First look at Rolls-Royce's new Cullinan SUV launched after UAE visit – in pictures

No cameras were allowed and even phones were confiscated during the private viewing of the Cullinan

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The long-awaited Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV has been officially unveiled to the public, after  time spent in the UAE for testing and closed-doors viewing sessions.

When The National attended the viewing session at Alserkal Avenue in Dubai last month, the level of secrecy surrounding the Cullinan was so high that no cameras were allowed and even phones were temporarily confiscated. A handful of photos leaked before the official online launch at 3pm UAE time today, but you can see the proper images in our gallery above.

As you can see from the video below, put together in collaboration with National Geographic, Rolls-Royce wasn't so shy about showing off the vehicle's off-road capabilities of its first foray into the SUV market when in camouflage livery during final trials in the UAE desert recently. The Emirates has been among a handful of locations chosen globally to vigorously test the Cullinan's capabilities.

At Alserkal Avenue, the company showcased two Cullinans, first in its full five-seat configuration, then with a luxury-armrest-embellished four-seat version.

As outwardly regally impressive as you might expect from the luxury carmaker's debut SUV, the imposing nose and "suicide" coach rear doors are the immediate eye-grabbing elements of its design.

The sweeping lines towards the C pillars are meant to echo those of the latest-generation Phantom, while the car can be raised for off-roading and lowered for fittingly elegant egress.

The rear seats can be individually folded down flat at the touch of a button, either from the rear of the car or inside the cabin.

Ingenious embellishments include an optional "cassette" in the boot that swings out to become two small seats from which to enjoy the view when parked in whatever isolated location you decide to explore in the high-end off-roader.

It is powered by a 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V12 engine that produces 571hp and 820Nm of torque.

The company sensibly seems to have largely ditched its previous smoke and mirrors in labelling the Cullinan a "high-sided vehicle" rather than an SUV, with the Rolls referred to by the latter term at the private viewing for customers and media.

Prices for the Cullinan are still to be confirmed, as is its delivery date – its world debut will be "later this year" – although that hasn't stopped some customers from already putting down deposits to guarantee their car.

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