chinese New Year Edition models. The only thing different about the physical makeup of these special edition models is the Black and Mugello Red finish that Rolls-Royce decided to use to highlight the exclusivity of these models.
No engine upgrades are in store for any of these three models, though, if you think about it, do they really need it? The Cullinan, by itself, is already powered by a 6.75-liter V-12 engine that produces 563 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. It’s the same engine and the same power output that the Rolls-Royce Phantom is equipped with. Torque is down on the Cullinan compared to the Phantom’s 663 pound-feet of torque figure. That shouldn’t matter, though, especially if you’re sitting inside these special Cullinans.
The three models aren’t for sale, so you can stop wishing for one.
All three are actually owned by the Mandarin Oriental hotel chain, which commissioned the models for the occasion. If that piece of information is surprising to you, well, it shouldn’t. The Mandarin Oriental is arguably one of the most luxurious hotel chains in the world, and it’s nothing new for the hotel chain to use a fleet of Rolls-Royce models to chauffeur its guests around.
Speaking of which, if you’re a guest in the Mandarin Hotel’s properties in Boston, Miami, and Washington D.C., you can actually get chauffeured around in these special editions. A team of Rolls-Royce White Glove Product Specialists will be in each of the three sites and you can ask them to take you around the block or go for a nice two-mile radius joyride in what is probably the most luxurious car you’ll ever get driven in. Best be quick, though, because the program lasts only until today, February 8.
In addition to the free ride, guests at the Mandarin Oriental will also have the opportunity to win a week-long, first-hand experience with a Rolls-Royce model in select U.S. luxury destinations.
If for some reason that it still isn’t clear why Rolls-Royce would go through all these lengths to build special edition versions of the Cullinan to celebrate the Chinese New Year, then I don’t know what to tell you. This isn’t just about celebrating the Year of the Pig. This is a showcase of Rolls-Royce commitment to a market that is largely responsible for the automaker’s booming business. If it means building three special edition Year of the Pig Cullinan SUVs to serve as hat tips to that, then Rolls-Royce is going to do it. As a matter of fact, I’m actually surprised that there are only three of these in the world.
Read our full review on the 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan.