We're not sure Rolls-Royce's bold, plush Cullinan SUV will be a frequent visitor at many primitive campsites or football tailgates, but it will have a special feature that could prove perfect for either of those locations and many more. The tailgate area will transform into a proper lounge, with two seats and a small table deploying to provide "the best seat in the house." Whether it's a bluff-top ocean view, a starry night sky or a city skyline, driver and passenger will be able to take it all in from a comfy, open-air deck.
Rolls-Royce last week revealed that its SUV will carry its project name - Cullinan - into production. The name for the burliest of all Rolls-Royces is derived from the Cullinan Diamond, the largest diamond ever found.
"We were inspired by the epic processes, over many millennia, which went into the creation of the Cullinan Diamond," explains Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös. The name embodies the many facets of our new motor car's promise. It speaks of endurance and absolute solidity in the face of the greatest pressures; it tells of rarity and preciousness; and it alludes to the pioneering, adventurous spirit of Charles Rolls and the engineering innovation of Sir Henry Royce."
The driver and passenger of such a shining example of four-wheeled solidity and preciousness can hardly be expected to relax away the tensions of the ride on a $75 combination of roll-top table and folding camp chairs. No, Rolls-Royce ensures that they're properly seated when they arrive.
The Cullinan Viewing Suite, as it's called, slides out of the trunk area at the push of a button, erecting a pair of rear-facing seats split by a cocktail table above the bumper. The seats are trimmed in the same quality of leather you'll find inside the Cullinan's cabin. Rolls-Royce hasn't mentioned it yet, but a mini-fridge to the side seems almost a mandatory finishing touch for this luxe tailgate lounge.
The Viewing Suite seems like the perfect feature for the Cullinan, masterfully sprinkling visions of grandiose adventure atop comfort and luxury. It's easy to imagine the suite serving as a pair of front row seats to sweeping ocean or mountain vistas, or perhaps daydream of backing right up to the Grand Canyon's rim and comfortably immersing oneself in the enormity of earthly emptiness. The seats should be equally at home at more metropolitan venues – sports matches, concerts and fireworks displays, to name a few.
Before the Cullinan has even officially introduced itself, it seems clear the rear load area will be a key battlefield in the upcoming ultra-premium SUV wars. Bentley has already spent time putting everything from a falcon perch to a gun case just inside the Bentayga's lift-gate, and now Rolls-Royce one-ups it with something simpler and more universally useful. We can almost hear Bentley's Mulliner division getting to work on a fancy picnic furniture option of its own.
The Viewing Suite is but the first of a promised "suite of features only the designers, craftspeople and artisans at the Home of Rolls-Royce can imagine and create," and it definitely whets our appetite for the full reveal.
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