Currently reading: Rolls-Royce Cullinan revamp brings fresh look and new options
Revised styling, new infotainment and a raft of extra options for Goodwood's V12 SUV

Rolls-Royce has updated its best-selling Cullinan SUV, six years after launch, with new styling, an overhauled interior, updated technology and a wealth of new options.

Expected to lift the base price up slightly to around £330,000, the updated Rolls-Royce Cullinan majors on offering ever-more extensive personalisation options, while introducing new technology and evolved styling.

Acknowledging that many Cullinan owners use their cars daily in the city but often travel long distances and sometimes even venture off road, Rolls-Royce has doubled down on the SUV's propensity to be "effortless, everywhere".

Described as "the most extensive Series II development in Rolls-Royce history", the Cullinan has therefore been updated in awareness that it "increasingly serves as a super-luxury product in which clients wish to be seen and project their character - albeit with the capacity to vanish into nature at will".

Rolls-Royce designer Anders Warming said he focused on emphasising the "verticality" of the 'high-sided' luxury SUV for the facelift, with the company drawing a link between the Cullinan's bluff, towering proportions and the "illuminated skyscrapers in the megacities where Cullinan is increasingly at home".

Warming told Autocar: "We wanted to have a more sheer aesthetic, a more modern, monolithic appearance in the front. That being said, we didn't want it to be like a wall either. We wanted to have that more beautiful reference.

"And that's why the idea of water came up – as if you have a large vessel or a beautiful boat going through water, and it's gently spreading the water."

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To which end, the front of the Cullinan has been restyled with "simple feature lines and crisp edges". Most obviously, the LED daytime-running lights now run down the edges of the fascia, joining with a new lower bumper arrangement that's angled up at the sides to give the effect of a yacht breaking through water.

The grille has been given a new look, too: it is now framed top and bottom by horizontal chrome bars, and a new protruding edge below gives the impression that it is sitting atop a plinth. Plus, it now lights up for the first time.

There is a new feature line on the side, running from the brake light to the middle of the rear wheel, and the rear valance now kicks up at the back and is painted high-gloss black to better reflect the road and "create a sense of motion on these fixed forms".

A new rear bumper rounds off the body design changes, incorporating a stainless steel skidplate, and the aluminium wheels are one inch larger than before, at 23in.

The more extroverted Cullinan Black Badge is more obviously differentiated from the standard car, now, with black door handles, colour-coded lower bodywork and a bespoke treatment for the air intakes.

Mechanically, the Cullinan is unaltered, with its 6.75-litre V12 producing 563bhp as standard and 591bhp in the range-topping Black Badge.

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The headline upgrade inside is the introduction of a full-width glass panel across the dashboard, with an illuminated cityscape motif in front of the passenger, like that in the Spectre.

Another highlight is the new display 'cabinet' in the dash, which houses an intricately detailed analogue clock and a miniaturised, stainless steel version of the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot.

Rolls says this took four years to develop, and necessitated "a unique partnership between analogue and digital craftspeople to create a dramatic and meticulously orchestrated flow of light".

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The Cullinan also gains the latest version of Rolls's Spirit infotainment system, which brings new graphics and displays while enabling "personalisation to extend from the physical to the digital world", meaning owners can change the colours of their instruments to match the paintwork or upholstery.

When updating the digital interfaces, Rolls-Royce wanted to ensure they would not become outdated as time passed, aiming to mirror the 'timelessness' of its high-quality physical switchgear.

Warning said: "We refer to it as 'essential graphic beauty'. That means that I don't wish to reinvent the wheel with graphics that move and do other things. I actually really wish to have an essential aesthetic that can be appreciated for a long, long time.

"I don't believe that digital imagery should be here today and gone tomorrow. Even if it's a digital representation, it needs to still be beautiful in 20 years' time, 30 years' time still."

The new version of Spirit also includes Rolls-Royce's dedicated members' app, Whispers, which allows users to lock the car, set destinations and monitor location using their phone.

Rolls-Royce's increasingly lucrative personalisation offering has been expanded with the introduction of a raft of new paint and material options.

Highlights include 'Grey Stained Ash', a metallic-effect open-pore wood trim; Duality Twill, an intricately patterned seat fabric made of bamboo fibres; and Placed Perforation, wherein leather upholstery is decorated with highly detailed patterns made up of hundreds of tiny holes.

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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jason_recliner 8 May 2024

Toyota shows how this should be done, as usual, with the Century.

scotty5 7 May 2024

I'm looking at that head on pic of the entire dash and thinking to myself Suzuki? Never in a billion years would I have thought that was a Rolls Royce. As for the exterior...  UBER drivers need only apply. And then the price - £330k !!!  OMG. Could this possibly be the worst car on sale?

catnip 7 May 2024

There's just nothing positive I can sayabout this vehicle. Anders Warming must be a laughing stock in the car 'designer' community.