Rolls-Royce’s 2019 All-Wheel Drive SUV Shines Bright Like A Diamond

Named after the Cullinan Diamond, the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever discovered, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars launched its first SUV and all-wheel drive vehicle in 2019. 

With a price tag north of $400,000 in the U.S., the exact purchase price depends on which Bespoke options are selected, the Cullinan ranks above the Ghost and below the Phantom in the Rolls-Royce lineup, and like all its other models is powered by an impressive V12 engine providing 563 horsepower for a fast (0 to 60) acceleration. 

For the fortunate 1 percent, who can afford to purchase this ultra-luxury SUV, this is the ultimate bespoke experience. For the rest of us, we can dream about it and strive to manifest owning such a “jewel” one day. As the saying goes, “dream big or go home.”

Rolls-Royce SUV Santa Fe, New Mexico | Photography ©DouglasMerriam

The Santa Fe Bespoke Experience, which focused on the Cullinan, hosted by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA for a select group of media was like something right out of a fairytale. Perfectly organized it delivered an exhilarating but also educational event.

The experience started with a ride in the Cullinan from the Albuquerque airport to our home away from home, the luxury hotel and Rolls-Royce’s partner in this event, Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi in the enchanting city of Santa Fe. The super comfortable and luxurious Cullinan transported us into another world right there. If you need relief for your stiff neck or back,  no problem. With the push of a button, the Cullinan seat delivers a gentle massage while you are heading to your destination. Together with the quiet interior, shutting out all exterior noise, this is just what you need after a long flight on a noisy jet. 

Photo courtesy Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

With four of the Cullinan SUVs on hand, the toughest decision of the day was which color of the Cullinan to drive to Bandelier and Los Alamos to take it off-road there. Don’t be fooled by the Cullinan’s stunning elegant exterior, this SUV handles rough terrain beautifully. You can hardly feel any impact of the rough road inside this luxury vehicle. Applying the Cullinan’s off-road feature lifts its chassis just enough to guarantee the smoothest ride on unpaved roads without having to resort to a crawling speed or worry about damaging this fine vehicle. Any other SUV would let you feel the bumps of these roads, but in true Rolls-Royce fashion, the Cullinan sets itself apart here. 

Cullinan event at the Santa Fe Opera. Far left: Elizabeth Williams, Corp. Comm. Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, Karynne Summars, The Hedonist Magazine and Gerry Spahn, Communications, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA | Photo courtesy Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Worth a special mention also is the Cullinan’s opulent interior. While leather seats are available in most cars these days, the type of leather used in the Cullinan, or any Rolls-Royce car for that matter, is of a much higher quality as it is sourced from a certain cattle breed that is raised freely at high altitudes to avoid insect bites and is not encumbered by barbed wire which could damage the hides to be used. The dashboard décor is adorned with box-grain leather such as the one found in Prada bags. In the rear, electronic tray tables open up to 12-inch tablets to access the Cullinan’s entertainment system. The rear seat bench can be customized to come with a cooler instead of the console. Behind the rear seats is ample cargo space, which, with a certain option, can even be expanded. As with all Roll-Royce cars, the Cullinan can be customized to a buyer’s taste in almost all aspects. 

Rolls-Royce at Abiquiu NM | Photography ©DouglasMerriam

Our Rolls-Royce Cullinan bespoke experience concluded with a visit to the Santa Fe Opera as well as a private dinner prepared by Anasazi Restaurant’s Executive Chef Peter O’Brien and a special musical performance.

You can imagine that this excellently executed, exciting and thoroughly enjoyed Rolls-Royce event can clearly be described as one with never a dull moment.
Header Photography ©DouglasMerriam