The Rolls-Royce of SUV at South OC Cars and Coffee

At this week’s South OC Cars and Coffee, I check the Cullinan. This is the Rolls-Royce of the SUV, and not surprisingly, it’s made by Rolls-Royce!

Unveiled in May 2018 at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, the Cullinan is the first SUV to be launched by Rolls-Royce, and is also the brand’s first all-wheel drive vehicle. It is named after the Cullinan Diamond, the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever discovered.

The Cullinan starts at $330,000 and will top over $400,000 after add-ons like a rear hatch that converts to a leather-seated sightseeing perch and starry night headliner. Despite the starry night high price, the Cullinan has became the fastest-selling model in Rolls history, accounting for nearly half of all cars sold by Rolls-Royce.

The sales success of the Cullinan has been so great that CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos fretted it could threaten the marque’s “promise to our customers to keep our brand rare and exclusive.” I guess that’s a serious issue because there was not one, but two Cullinans, at the show.

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is powered by a BWM sourced 6.5L twin turbo V12 making 563 hp. It will need every single hp because this behemoth of a SUV weighs just over 3 tonnes. As you would expect, gas milage is terrible at 12 mpg. Perspective owners may want to buy a spare Tesla or two to balance out their carbon footprint.