In case you were unfamiliar, the Rolls-Royce Black Badge series is the leading automotive marque’s alter-ego. Challenging the conventions of what many would perceive a Rolls to represent, these special edition models are for customers who swap “suits for streetwear, use blockchain, not banks and influence the analogue world through their digital endeavours”. With new colour palettes, technical surface treatments, and careful tuning to the drivetrain, there remains a complete lack of compromise in everything the brand achieves.
Rolls-Royce debuted Black Badge with Wraith and Ghost in 2016, followed by Dawn in 2017 then Cullinan in 2019. Today, Black Badge Ghost joins the lineage in response to the client who requests agility, discretion and connection with pure design language and technology.
Creating The Motor Car Industry’s Darkest Black
We could write a 3000-word essay on the colour palette alone. The numbers, engineering and expertise that surrounds this limited edition black paint are truly remarkable.
- Darkest Black colour in the industry.
- 44,000 colours to choose from.
- 45KG of paint is applied.
- Hand polished by four craftsmen.
- Bespoke 21-inch composite wheels.
There are 44,000 colours to choose from, the brand refers to them as ‘ready-to-wear’ in reference to the fashion icon’s Black Badge aims to represent. A whopping 45KG of paint is atomised and applied to an electrostatically charged body in white before being oven-dried. Two layers of clear coat are then applied before being hand-polished by four craftsmen to produce the famous high-gloss piano finish. The entire process takes 3-5hours to complete – something that is unheard of in the industry – yet also something you might expect from Rolls-Royce.
The Spirit of Ecstasy and Pantheon Grille are both coated and polished, but the traditional chrome is treated with a specific electrolyte before coating to give a darkened finish. The final thickness is just one micrometre (1/100th the size of human hair). Wheels are equally as striking, formed with 44 layers of carbon fibre before being matched to a machined aluminium hub. Of course, the Floating Hubcap remains to ensure the Double R monogram stays upright at all times.
Interior that Shines in Post Opulence
If you thought the exterior finish was the tip of the iceberg, wait till you open the door. Finished in a vast array of dark tones and monochromatic highlights, it’s never quite as simple as you would imagine when it comes to Rolls-Royce.
- Bolivar veneer highlights are hand polished.
- Black Badge motif rendered in aerospace-grade aluminium.
- Timepiece design features only the tips of the hands and the twelve, three, six and nine o’clock markers.
- Air vent surrounds on the dashboard and in the rear cabin are darkened using physical vapour deposition.
- Illuminated Fascia, which displays an ethereal glowing Lemniscate, surrounded by more than 850 stars.
There’s still plenty of wood to adorn the fixtures, multiple layers are pressed into the interior component substrates and a beautiful Bolivar veneer highlights the uppermost layer. Leaves are woven from resin-coated carbon and a contrasting metal-coated thread is laid in a diamond pattern by hand to components creating a three-dimensional effect. Creating this veneer is no easy feat – as you’d expect – each component is cured for one hour before being hand-sanded and polished.
In the rear, you’ll find the infamous ‘Black Badge’ motif. Rendered in aerospace-grade aluminium on the lid of
Ghost’s Champagne cooler, it’s applied between the third and fourth layer of six subtly tinted lacquers, creating the illusion that the symbol is floating above the Technical Fibre veneer.
Vivid Driving Personality
For some, riding around in the back of the Rolls-Royce is the most satisfying mode of transport, but for others, engagement and personality are paramount. That’s not to say that the Black Badge Ghost is anything but the most effortless vehicle on the road today, but with a few key engineering advancements, the vehicle is more potent than ever.
- Engine: 6.75-litre V12, 600PS/900NM.
- Key throttle and transmission mapping.
- ZF eight-speed gearbox and.
- Front- and rear-steered axles.
- New exhaust system.
Under the bonnet, you’ll find the famous 6.75-litre V12 (say to yourself “six and three-quarter litre V12” a few times for maximum satisfaction) that’s been celebrated for generations. Here, the motor is tuned for an additional 29PS and 50NM for a total output of 600PS/900NM, combined with some key throttle and transmission mapping. The ZF eight-speed gearbox and both front- and rear-steered axles work collaboratively to adjust the levels of feedback to the driver.
Other notable additions include a new exhaust system, faster gear shift in Low Mode, and more voluminous air springs to alleviate body roll under more assertive cornering. A new suite of bold high-temperature brake calliper paint colours has been developed in preparation for forthcoming Black Badge Ghost commissions as well.
Black Badge Ghost launches Q1 2022 in Australia, pricing to be announced in due course.
In the meantime, Rolls-Royce is releasing a fully electric car, you can check it out here.