BY JAMES CAMPBELL
Rolls Royce entering the SUV market with the Cullinan in 2018 doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
When Bentley produced the Bentayga in 2016 the other luxury marques were already producing SUV’s or were well along the path to producing them. Jaguar’s F-Pace went on sale this year, while both Alfa Romeo and Maserati recently showed their SUV plans in the shape of the Stelvio and Levante respectively.
Regarding the Cullinan, Rolls Royce’s CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös, declared, “This is an incredibly exciting moment in the development of Project Cullinan both for Rolls-Royce and for the patrons of luxury that follow us around the world. Bringing together the new four-wheel drive system and the new ‘architecture of luxury’ for the first time sets us on the road to creating a truly authentic Rolls-Royce which, like its forebears, will reset the standard by which all other luxury goods are judged.”
Although no prices have been revealed just yet, the rumour is that the Rolls Royce Cullinan will come in at around £300,000, which is near the price of the Rolls Royce Phantom and the price of my mother’s bungalow in Dorset. (That is the basic price before buyers customise their car and add the various add-ons. A lot of money for a SUV!)
Jaguar F Pace
Given the choice of the F-Pace, a Range Rover, an Infiniti, a Maserati, a Bentley Bentayga or the Cullinan I’m afraid I’d go for the Range Rover every single time. Although I do find the F-Pace and the Levante very beautiful cars.
But why spend so much money on untried new luxury SUVs? (not just the risk of a totally new venture but also the value-for-money aspect and the embarrassment quotient – I’d not be seen dead in a Bentayga or Cullinan picking up my daughter from school!).
The market for these louche SUVs is very select.
No doubt there will be buyers. How they justify driving around in the equivalent of 3 Range Rover Vogues (once add-ons are purchased) is beyond me. While I can see Saudi royals dashing down to their nearest dealership, I really cannot see Her Majesty or any of the British Royals (except perhaps Prince Andrew) turning up anywhere in a Cullinan.
Certainly not my cup of tea.