John Hennessey has become obsessed with adding power to anything that moves. Along with his team from his Hennessey Performance shop in Texas, they aim to give anything they can more power. The latest car to which they are giving a boost is the spectacular Rolls-Royce Cullinan. According to Hennessey, they already have a client who owns a Cullinan and wants to boost it to 850-horsepower. Before making any modifications, the SUV already has 563-horsepower, thanks to its twin-turbocharged, 6.7-liter, V-12 engine. It may surprise many people to learn that the engine in the Rolls-Royce is actually a BMW engine, but Hennessey says that this is a good thing because it means his team of design and research specialists already have some ideas of how they can give the vehicle the boost their client wants.
Hennessey has said that it is harder and more expensive to get the extra power into a car that is naturally aspirated. Despite the challenges, he is confident that they can achieve this with the Cullinan. In fact, he is already planning to offer the upgraded Cullinan as a future package as it is likely to appeal to more clients in the future.
So, who is the client who will become the first person to own a Rolls-Royce Cullinan with 850-horsepower? You might expect a celebrity or a corporate executive to have the funds for this project. The truth is that the first client is a potato farmer from Wisconsin. However, he is a very successful and wealthy potato farmer who has his own private jet, which he used to fly down to meet John Hennessey at his shop in Texas. He did this as soon as he got his Cullinan and decided he would ask Hennessey Performance to give his car the boost he wanted.
The custom-built Cullinan will far outdo the Rolls-Royce Wraith touring coupe, which is currently the most powerful car built by Rolls-Royce. This is all thanks to Hennessey Performance who specialize in modifying cars to make them more powerful. Other cars to which they have made similar modifications include the McLaren 600LT, the Jeep Trackhawk, and the Cadillac CTS-V. Each of these has been tuned to increase the power to over 1,000-horsepower. While the custom-built Cullinan will not have quite this much amount of power, the increase is still over 300-horsepower of the original Cullinan.
This is not the first time that the Wisconsin potato farmer has used the services of Hennessey Performance. He also used them to custom build him a Goliath 6×6 pickup truck that boasts a triple-axle and 700-horsepower. This vehicle is based on the Chevrolet Silverado Trail Boss. The farmer loved it so much that he couldn’t wait to use Hennessey again when he got his next car, the Cullinan. Hennessey Performance turns down lots of projects, says John Hennessey. However, adapting the Cullinan was not something they were willing to turn down and they saw creating a beast out of the classically beautiful car as a challenge.
It is a rather unusual project because it involves adapting the car in such a way that it goes against people’s preconceptions of the Rolls-Royce brand. Although Rolls-Royce vehicles are powerful, they are usually associated with sophistication, smooth-driving, luxury, and comfort. Once Hennessey has boosted the power to create the 850 hp custom Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the car will challenge these preconceptions.
The Cullinan is the first SUV produced by Rolls-Royce and they wanted to get into the full-sized luxury SUV market. The model is named after the Cullinan Diamond, which is the largest rough diamond of gem-quality ever discovered. It was officially revealed at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in May 2018 and production began later in the year. However, the concept for the car was first developed in 2016 and Roll-Royce began testing the car in 2017. The starting price for these cars in the United States is $345,000, though there are optional upgrades at additional costs. The first customers received these cars in early 2019 and critical reception of the car has so far been favorable.