Skip to main content

Your Next Escape is Anywhere, as Long as You’re Driving a 2022 Rolls-Royce Cullinan

As a moderate anti-consumerist (leaning heavily on laziness to support all disinterest in buying new things), it’s painful to acknowledge my extreme attachment to a recent purchase. To even imagine life before I discovered noise-canceling headphones is to venture into a dark, cacophonous cave without hope for tranquility.

At first, while suffering with brain injury symptoms, these headphones were a necessity. A car alarm or lawn mower would trigger a splitting headache for hours, making over-ear protection my only refuge. As I recovered and my sensitivity to noise lessened, however, my proclivity for serenity didn’t. Re-engaging with friends and long-loved activities was wonderful, but retreating to a silent world all my own never lost its appeal. Thankfully, the two yearnings – social and still – weren’t mutually exclusive. As soon as I was able, I accompanied my wife and close friends on camping trips as far away as my gas-guzzling Land Cruiser would take us.

Camping and canceling (noise) – I thought these were the only ways to detox from life’s bustle. Then I spent a week with the Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge.

By its very nature, driving in Southern California is not an exercise in calm, yet there isn’t a hint of tension in my shoulders as I breeze along freeways and through crowded parking lots at the helm of Rolls-Royce’s first SUV. Never have I felt so insulated from the wind and road noise; never have I floated so pleasantly over the pock-marked surface of the earth. Acoustic, dual-pane glass and an air suspension system activated by a forward-scanning camera make any drive the equivalent of a stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens (in well-padded loafers).

To accelerate in the Cullinan BB is to be propelled forward by a swift-yet-supple current. Nearly 600 horsepower moves nearly 6,000 pounds as if aerodynamics is negotiable. Twelve cylinders churn lazily and almost silently in an undisguised smirk at pure electric powertrains.

Within the moving bank vault are treasures one would expect – lambswool carpets, rich leather surfaces, aluminum accents, and intricate gloss “technical carbon” trim panels. Above each passenger twinkles an array of fiber optic lights, occasionally cascading across the headliner to the “oohs” and “ahhs” of watchful viewers. Tactile details like the cross-stitched dashboard, coarse metal speaker covers, and silky air vent wands are magnets to idle fingers.

Dark chrome exterior touches for the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament, badges, exhaust finishers, and trim panels echo the muted driving experience. And though this particular Cullinan’s Twilight Purple paint is admittedly at odds with my intent to coast through traffic unnoticed, at least I can’t hear any remarks from within.

Should I wish to double-dip in the saucer of serenity, the Cullinan even makes a willing adventure companion courtesy of a few off-road drive modes and a raised suspension. Once off the grid, a pair of optional tailgate chairs and a center table can accommodate a few sessions of fresh air meditation or a few glasses of wine.

I choose to stay on paved roads, however, because the Cullinan Black Badge doesn’t discriminate among destinations – it brings the calm wherever I roam. No headphones required.

Editors' Recommendations

Miles Branman
Miles Branman developed a passion for cars early on thanks to a neighbor’s collection of rare and exotic vehicles. What…
Despite reports to the contrary, Ford is not wussing out on EVs
Ford forges ahead with new plants and facility expansions for EV production
Mustang Mach-E Rally driving on pavement directly at the viewer.

Ford Motor Company recently released an update on its global EV and hybrid manufacturing plants and plans. Given rampant reports of industry-wide EV sales slowdowns and automakers announcing changes in their electrification strategies, Ford's open presentation is fresh air. Details of Ford's programs for EV, hybrid, and ICE vehicles follow the outline Ford CEO Jim Farley shared with investors during a quarterly earnings call in early February 2024.
Why Ford's continued EV focus matters

Global electrification of the automobile industry is a given, but in these still-early days in the transition, corporate messaging can either add to the confusion or calm hypersensitive observers. It's easy to report that X company's EV sales are down one month, but if direct competitors began selling new electric models during the same period, apparently contradictory headlines can both be accurate. With current electric vehicle sales reporting, traditional year-0ver-year comparisons have little value, and even quarter-to-quarter metrics are suspect.

Read more
5 standout features on the Rolls Royce Black Badge Ghost Ékleipsis
You can see a little of the eclipse inside a rare luxury car
Black Badge Ghost Ékleipsis (1)

A Rolls Royce is always a bit special. Like a bespoke suit, the cars are packed with detail and small elements of handiwork that elevate the vehicle above most other luxury cars. However, Rolls Royce is a big fan of special edition vehicles, and that can lead to a dilemma. How do you make something already special stand out even more? One thing you can do is take inspiration from a rare astronomical phenomenon, and that’s what the British luxury car maker has done with the Rolls-Royce Black Badge Ghost Ékleipsis.

Solar eclipses themselves occur pretty frequently but usually involve the moon blocking out a small slice of the sun. Total eclipses are rarer, taking place every couple of years on average. However, as our planet is mostly oceanic, total eclipses you can see from a populated piece of land are still rarer. Almost as rare as the Black Badge Ghost Ékleipsis -- Rolls-Royce only made 25 of them, and they have all been allocated to some of the prestigious brand’s luckiest clients.

Read more
Range Rover shows its dark side with the Range Rover Sport Stealth Pack
Would you speed by this car if it was parked on the side of the highway?
Right side profile shot of a 2025 Range Rover Sport Dynamic SE with Stealth Pack parked on desert sand between two black monoliths.

Range Rover dropped a new appearance package for the 2025 Range Rover Sport. The Stealth Pack option, available solely for the Sport Dynamic SE model, doesn't boost the SUV's performance but focuses on looks. According to a Jaguar Land Rover news release, buyers will choose the Stealth Pack for its visceral effect on the Range Rover Sport's appearance. Whether you think it looks sporty, powerful, or scary may depend on what movies you watch or where you drive.

Why the Range Rover Sport Stealth Pack matters

Read more