Skip advert
Advertisement

Rolls-Royce Cullinan Series II revealed: revised super-luxury SUV ups the opulence

New design, tech and cutting-edge materials are highlights of the high-sided Rolls-Royce Cullinan Series II

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan has been a big success over its six-year life-span, but keen to expand the SUV’s appeal the iconic British brand has has a subtle go at finessing the package. This new Cullinan Series II is the result. 

Available to order now in both the standard and Black Badge versions, the Cullinan Series II has limited technical changes. Instead the focus is on technology upgrades, rejigged styling and even more variation to its optional bespoke finishes. 

The changes start with exterior styling that features new front and rear fascias, headlights, trim elements and a pair of fresh 23-inch wheel designs. Rolls-Royce head of design, Anders Warming, walked us through the changes, including the new headlights which are slimmer than before, while also incorporating a larger and more distinctive lighting signature. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

Anders explained: “I think you’ll be able to tell this model from the last one from literally a mile away. The lighting signature extends right down, which from a design and construction perspective was very challenging”. The new lights flank a redesigned pantheon grille, which as well as being back-lit has also changed in its construction. He continued: “We decided not to put two upright frames on the grille, instead those elements are body-coloured, which totally changed the look”.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Elsewhere around the exterior, the new 23-inch wheels take inspiration from those on the latest Rolls-Royce Phantom II and Spectre, and help anchor the design, making it look even more confident on the road. Out back, the new rear bumper garnish reveals larger exhaust outlet openings – although the pipes within are the same as before. 

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge version has its own lower front bumper elements that are larger and a touch more aggressive, while owners can now specify the floor-level bumper sections and aero-deck around the rear in body colour. 

Rolls-Royce has listened to customers and offers more of the exterior trim elements in a dark finish for the first time. This includes the iconic door handles and the top section of the grille – both are real metal, finished in a darkened chrome that’s then polished. 

Interior design and materials

It’s inside where the more substantial updates have been applied. The dashboard now features a full-width glazed element that houses the infotainment screen at its centre. There’s also a digital driver’s display and a new clock, inside of which is a miniaturised version of the Spirit of Ecstasy. This sits in a small up-lit ‘cabinet’, taking inspiration from the Phantom’s ‘Gallery’. 

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The digital interfaces inside the Cullinan have been updated to the latest system as debuted in the Spectre, but Anders is adamant “the interplay between digital interfaces and physical controls is where we focus the most attention. Customers tell us they can get a touchscreen anywhere, but not real craftsmanship, which is what we offer.”

Rolls-Royce’s colour and materials department has been busy developing two new headline upholstery options on the Cullinan Series II. The first is a new perforation option that creates a pattern based on mottled clouds above the Goodwood factory. This is a unique element for Rolls-Royce, and is testament to the brand’s mastery of materials and finishes. 

The second option is a new embroidered bamboo fabric that can be specified in one of a few different colours, and takes inspiration from high-fashion brands that use iconography in pattern. There’s also a widened array of modern colours and finishes to appeal to the younger buyers the Rolls-Royce Cullinan generally attracts. 

Yet beyond the new finishes, Rolls-Royce has been keen to point out that the Cullinan Series II has also expanded its bespoke program of elements that can be specified individually by customers. This includes a wider range of veneer options, interior colours and trim options, as well as new ways of using the material options that Rolls-Royce has developed. Just like the optional starlight headlining, customers can personalise the pattern of the perforated leather seats, or indeed design their own embroidery patterns to create a truly bespoke car. 

Mechanical changes under the skin are limited to a subtle re-tune of the suspension to cater for the larger wheels and tyres. The rest is as before, which includes the existing twin-turbocharged V12 engine, eight-speed automatic gearbox and full-time all-wheel drive system. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is still air-sprung, and will still come with a refreshing lack of sporting intent in any of its dynamic attributes – this is a car concerned with luxury, and little else. 

Click here for our list of the best luxury cars...

Skip advert
Advertisement
Senior staff writer

Senior staff writer at Auto Express, Jordan joined the team after six years at evo magazine where he specialised in news and reviews of cars at the high performance end of the car market. 

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Top 10 best luxury SUVs 2024
Best luxury SUVs - header image
Best cars & vans

Top 10 best luxury SUVs 2024

These are the 10 best posh SUVs on the UK market right now
2 Jan 2024
Updated Rolls-Royce Cullinan spied rocking a less stately look
Rolls-Royce Cullinan facelift spyshot 2
News

Updated Rolls-Royce Cullinan spied rocking a less stately look

Is the already divisive Rolls-Royce Cullinan about to get even more contentious?
1 Dec 2023

Most Popular

Car Deal of the Day: £14,000 off a factory fresh, top-of-the-range Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf
News

Car Deal of the Day: £14,000 off a factory fresh, top-of-the-range Nissan Leaf

Nissan’s electric family hatchback with a huge discount is our Deal of the Day for 20 June
20 Jun 2024
No more EV! New BMW X3 gets petrol, diesel and PHEV power only
BMW X3 - front
News

No more EV! New BMW X3 gets petrol, diesel and PHEV power only

The all-new premium BMW X3 SUV has a sharp new look and cutting-edge tech, but no iX3 EV this time around
18 Jun 2024
New Bugatti Tourbillon revealed: 1,774bhp, £3.8m, V16 hypercar aims to blow rivals away
Bugatti Tourbillon - front action
News

New Bugatti Tourbillon revealed: 1,774bhp, £3.8m, V16 hypercar aims to blow rivals away

1,774bhp, a new naturally aspirated V16 engine and an otherworldly design mark out Bugatti’s next new generation hypercar
20 Jun 2024