New $685,000 Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV launches in Australia
A NEW high-roller has landed in Australia.
Rolls-Royce has launched its first SUV - the Cullinan - in Australia with a starting price of $685,000.
That princely sum would make the super luxury SUV the right ride for a growing royal brood.
However, the king's ransom required is just a starting point - the sky's-the-limit options mean the drive-away price is likely to be much higher.
The Cullinan is one of the most customisable vehicles in the world. If you can afford it, Rolls-Royce will include it for you.
Rolls-Royce global client sales manager Ian Grant says even though it's early days in Australia for the Cullinan, the take up of bespoke elements has been encouraging. He expects more customers to take the plunge once the first customers take delivery of their cars and see what can be customised.
"It is early days when it comes to bespoke capabilities of this car. As we say, the limit really is the customer's imagination," says Grant.
"As long as it fits within safety regulations, then we can work with our clients to deliver."
For example the Cullinan has 44,000 colour options. But if a client can't find that specific needle in the colour haystack, the company can create a something bespoke.
As a Rolls-Royce spokesman explains, nearly every element of the Cullinan can be personalised, - buyers just need the creativity to think of it.
The Cullinan is expected to broaden the appeal for the brand, bringing in new customers that previously shunned the stuffy image that generally included a chauffeur.
Rolls-Royce envisions Jeeves and Aloysius stepping out from behind the wheel and making room for Prue or Trude along with the kids.
"What Cullinan is bringing is a new dynamic of customers," says Grant.
"Looking at cars which are almost everyday drivers, saying, 'Yeah I can see that on the ski slopes, on the school run.' And that is bringing a slightly younger customer towards us, more family orientated customers."
The Cullinan is available four or five-seat layouts. And Rolls-Royce has found the four-seater is proving particularly popular.
In that version, the rear pew gives way to a pair of executive seats separeted by a chilled compartment for storing champagne and another that can hold whisky (none for the kids) along with the required crystalware and nifty holders that can steady a champagne flute.
However, Rolls-Royce is still not for everyone. The brand wants to remain exclusive and won't be chasing exponential sales growth.
"The car will bring new customers to us, which is important to the health of the brand. We are not chasing sales numbers, luxury should be rare and should remain exclusive,"says Grant.
Under the hulking SUV bodywork the Cullinan retains its Rolls-Royce roots.
A giant 6.7-litre V12(420kW/850Nm) gives the middle finger to environmentalists as it glugs a claimed 15L/100km - this jumps to 21L-plus on the urban cycle.
The Cullinan also features the luxury maker's air-suspension, termed "magic carpet ride", which is designed to glide over all road irregularities. its off-road credentials were burnished in testing in arctic conditions and on Arabian sand dunes.
First deliveries of the Cullinan will start early next year but Australia's 2018 allocations is completely accounted for. in Australia. Those with the requisite funds will need to be brisk as the 2019 order book is filling too.