Station wagons used to be the dorks of the automotive world. They were large, clumsy and far from stylish. People drove them for height, presence, and the legroom for a couple of Golden Retrievers.
Right this moment though, wagons are on a pedestal. Unsurprisingly, the station wagon renaissance is led by the upper crust, and long-time producers like BMW and Volvo are competing with the luxury marques of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche.
Hard to believe, but the awkward dad car is now fashionable and off-beat handsome. Think of Modern Family’s Phil Dunphy in a strapping suit and a pair of Tod’s, complete with six-pack abs and a blue Nautilus on his wrist. It’s got as much class as character.
It’s about time Rolls-Royce joins the party. The carmaker took its time to design an off-roader worthy of its legacy, and the resulting Rolls-Royce Cullinan has been billed as “the most anticipated SUV of the year”. Its ambition to dethrone the Bentley Bentayga as the most expensive and swankiest off-roader in history is clear.
Simply put, the car is meant for adventurous folks who do not compromise. “We envisaged an elevated luxury, fusing the comfort and opulence of our cars with that sense of surveying the vista ahead and being able to take it on. We embraced the desert. This is a car that belongs at the top of a sand dune,” Rolls-Royce’s design director Giles Taylor says.
Named after the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond discovered in South Africa in 1905, the Cullinan is powered by a 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 engine, the same you’d find in the new Phantom. It packs 563 horsepower and 850Nm of torque in its new all-wheel drive system. The way it breezes through gravel, mud and snow, you’d barely notice the slips and bumps. It’s got a wading depth of 540mm and is nippy at a brisk 250km/h.
Like the Phantom, it is the second Rolls-Royce built on a new and very flexible aluminium platform. It echoes a number of interior features, such as a sloping centre console and digital instrument panel that sits behind the steering wheel.
Inside, the car’s lush and pin-drop quiet. The centre console doubles as a bar, complete with glassware and a refrigerator; wireless charging is available; an alert assistant is at your beck and call, in case you’re feeling drowsy; and WiFi and USB ports are all around, just because.
Dog-lovers will be happy to have an interior glass partition installed to separate the boot from the cabin. Our favourite option is the Viewing Suite, where you can have a pair of rear-facing leather seats and cocktail table at a quick touch of a button. Enjoy a picnic and watch the sun go down. How else do you want to roll?
Yours for S$1,268,888. Check the car out at 29 Leng Kee Road; a 360 degree view of the interior is available here
ENGINE: 6,750cc, V12
POWER: 563 horsepower
TORQUE: 850Nm at 1,500rpm
0-100KM/H: 6.7 seconds
TOP SPEED: 250km/h
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed 8HP automatic