The Rolls-Royce of SUVs has arrived — literally. Behold the Cullinan — named after the largest diamond ever discovered — Rolls-Royce’s first SUV, a vehicle embodying both luxury and adventure.
English automaker Rolls-Royce has spent over a century pushing the envelope on auto performance, and its cars have earned a reputation as a status symbol. With its latest offering, the company attempts to shed its skin as a carmaker for people of a certain age and ilk who typically are more accustomed to riding as a passenger than sitting behind the wheel.
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The Cullinan is designed for the “younger, very successful high-net-worth individuals who are heavily engaged in the experience economy,” Rolls-Royce said in a statement. The $325,000 price tag buys you performance, opulence and adventure with an all-wheel-drive system, and a 6.75-liter twin-turbo V-12 Rolls-Royce engine that delivers 563 horsepower.
Passengers of the Rolls-Royce SUV can indulge in a stiff beverage during each ride. The SUV is equipped with a drinks cabinet, Rolls-Royce whiskey glasses and decanter, champagne flutes and a refrigerator. Also, no Instagram-worthy moment will be missed because of a dead phone battery: Wireless phone chargers are located in the front of the cabin. And if the Cullinan takes you to a far-flung destination with poor satellite reception, the vehicle can be enabled as a Wi-Fi hotspot so owners can access the SUV’s navigation, and, of course, social media.
It appears that Rolls-Royce engineers listened to its millennial customers to some extent, but the vehicle misses the mark — and budget — on a majority of other factors that millennials value. The gas-guzzling Cullinan has an estimated range of 18.8 miles per gallon, effectively placing it on the opposite end of the spectrum for the one-in-five drivers who desire an electric car out of concern for the environment, according to a recent AAA study.
Considering that about 40 percent of American millennials have student loans and nearly a quarter of them are living with their parents, according to the Pew Research Center and Zillow, the forecast for Cullinan sales in the U.S. looks bleak.
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