A breakdown of the Cullinan, a $400,000 ‘super luxury’ Rolls-Royce SUV

Ten things the Cullinan has that most vehicles don't.

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is an ultra-luxurious SUV. In fact, it's loaded with features you won't find in a typical car.
The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is an ultra-luxurious SUV. –George Kennedy

In an era of high-tech and cutting edge car features, Rolls-Royce brings exclusive features into classic-looking vehicles, including its all-new, first-ever SUV.

It is named Cullinan, after the Cullinan Diamond, the largest diamond ever discovered, and that should indicate how special this SUV is. In an era when nearly every automaker is offering an SUV, Rolls-Royce has decided to join the party, but in very VIP fashion. It is a massive, imposing, and incredibly lavish SUV, with seating for five, or (in the case of our test car) optional four-passenger seating with a pair of reclining rear captains chairs. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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Here are 10 features found on the Cullinan that you won’t find in your average commuter car:

1. Coach doors

One of the defining features of nearly any Rolls-Royce is the dramatic coach doors. The rear-hinged doors make a grand entrance, not only in their unconventional functionality, but in how they will draw attention to whomever is exiting the vehicle.

2. Power-closing doors all around

Whether it’s the rear coach doors or more conventional (and less dramatic) front doors, all four doors power-close with the push of a button. Because one should not crease their suit jacket or dinner gown whilst reaching to close the door.

3. Umbrella holster

Open one of the rear coach doors and you’ll find an umbrella sticking out — surely a rare sight. This is so the valet can, in one motion, open the rear-hinged coach door and deploy the umbrella to cover the exiting VIP. When the umbrella is placed back in the door, powered blowers ensure the umbrella will be dry for next use.

4. Champagne chiller

In a small compartment between the rear seats there is a beverage chiller compartment, large enough to hold a bottle of champagne and two sparkling wine flutes. Of course, Massachusetts law does not permit open containers of alcohol, so it’s an expensive means of keeping your Krug Brut Vintage 1988 perfectly chilled en route to your destination.

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5. Bookmatched veneers

Perhaps one of the most painstaking examples of Rolls-Royce craftsmanship is the book matching process. Wood veneers for the interior are cut in thin layers and perfectly mirrored down the middle of the car. Extra veneers are saved so if a panel is damaged, it can be replaced while preserving the woodgrain pattern nearly identical to the original piece.

6. V12 Engine (power reserve)

While not exclusive to the Cullinan or even Rolls-Royce, the V12 engine is an endangered species, reserved for the most exotic machines, including Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Aston Martins, and others. The 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V12 in the Cullinan makes 563 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque, sent through an eight-speed automatic transmission to full-time all-wheel drive.

7. Hideaway hood decor

Atop the colonnade-like grille is the “Spirit of Ecstasy” hood ornament. Rolls Royces are among the only new cars that still have this feature, and to keep it safe, it retracts into the hood every time you lock the car.

8. Self-leveling hub caps

The luxurious presence of the Cullinan is bolstered by something as simple as the hub-caps. They are self-leveling, so no matter where the wheels, stop, the iconic “RR” logo will remain upright. This is a boon for any perfectionist automotive photographer.

9. Using tech to defy physics

The Cullinan weighs 5,600 pounds. That’s as much as a Ford Super Duty pickup. To move that weight around effortlessly, the Cullinan needs a suspension that can anticipate the bends, turns, and undulations in the road. Not only does the Cullinan link the self-leveling air suspension to the GPS navigation system, but it features a stereo camera facing the road ahead. Dubbed “The Flagbearer,” this camera system registers bumps and curves in the road and proactively adjusts the suspension accordingly.

10. Hands-on bespoke craftsmanship

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As we mentioned, technology is making luxury-level features available to the masses. What separates a Rolls-Royce is its hand-built craftsmanship and bespoke (or custom) attention-to-detail. A far cry from the typical dealer experience, Rolls-Royce specialists will come to you and work with the customer to build a vehicle to their specifications. That means custom materials, custom colors, and even custom designs sewn into headrests and interior panels.