NewsRolls-Royce Cullinan's Elegant Facelift: A Glimpse into Luxury Redefined

Rolls-Royce Cullinan's Elegant Facelift: A Glimpse into Luxury Redefined

Premiere Rolls-Royce Cullinan after facelift. In the photo, the author of the article.
Premiere Rolls-Royce Cullinan after facelift. In the photo, the author of the article.
Images source: © Rolls-Royce, Press materials | Mark Fagelson Photography

10:48 AM EDT, May 7, 2024

As one of the first journalists to witness the facelift of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, I had the privilege of getting an intimate look at the evolution of a vehicle that, six years ago, seemed an unexpected venture for the brand. Under the watchful eyes of its German custodians, the British luxury car manufacturer introduced subtle yet significant enhancements to its best-selling SUV. One of these alterations stands out.

I ventured through a dimly lit corridor at the Rolls-Royce factory in Goodwood, UK, to meet the premier model of the refreshed Cullinan. This debut arrives traditionally a few years after the model's initial launch and before the roll-out of a new generation.

Given that the Cullinan now tops Rolls-Royce's sales charts, a dramatic overhaul wasn't on the agenda. Prior leaks and "spy" photos hinted at a reimagined front fascia. Indeed, the facelift has given the Rolls-Royce SUV a new visage and several internal innovations. The influence of the design of the electric Spectre model is unmistakable.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan 2024: Same lines, a new face

When discussing design, Rolls-Royce experts often draw inspiration from varied sources, such as yachts or the English coastline. For Rolls-Royce, three lines are pivotal, crafting the unique profile, whether a sedan or an SUV.

With its long, wide bonnet that slopes gently downwards, the Cullinan towers at approximately 6 feet, extends over 17.5 feet and is 7.1 feet wide.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan after changes
Rolls-Royce Cullinan after changes© Press materials | Rolls-Royce

The front fascia has seen the bulk of the modifications. The grille, evoking the Pantheon's architecture, has been refined. Lights have been positioned at its top to complement the new front headlight arrangement. Daytime running lights cascade downwards, enhancing the vehicle's perceived massiveness when combined with the smooth surface below them.

The design of the headlights, reminiscent of those in the Spectre model, and the descending light strip nod both to the BMW 7 series and the Porsche Taycan, implementing a blend of modernity and tradition.
Changes at the front of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan
Changes at the front of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan© Press materials | Rolls-Royce

Under the hood, however, remains the unchanged heart of the Rolls-Royce: a V12 engine, 6.75 L in capacity, delivering up to 571 horsepower. This power allows the Cullinan to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 5 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph. Yet, in this realm, comfort trumps speed.

  • Details of the new Rolls-Royce Cullinan
  • Details of the new Rolls-Royce Cullinan
  • Rolls-Royce Cullinan
  • Rolls-Royce Cullinan
  • Rolls-Royce Cullinan
  • Rolls-Royce Cullinan
  • Details of the new Rolls-Royce Cullinan
  • Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Interior details
  • Details of the new Rolls-Royce Cullinan
  • Details of the new Rolls-Royce Cullinan
  • Details of the new Rolls-Royce Cullinan
  • Rolls-Royce Cullinan
  • Rolls-Royce Cullinan
[1/13] Details of the new Rolls-Royce CullinanImages source: © Press materials | Rolls-Royce
Inside, a novel addition is a second Spirit of Ecstasy figurine embedded into a dashboard niche, dubbed the 'cubby,' and tastefully illuminated from below. A digital cockpit, first introduced in the Spectre model, keeps the display minimalistic, echoing the classic gauges of Rolls-Royce's heritage.
Cubbyhole for the Spirit of Ecstasy figurine on the dashboard
Cubbyhole for the Spirit of Ecstasy figurine on the dashboard© Press materials | Rolls-Royce

Innovation extends to Cullinan's facelifted interior, which embraces new finishing techniques. This includes perforated leather upholstery with geometric patterns on door sides, seatbacks, and folding tables for front and rear passengers.

  • Rolls-Royce Cullinan
  • Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Details on the interior
  • Rolls-Royce Cullinan
[1/3] Rolls-Royce CullinanImages source: © Press materials | Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce Cullinan after facelift. Interior
Rolls-Royce Cullinan after facelift. Interior© Press materials | Rolls-Royce

Black Badge: The "dark" side of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullinan during the premiere
Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullinan during the premiere© Press materials | Mark Fagelson Photography
Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullinan
Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullinan© Money | Marcin Walków
Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullinan
Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullinan© Money | Marcin Walków

In parallel to the classic or Silver Badge version of the Cullinan, the facelift has birthed the Black Badge edition, showcasing a bolder, more expressive personality. Its striking snow-white paint, with black and lime accents, is designed to captivate onlookers.

The Black Badge version sees more than just aesthetic shifts; it boasts a power increase, with the engine tuned to produce an additional 29 horsepower and a solid 900 Nm of torque. This tweak shaves 0.2 seconds off the 0 to 62 mph sprint time.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan after changes: First impressions

Goodwood's Rolls-Royce designers have mastered subtlety in evolution. The Cullinan's facelift does not scream revolution; rather, it underlines and enhances the character of the brand's inaugural SUV.

Choosing to modernize the front fascia represents a seamless blending of Rolls-Royce's timeless elegance with contemporary flair. While avoiding the pitfalls of controversy or overstatement, the Cullinan and Rolls-Royce's essence remains intact.

Moreover, the current Cullinan models, even in the face of this refreshed version, will continue to retain their charm and desirability.

Renowned for its limousine-like comfort within a formidable frame, the Cullinan asserts itself as a luxury daily driver. Including the Black Badge version nods to a younger demographic and expands Rolls-Royce's client base.

Exploring alternatives to leather upholstery through new textile materials is a testament to Rolls-Royce's forward-thinking approach to luxury. It explores whether true luxury must always come in natural leather.

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