But the SUV which was named after the world’s biggest diamond, found of course in the Cullinan mine in South Africa, is engineered to go where no other Rolls-Royce should go – off-road.
It has a single button labelled, rather simply, “off-road” which puts it into auto and off you go. You can choose from six settings individually if you prefer. The Cullinan has hill descent control too which we put to the test while heading down the side of a ski slope on Snow King mountain. It performed well, doing exactly what we expected as it controlled around 2,600kg of hand crafted engineering down the slope.
It did well going up too, with barely any wheel slippage even on the 22-inch rims and all-weather tyres. This wasn’t serious off-roading though, not like many are used too in SA, but it was not something I had ever done in a Rolls before and it was impressive.
There were times I had to remind myself what I was doing as I watched the Spirit of Ecstasy leading us along a narrow gravel track between the golden autumn trees as we listened out for bears. Except you would not hear a bear until it was swinging at you because the effect of over 100kg of sound deadening material in the Cullinan is that I could not even hear the sound of charging through a muddy puddle. That’s impressive.
Also impressive was the dirt road handling helped by the inclusion of three stabilisation bars and rear-wheel steering, the latter enabling much tighter turns and sharper turn-in when at a slightly more spirited pace. All of this in a massive SUV, a Rolls-Royce SUV.