It might look a lot like the Phantom, but it’s oh, so much more

Rolls-Royce has, technically, shown up late to the party with the Cullinan. After all, the Bentley Bentayga, it’s one true competitor, has been out for a while. But time has been kind to Rolls-Royce, and the brand used that time wisely. To put it simply, the Cullinan is going to murder the Bentayga in every way, shape, and form. First, it does look like a Phantom up front, and the interior, at least in part, shares a lot of common DNA too. But, it’s the little things that really set it apart.

The Cullinan Exudes Excellence

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is Here, and It's Going to Slaughter the Bentley Bentayga
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First, let’s talk about the three-box design. Yes, you read that right: three-box design. The Cullinan is actually the first SUV in this segment to have a wall separating the rear passengers from the cargo area. The rear seat also folds down, if needed. And, let’s not forget about that picnic area that ever so sleekly slides out of the rear cargo floor over the tailgate. The rest of the interior is all Rolls, too. You’ve got the usual champagne chiller, the finest materials and wood trim spread throughout, and it’s designed to survive a bit of ruggedness too – something you can’t really say for other Rolls products. I mean, would you take a Phantom off-road? I know I wouldn’t. Then again, I wouldn’t take anything that carries such an excessive price tag off-road.

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is Here, and It's Going to Slaughter the Bentley Bentayga
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But, I digress. Let’s get back to the point.

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is Here, and It's Going to Slaughter the Bentley Bentayga
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This thing is every bit a Rolls-Royce, but it’s Rolls-Royce reimagined. It’s got all-wheel drive – there’s even an off-road button. It has active suspension that’s tied in with a stereo camera that’s hidden in the windscreen. The camera pays attention to the terrain ahead and feeds signals to the suspension to offer the best ride. The suspension, by the way, even pushes down on each corner, as needed, to ensure the vehicle always provides the most traction possible.

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is Here, and It's Going to Slaughter the Bentley Bentayga
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The Cullinan rides on same Architecture of Luxury platform and, according to Rolls, is the “most technologically advanced luxury SUV in the world.” Take that Bentley Bentayga! Furthermore, the Cullinan manages to handle off-road as well as it does on-road, and is the definition of an SUV limousine. Under the hood, you’ll find the 6.75-liter, twin-turbo, V-12 that’s good for 563 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to all four, 22-inch wheels, and it even has an all-wheel steering system.

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is Here, and It's Going to Slaughter the Bentley Bentayga
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It offers up a total of 560 liters of cargo room, which can expand to 600 if you remove the parcel shelf. It has a loading length of 2,245 mm and a load capacity of 1930 liters. The boot floor actually lifts to meet the seat base to accommodate this. In the rear, it looks like a bench, but it’s actually two individual seats with a fixed center console. The seats themselves move in a number of planes so you can always find a comfortable position.

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is Here, and It's Going to Slaughter the Bentley Bentayga
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There’s more, though. Rolls-Royce thought everything through here. When you unlock the vehicle, it actually lowers itself by 40mm to make entry and exit easier. The vehicle raises as soon as the start button is pressed. Rolls-Royce made the infotainment display touch sensitive (a first for the brand), but it can still be controlled by the Spirit of Ecstasy controlled on the center console.

Final Thoughts

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is Here, and It's Going to Slaughter the Bentley Bentayga
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With all of this in mind, it’s hard to say that the Cullinan isn’t impressive. In fact, I really cant - It exudes excellence in all the right ways. It’s certainly going to give the Bentley Bentayga a run for its money, that’s for sure. I do have to admit that the front end and the front of the interior is a bit too Phantom-like for me, but Rolls went out of its way to make sure it added in the very best it possibly could, anywhere it could. There’s still no word on pricing at this point, but it’s going to fall under the “if you have to ask you can’t afford it” category so you better start saving now.

Further Reading

Rolls-Royce Cullinan

2018 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Exterior Spyshots
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We’re busy updating our full review of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, but you can check it out to get up to speed in the meantime.

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