Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

NOV-DEC 2018

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Invincible. It is the word that sprung to mind when Alex Innes, bespoke designer for Rolls-Royce, asked me to sum up in a singular term, my initial impression after a day behind the wheel of Cullinan, the super-luxury SUV that made its global media debut in Jackson Hole, Wyoming a few weeks ago. From our base camp at the Amangiri resort, we spent two days immersed in all things Cullinan. During a welcome reception, Richard Carter, Director of Global Communications for Rolls-Royce, explained that Cullinan was borne from both client demand as well as the potential to increase market share with a foray into the SUV segment. As part of a careful quest to discern whether or not an SUV was right and proper for the Rolls-Royce brand, an examination of the company's archives illuminated the fact that owners had been taking their cars off-road for more than 100 years; from alpine trials staged at the dawn of the 20th century, to armored Rolls-Royces that were developed for use on the battlefield beginning in 1914 and continuing up to the 1950s. With its hulking front end and a massive elevated grill of hand- polished stainless steel, this is a vehicle that demands attention. "e silhouette of a Rolls-Royce is sacred," stated Innes during a presentation on the design process. "We had to understand how to transfer this familiar form to an SUV while conveying a sense of capability and maintaining the feeling of elegance." Key to the creation of Cullinan is the "Architecture of Luxury", Rolls-Royce's proprietary all-aluminum architecture. Engineering Project Leader Caroline Krismer explained that Cullinan was engineered from the ground up in such a way as to be scalable to the size and weight requirements of different future Rolls-Royce models. As the first "three-box" car in the SUV-sector, Cullinan's rear partition wall creates a distinct environment for passengers, separated from the luggage compartment, ensuring that utility will never supplant luxury. Cullinan is the first Rolls-Royce with four-wheel drive, and maintaining the brand's signature driving experience across a multitude of challenging road conditions was of paramount importance to the engineering team. "The drivetrain system we engineered for Cullinan had one key job to do," explained Krismer. "To bring the famed Rolls-Royce 'Magic Carpet Ride' to all other terrains possible, while ensuring class-leading FASHIONABLY LATE With Cullinan, Rolls-Royce charges confidently into the luxury SUV segment. Written by Bridget Williams 40 slmag.net

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