Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Rolls-Royce Will Try 44,000 Ways to Find the Perfect Color for You
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William Morse shows how the rear passenger doors open opposite the way most cars’ doors open. But he couldn’t wait to hit the slopes at Sun Valley Resort, which he likened to a Rolls-Royce of ski resorts.
 
Saturday, March 30, 2019
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

The interior upholstery is flawless, thanks to Bavarian bulls grazed in fenceless fields above 8,500 feet.

And a push of the button delivers an umbrella matching the interior of the car from a secret compartment.

Meet the Rolls-Royce Cullinan—the English manufacturer’s first SUV and its first all-wheel drive vehicle.

 
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The Cullinan Rolls-Royce has a V12 engine.
 

The full-sized luxury SUV pulled up on the brick plaza outside Warm Springs Lodge Friday morning and immediately drew a crowd of skiers, lift ticket checkers and others who hovered over the car examining and taking pictures of its handmade air vents and other features.

It’s in Sun Valley as Rolls-Royce assumes the title sponsorship of the 22nd annual Janss Pro-Am Classic—three days of skiing and parties to raise money for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation.

“It’s who knows who and who knows who down the line—someone here knew someone. And this fit with our mission—it’s a beautiful venue with great people having fun,” said William Morse, brand representative for Rolls Royce.

The Cullinan is named after the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found. And Morse likes to call it “a diamond in the rough,” given its four-wheel drive capabilities that allow it to take on any type of terrain from massive sand dunes to desert rock.

 
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A Janss Pro-Am Classic racer checks out the umbrella that emerges with the push of a button.
 

“This car can be used anywhere in the world whether you’re cruising down the street or driving off-road,” he said.

It hit the market in December with a retail price of $325,000 and the demand was immediately so high that today’s buyer has to wait six months to have one custom built at an average price of $400,000.

But that’s not so bad, as the buyer can select from 44,000 colors. And, if none of those please you, you can even concoct your own and trademark it so no one else will ever be able to apply that color to another Rolls-Royce.

“One buyer plucked a purple flower and asked for a color that matched,” recounted Morse. “The car was very purple, but it was gorgeous. It’s a unique piece of art and it gets people talking, which is what we want.”

 
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You, too, can check out the Rolls-Royce today at Warm Springs Plaza.
 

The leather upholstery is flawless, thanks to Bavarian bulls grown without barbed wire to scratch their hide or mosquitoes that might leave a welt.

Morse can operate the steering wheel of the 5,900-pound, 563-horsepower car effortlessly--with his pinky finger.

A satellite-guided transmission reads the topography, noting road changes so it knows what gear to be in. A stereo camera integrated into the front windscreen scans the road ahead, adjusting the suspension proactively so as to improve its ride quality.

Infrared cameras on the front grill and above the front window can produce 3D images warning of deer on the road. The car even has the technology that looks down from above, showing people standing around the car.

 
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There’s no doubt this car was made in Goodwood, England.
 

Passengers get foot heaters and massaging seats. They can pull down a laptop in front of them to write on and a personal video screen, as well.

The sound system, done in house, is so crystal clear passengers can heard every instrument being played. The bass is built into the area of the glove compartment so it resonates through the car.

And, as has long been the case with Rolls-Royce cars, the rear passenger doors open from the rear, rather than the front. This is particularly accommodating for female celebrities as it offers a more dignified way to enter and exit the car, Morse said.

There’s no need to reach out to pull the door in to shut it—a button will shut it automatically.

“If it looks like wood, it’s wood. If it looks like leather, it’s leather. If it looks like metal, it’s metal,” said Morse.

Rolls Royce began manufacturing carriages to go with other company’s engines in 1906. It folded the two under its own roof in Goodwood, West Sussex, England in 1909, said Morse.

Customer service is unparalleled, Morse said. In most cases, Rolls Royce will not charge anything for repair work.

Morse has driven the Cullinan throughout the United States, including such national parks as Zion. He’s shown it at the world’s largest conglomeration of cars at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

He showed it at a luminary event that featured an astronaut as the keynote speaker and offered guests chances to tour an aerospace facility and get in line for trips to space.

He’s also shown it at the Kentucky Derby, for VIPS at road rallies, at wine and dine events and at arts events.

“Our consumers have particular taste so we try to meet that,” he said. “And the Cullinan is capable, fast, luxurious.”

 

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