At the heart of the Cullinan lies a 6.8L V12 engine fed by twin turbochargers making 563 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. It's a combination that never feels like it's working hard, despite a claimed 0-60 time of 4.8 seconds. This is largely due to the extreme efforts towards sound deadening as well as a refined, quiet and vibration-free nature of the big V12 engine.
To assist passengers into the Cullinan, the vehicle will drop by 40mm on its suspension. Once inside, simply push a button and the door will close automatically.
The rear seats can be optioned as either a classic 3-seat bench, or the immersive seating configuration, as a double captain's chair setup, complete with fixed armrest containing a refrigerated drinks cabinet with bespoke champagne flutes and a glass partitioning wall, which makes for better sound insulation and climate control.
The Cullinan offers the driver assistance package, which adds park assist, night vision, and active cruise control.
The viewing suite offers two electronically deployed tailgate seats in the boot with various leather colors.
There are also the optional sanctuary seats. This rear seat configuration allows the right rear passenger to enjoy power adjustable calf rests that gives a full body reclining experience.
Rolls-Royce's signature Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament is available in solid silver, gold plated, frosted glass, dark chrome, and carbon fiber with available LED illumination.
Inside the Cullinan, owners can option the vehicle with rear picnic tables, heated and cooled rear seats, heated rear seat armrests, full length rear curtains, leather or lambswool floormats, front massage seats, umbrellas, and a 1300 watt bespoke audio system with 12-inch HD rear theatre screens and TV tuner.
The new black badge trim offers a host of additions including more engine power, a sports exhaust, a re-mapped throttle in low mode, red brake calipers, unique 22-inch wheels, revised brake rotors, tweaked air suspension and steering, carbon fiber interior trim, a shooting star headliner, and high gloss dark chrome exterior trim on the grille, window surrounds, exhaust, and badges.
Despite what you might think from its name, there's more to this Rolls-Royce Cullinan than some black paint and dark-chrome finish. Sure, the Black Badge treatment largely caters to folks who want all the lavishness of a six-figure SUV with a slightly more under-the-radar approach. But I'll actually argue that the best thing about this SUV isn't what you can see, it's what you can't.
For starters, the 6.75-liter V12 engine gets a small but noticeable boost in power, thanks to an ECU reflash. The standard Cullinan puts out a not-insubstantial 563 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque, but the Black Badge ups that to 592 hp and 664 lb-ft. There's a sport drive setting, too -- activated by pressing the "Low" button on the gear stalk -- that improves throttle response and unlocks a more aggressive shift logic for the eight-speed automatic transmission.
It really works, too; the Black Badge Cullinan has some newfound pep in its step. You can feel the added power under acceleration, and I like how the transmission is more than willing to immediately drop a gear or two when I lay into the throttle. The Black Badge gets a new exhaust system, with a sort of aural playfulness you wouldn't expect from a brand that's normally so buttoned up. It'll catch you off guard at first, but I promise, those pops and burbles are coming from the Cullinan, not some other car.
The Good ~ Has every luxury feature you could ever want ~ Smooth, powerful V12 engine ~ Great to drive, better to be driven in ~ Black Badge styling is subtle and chic
The Bad ~ Clunky infotainment tech without Apple CarPlay or Android Auto ~ I can't afford one
The Bottom Line The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is the absolute top-shelf SUV, and this Black Badge treatment only makes it better.
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