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The World’s Best Four-Wheel Drives Right Now

4th June 2018 // By Alexandra Cheney

Graduation season calls for pause and applause. What better way to honor higher achievement than the pursuit of greater independence in the form of four wheels – something both the adults and their children can celebrate.

The crown jewel
Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Refusing to submit to such categories as SUV, off-roader or crossover, Cullinan is instead defined by Rolls-Royce as an ‘all-terrain high-sided vehicle.’ Suitable, seeing as it hails from Goodwood, England, the British countryside where a station wagon is still known as a shooting brake. Three years’worth of teasers have revealed a behemoth automobile that’s too tall (over six feet) to be a wagon or sedan, too large for a crossover and too grandiose to comply with ‘off-road vehicle.’

Cullinan elaborates on the aluminum space frame architecture recently introduced in Rolls-Royce’s Phantom, adding a V12 turbocharged engine and eight-speed automatic transmission that tops out at over 600 horsepower.With an imposing stature, Cullinan also gleaned design cues from Phantom. A near-twinning front fascia and D-shaped taillights, both of which are a bit more angular, lead to a neatly tapered rear line that reads a touch Range Rover.

As Rolls-Royce’s first ever all-wheel-drive vehicle, Cullinan sits on 22in Sport Contact Continentals, the British motoring company’s favored tire brand due to its quietness and sturdy ride.

Unlike its siblings, however, Cullinan broke Rolls-Royce’s ominous naming convention and instead found its identity in the famed 3,106-carat diamond discovered in Cullinan, South Africa, in 1905—the largest flawless diamond ever found. “It is the most fitting name for… a motor car of such clarity of purpose, such flawless quality and preciousness, and such presence that it recalibrates the scale and possibility of true luxury,” says Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEOof Rolls-Royce.

A handful of standard interior and exterior colors let clients mix and match, not to mention the bespoke palette of 44,000 hues. Rolls-Royce offers a Viewing Suite option: a pair of leather seats and a tabletop that emerge from a drawer in the trunk, promising to quite simply redefine tailgating.With a ready-to-order cocktail picnic basket, falconry kit and set of hot and cool boxes, the custom options are plentiful.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan is available for pre-order from $325,000, rolls-roycemotorcars.com

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