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Pass the Bubbly? Rolls-Royce Cullinan Promises a Luxury Ride Even on the Roughest Trails

British marque officially introduces its first off-roader since the days of Lawrence of Arabia.

by on May.10, 2018

The slogan for the new Rolls-Royce Cullinan hints at its capabilities: "Effortless, Everywhere."

Don’t call it an SUV. Rolls-Royce prefers to refer to its all-new Cullinan as “an all-terrain, high-bodied car that makes the idea of authentic, luxury off-road travel a reality for the first time.”

Whether you stick with SUV, borrow “Sport Activity Vehicle from Rolls’ parent BMW, or find some other, more elegant term, the Cullinan really does appear to live up to its promise of delivering go-anywhere drivability, even as the folks luxuriating in the back can sip on champagne chilled to the perfect temperature by a built-in refrigerator.

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“Our customers expect to go everywhere in luxury, effortlessly and without compromise,” said Torsten Muller-Otvos, the CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “The super-luxury lifestyle is evolving (and) luxury is no longer an urban concept. More and more it is about embracing and experiencing the wider world.”


Does Rolls-Royce Sweptail Mark Revival of Custom Coachbuilding?

A $13 mil, 4-year project.

by on May.31, 2017

The Rolls-Royce Sweptail, one of the first completely customized bodies since the end of WWII.

It was a very different era, a time when a luxury car was defined not by the long list of features but by its uniqueness. In the decades leading up to the Second World War, upscale buyers would routinely opt for custom-built cars, taking platforms from brands as diverse as Bentley, Cadillac, Delahaye and Packard to custom coachbuilders like Chapron, Darren, Saoutchik and Figoni and Falaschi.

In an unusual move, a collector of rare cars commissioned Rolls-Royce to craft another one-off, the first custom body for production the British marque has created in something like seven decades. And it is more than just some fancy sheet metal on a Phantom platform.

Elegant Design!

The British maker isn’t saying much about who commissioned the Sweptail, though it appears to be someone especially fond of the brand who lives a life of extreme elegance, with yachts, aircraft and plenty of high-line automobiles. The Sweptail takes that up a notch.


Rolls-Royce Offers 1st Good Look at Upcoming SUV

Project Cullinan “takes next step.”

by on Dec.01, 2016

The Rolls-Royce SUV mule will be getting a serious workout in the months to come.

Rolls-Royce is plowing plans to put its first SUV on the road – and its giving us a first look at the vehicle it’s developing as part of what it has dubbed Project Cullinan.

The British ultra-luxury brand is just one of the latest manufacturers to adapt to shifting market trends, echoing rival Bentley which launched its own Bentayga sport-utility vehicle earlier this year. With the exception of Ferrari, in fact, all major super-premium brands – including such names as Aston Martin and Lamborghini – intend to roll out utes of their own.

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“This is an incredibly exciting moment in the development of Project Cullinan both for Rolls-Royce and for the patrons of luxury that follow us around the world,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, in a statement accompanying these two images.


First Drive: 2016 Rolls-Royce Wraith

Leather-clad luxury missile.

by on Mar.29, 2016

Forward into the past, the Rolls-Royce Wraith harkening back to the grand GTs of yore.

“How much is too much?” That’s a question that frequently arises when the conversation turns to uber luxury cars.

“I would never pay $300,000 for an automobile,” some will say, which might rule out a car like the 2016 Rolls-Royce Wraith. Actually, at $372,545 as tested, it’s not inexpensive by any measure, but after spending some time behind the wheel, we’re convinced it’s worth it.

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The 2016 Wraith embodies the best of the British motorcar tradition and continues to build cars where possible using “olde world” assembly methods like hand stitching, hand assembly and hand finishing of myriad leather and wood components.


Prepping for First SUV, Rolls-Royce Begins Testing New Aluminum Spaceframe

All new models, including Cullinan, will adopt new platform after 2018.

by on Jan.07, 2016

A teaser image from Rolls-Royce shows a mule being used to test the maker's new utility vehicle.

There has always been something a bit anachronistic about Rolls-Royce, retro if you prefer. The big grille, classic hood ornament and, oh, so much mass.

But Rolls is ready to go on a diet. Confirming earlier plans, the British maker now says it is already testing an all-new, aluminum spaceframe architecture that will serve as the basis for all new models, starting in 2018. Among the list of upcoming products to get the lightweight touch: the new off-roader that Rolls officials are referring to as Project Cullinan.

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Rolls-Royce has been moving to modernize itself, starting with the all-new factory it built in Goodwood, said Torsten Muller-Otvos, the marque’s CEO. “It is time to take the next step in the luxury journey.”


BMW Earnings Beat Forecast

Maker anticipates big jump in sales and earnings for full year.

by on Aug.05, 2014

BMW is counting on a wave of new products, such as this M4 Convertible, to help bolster sales and earnings for the rest of 2014.

BMW’s net earnings jumped more than 27% during the second quarter, and the German maker confirmed its earlier forecast of a big jump in sales and profits for all of 2014.

The largest of the luxury car manufacturers, BMW earned 1.77 billion Euros for the April-June period, or $2.38 billion, up from 1.39 billion Euros a year ago. The automaker sold 5.3% more vehicles through its BMW, Rolls-Royce and Mini brands, a total of 533,187 cars and crossovers.

Global Perspective!

But revenues didn’t quite keep pace, climbing a more modest 1.8%, to 19.9 billion Euros. The strong Euro didn’t help. And BMW has been ramping up spending in a market that is demanding more high-tech features, and solutions to demands for better fuel economy and lower emissions, it said. (more…)

Rolls-Royce Readying New Open-Top Tourer

Likely based on current Wraith coupe.

by on Aug.05, 2014

The Wraith is the fastest and most powerful Rolls-Royce ever introduced -- and it may soon be offered in a convertible version.

It’s a great time to be buying a luxury car, manufacturers unleashing an unprecedented product assault from the bottom to the top of the market. And at the upper end of the spectrum, even Rolls-Royce is getting into the game, the British marque announcing plans to introduce an all-new “open-top touring” model set to reach market about two years from now.

The BMW subsidiary isn’t saying much about what it has in store, but speculation is focusing on the lower end of its product range, the new convertible quite likely to be based on the Rolls Wraith, itself a spin-off of the maker’s Ghost line.

Product News!

“I am truly delighted to confirm today the development of our new model which will open an exciting new chapter in the great story of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars,” proclaimed Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “We are currently developing an exciting and thoroughly contemporary interpretation of a pinnacle drophead tourer which will introduce even more discerning men and women to Rolls-Royce ownership.”


Rolls-Royce Considering Plans for a “Proper SUV”

Could become latest super-premium brand to add a ute to its line-up.

by on May.15, 2014

Rolls may soon plant its "Spirit of Ecstasy" hood ornament on a new SUV.

Confirming widespread rumors a senior Rolls-Royce executive says the British maker is giving serious thought to the prospect of adding an SUV to its line-up.

It would become the latest in a growing list of high-line manufacturers to add a utility vehicle, but unlike those who have opted for car-based crossover models, design chief Giles Taylor says Rolls would opt for a “proper SUV” if it ultimately enters the market – some estimating the maker could have one in the market by late 2017.

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“I’m interested in function and functionality. I’m looking to create a properly functional vehicle – a shooting brake, not a crossover with a sloping roof. A proper SUV,” Taylor tells British magazine Autocar. But he stresses that such a new model has to fit in with the existing line-up and not “undermine the Rolls-Royce brand.”


Rolls-Royce Reveals New Wraith

“Athletic” coupe is fastest Rolls ever.

by on Mar.05, 2013

The new Wraith is the fastest and most powerful Rolls-Royce ever introduced.

The European automotive market may be melting down but you’d be hard-pressed to tell by the wide range of exotic sports and luxury cars that have been making their debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

Among those weighing in are Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti and in an exclusive corner of the show floor, Rolls-Royce.  After teasing its all-new entry for the better part of a month, the British maker finally offered up a first clear look at its new Wraith luxury coupe.

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As one might expect, the new offering maintains the luxurious features one might expect from the marque, the high-end division of Germany’s BMW. There’s plenty of leather and wood – and some other intriguing details such as a starlight headliner and a transmission that can use satellite guidance to track your route to improve shifts.


Rolls-Royce to Reveal New Wraith in Geneva

Billed as “most powerful” Rolls ever.

by on Jan.18, 2013

Rolls releases the first in a series of teaser images for the new Wraith coupe due to debut in Geneva.

Rolls-Royce has slipped word it has some big news for the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, hinting that the all-new Wraith set to debut there will be “most dynamic, powerful and beautiful Rolls-Royce in the company’s history.”

The name is somehow fitting for Rolls, all the more so when you realize it was one of the brand’s more legendary badges, dating back to 1938 and a production run that totaled just 492 cars – though the maker later followed with the Silver Wraith.  Clearly, Rolls has bigger aspirations this time, at least in relative terms, as it’s not exactly your mainstream brand.

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The 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith is the long-promised coupe version of the maker’s Ghost, the “lowest” priced vehicle in the British maker’s current line-up and the best-selling.  Of course, price is relative, and it’s likely to carry a premium over the sedan model, which starts at $256,000.