Huge, daring new Rolls-Royce 4×4 begins a brand new period for the model – and convinces each on-road and off of it That is, in all senses, a giant automotive. Rolls-Royce boss Torsten Müller-Ötvös acknowledges the Cullinan, the corporate’s new 4×4 and a definite diversion for the British luxurious model, is a controversial car. I do know: it’s solely a automotive, proper? However I suppose there are two causes. First – and let’s get it handled – are there not hints of The Simpsons’ ‘Canyonero’ concerning the Cullinan’s look? Rolls has, like Porsche did with the primary Cayenne, tried to place clear Rolls-Royce cues into the design. Possibly they only don’t translate to an SUV, or perhaps we’re simply not used to it but. I feel it in all probability grows on you, and that it gained’t matter if it doesn’t: the Bentley Bentayga and unique Cayenne found seems are unimportant. Two, is that this a car Rolls-Royce ought to be making? To which the reply is ‘clearly’, as a result of consumers need a Rolls-Royce they will drive every day, take the household in, take snowboarding, taking pictures or exchange a Vary Rover with. Sellers are solely simply now receiving demonstrators however the order guide’s already full for greater than a 12 months.So right here we’re. Rolls’s first SUV, though not the primary Rolls-Royce to go routinely off-road, as a result of its automobiles have been going in all places since roads had been garbage. But it surely’s its first from the model with four-wheel drive. The structure is the bespoke aluminium spaceframe which arrived first in final 12 months’s Phantom and can finally underpin all Rolls-Royces, distancing the ‘cheaper’ automobiles – Ghost, Wraith, Daybreak – from the BMW group structure origins they at present share.It’s a (figuratively, not actually) versatile structure that enables totally different lengths and heights and right here it’s shorter (at 5341m) however taller (1835mm) than the Phantom, a hefty 2000mm broad and with revised air suspension that’s beefier, has much less friction than the flagship saloon’s, and rises 40mm in off-road mode. There are double-wishbones on the entrance, a five-link setup on the rear, two entrance and one rear anti-roll bars, electrically lively, and lively rear-steer. The identical 6.75-litre twin turbocharged V12 as within the Phantom sits on the entrance, making 563bhp and tweaked for the larger low-down urge match for an SUV. There’s some 627lb ft of it from solely 1600rpm.It drives by means of an eight-speed computerized gearbox on which you’ll be able to’t choose gears your self – the sat-nav assists gear choice – to all 4 wheels by way of a spinoff/improvement (choose a phrase that doesn’t make Rolls engineers wince) of BMW’s xDrive 4WD system. There are stronger elements than in a 4WD three Sequence however the precept is similar: an electronically managed clutch behind the gearbox can let as much as 100% of energy to the rear axle, or divert as much as 50% to the entrance by way of a shaft and differential beneath the engine. Each entrance and rear differentials are open, not locking, however there’s torque vectoring by way of braking to cease a person wheel spinning, and in off-road mode, if you happen to additionally swap the steadiness management off, it locks the automotive in 50:50 all-wheel drive. Not like with, say, a Bentley Bentayga or Vary Rover, there’s just one off-road mode, reasonably than choices akin to rock, crawl, sand and so forth, as a result of Rolls-Royce says it needs its automobiles to be simpler of use. There’s no low-ratio switch case for the gearbox, both. However there may be that 627lb ft from 1600rpm, which ought to assist. The towing restrict is round 2600kg as a result of that’s the restrict of the non-obligatory deployable towbar; work is afoot to make it the 3500kg the chassis can already deal with. There’s a two-piece electrical tailgate, opening onto a 560-litre boot, and if you happen to specify the usual three-person bench rear seat (as 70% of consumers are), it splits and folds, although as a result of rear-seat passengers sit greater than these within the entrance, and since the seats are opulent, when folded they don’t depart the boot ground completely flat. As a substitute there’s an electrically operated ramp between boot ground and folded seat, or you possibly can depart a step if you wish to forestall baggage sliding forwards (which begs the query as to why you’d have bothered dropping the seats).Alternatively, you possibly can choose two particular person rear chairs, with a fridge/humidor/no matter else you need between them. These seats recline, and are backed by a glass partition to the bags bay, to cut back noise emanating from the rear wheelarches. It’s hottest in markets the place homeowners have a driver. Both method, the rear-hinged again doorways give nice entry to the rear cabin. All doorways, huge and heavy as they’re, could be closed electrically, shortly and with a depraved thud.