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Black Badge from Rolls-Royce. Image by Rolls-Royce.

Black Badge from Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce Ghost and Wraith Black Badge variants target 'edgier rule-breakers'.
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What's all this about?

Rolls-Royce is catering to a younger, edgier sort of buyer by releasing a new bespoke series of cars, labelled Black Badge. You'll find this specification on the Ghost and Wraith models.

Won't the Rolls traditionalists be up in arms?

Possibly, although the brand has changed its corporate logos and the Spirit of Ecstasy before. Talking of the Flying Lady, in an extraordinarily worded press release, she is said to have 'mutated into a high-gloss black vamp' - which means she's gone dark. As has all the exterior chrome trim and the alloys, which are coated in 22 sheets of carbon fibre, while the Black Badge Black (no, seriously) paint is the 'deepest, darkest and most intense black ever seen on a production car surface', thanks to multiple layers of paint and lacquer applied in the 'most exacting painting and polishing process ever used for a solid paint colour'. Also, look closely at either of the Black Badge cars' exterior logos and you'll see they've inverted, the pair of Rs now silver on a black background.

Could I order it in a different colour?

Erm... yes, because it's a bespoke series, although that rather defeats the purpose of the Black Badge ethos.

OK, so what has RR done in the interior?

The surfacing material is the same one that cloaks stealth aeroplanes. No, honestly - 0.014mm aircraft-grade aluminium threads are woven into carbon fibre for the trim panels. The air vents have been darkened down while, for horological purposes, a Black Badge clock with orange-tipped hands and an infinity logo makes an appearance. The infinity double loop is embroidered onto the black upholstery too, which in the Ghost is complemented by Tailored Purple highlights, while in the Wraith the colour is Cobalto Blue. For both cars, the black starlight headliner also casts a 'moody light' to keep the dark theme intact.

OK, so what has RR dAre there any differences between the Ghost and Wraith Black Badge models?one in the interior?

A few. The Ghost's 6.6-litre V12 engine is ramped up by 40hp and 60Nm for maximum outputs of 603hp and 840Nm. Rolls-Royce has also enacted some steering and suspension changes.

How about the Wraith?

Torque alone swells 70- to 870Nm in total, while the air suspension has been overhauled. It also gets automatic LED headlights.

And do this pair share any upgraded mechanicals?

Yes, both cars' eight-speed transmissions have been recalibrated, with Intuitive Throttle Response added. This automatically alters the characteristics of the gearbox under part- and full-throttle loads, and also during engine braking phases, to provide a sportier drive when required. Both Black Badge cars also get larger front brake discs and a new set of driveshafts.

Have you got a price for all this?

No, but (altogether now) if you have to ask, then you can't afford it.

Matt Robinson - 1 Mar 2016

2016 Rolls-Royce Black Badge. Image by Rolls-Royce.2016 Rolls-Royce Black Badge. Image by Rolls-Royce.2016 Rolls-Royce Black Badge. Image by Rolls-Royce.2016 Rolls-Royce Black Badge. Image by Rolls-Royce.2016 Rolls-Royce Black Badge. Image by Rolls-Royce.

2016 Rolls-Royce Black Badge. Image by Rolls-Royce.2016 Rolls-Royce Black Badge. Image by Rolls-Royce.2016 Rolls-Royce Black Badge. Image by Rolls-Royce.2016 Rolls-Royce Black Badge. Image by Rolls-Royce.    - Rolls-Royce road tests
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