It gets sideways briefly, but the luxury SUV isn't happy about it.
On paper, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan should have no problem getting squirrelly with some judicious throttle application. That holds especially true for the Black Badge edition featured in this video, which pounds the pavement with 600 bhp and a towering 664 lb-ft of torque. Even for something with full-time all-wheel drive and a 3,000-kg curb weight, that should be enough to spin the hides for a delectable opposite-lock exhibition. In theory, anyway.
That brings us to this video from Autocar, which seeks to answer a question we aren't sure anyone is asking but is entertaining none the less. Can the massive Rolls-Royce actually drift? Autocar says yes, but before we take a deep dive into this clip, another question must be considered. At what point does a donut become a drift?
We raise this question because, despite the Cullinan’s prolific power, it absolutely does not get sideways on a clear road, and by that, we mean dry or wet pavement. It’s not a power problem but an issue of technology, as even with all the traction and stability systems turned off, the Cullinan’s rollover protection cannot be disabled. And since a three-ton SUV sliding sideways at speed certainly poses a rollover risk, it intervenes to keep the Rolls pointed straight. Bummer.
Gallery: Rolls-Royce Cullinan Drift Attempt
However, at slow speeds on a slick surface, electronic interference isn’t as effective. Giving the Cullinan the beans on wet, dirty pavement from a relative standstill gets the tyres spinning, and a bit of steering input has it pirouetting like a figure skater. Technically speaking, the backside is loose but for much of the action, the front tyres are also spinning. There are a couple of opposite-lock moments, but they aren't sustained. Furthermore, the Cullinan apparently isn’t happy with any of this, as an error message for the all-wheel-drive system pops up on the infotainment screen after a few spins. Man, Rolls-Royce needs to lighten up and have some fun.
But this raises something of a dilemma that we’ll pose to you, Motor1.com reader. Is the action seen here enough to call the Cullinan driftable, or are we just watching it spin some all-wheel-drive donuts? We’re leaning towards donuts, but there’s certainly some gray area in this matter that’s worth discussing. Let’s hear your thoughts.