Rolls-Royce has added the Black Badge to its luxurious and seriously impressive SUV Cullinan and those two words ‘Black Badge’ take luxury and performance to a new high.
Rolls-Royce launched the Black Badge series back in 2016 (Wraith and Ghost in 2016 and Dawn in 2017), a darker, moodier vision of its cars aiming to coax a younger and wealthier driver behind the wheel. It turned out to be unexpectedly successful. According to Rolls-Royce, one in five new Rolls-Royce commissioned is a Black Badge model.
“Black Badge reflects the desires of a distinct group of Rolls-Royce clients: men and women who take risks, break rules and build success on their own terms. Indeed, before we launched Black Badge in 2016 the idea of creating a product that would satisfy this subversive cohort – that is highly dynamic and wilfully rebellious in aesthetic – caused a great deal of internal debate. However, once the marque’s designers, engineers and craftspeople began pursuing this dramatic alter ego, it became clear that these motor cars could not only exist comfortably beneath this revered and historic brand but they would define a new space within the super-luxury market. In this spirit, the time has come for Rolls-Royce’s boldest and darkest expression of Black Badge yet. The King of the Night, Black Badge Cullinan,” Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said in a press release.
What the Black Badge adds to the Rolls-Royce Cullinan
- On the outside it’s a much stealthier colour palette, with multiple layers of paint and lacquer that are then hand-polished for up to five hours. It leaves a smoky luster that pairs nicely with the high-gloss black chrome Spirit of Ecstasy.
- The Rolls-Royce badging is inverted, silver on black, and the front grille surround, side frame finishes, trunk handle and trim, lower air inlet finisher, and the tailpipes are all darkened. The grille’s vertical bars remain polished for contrast. New, 22-inch forged alloy wheels in a dark finish are combined with a first for Rolls-Royce: high gloss red brake callipers.
- Inside, the emphasis on hand-finishing and unusual materials continues. There’s a new carbon-fibre with repeating geometrical shapes for a 3D-effect, which the automaker is referring to as Technical Fibre. That gets six coats of lacquer and is then hand-polished to a mirror finish.
- The Starlight Headliner is available on the Cullinan for the first time, a black leather roof liner with 1,344 individual fibre optic stars. It gets a new shooting star feature, with eight white stars that dart at random across occupants’ heads. To contrast the black, there’s a new Forge Yellow finish for the leather, part of the curated collection of highlight trims. It’s available on the Bespoke Viewing Suite – the fold-out seats in the trunk for the most lavish tailgating – or for the Recreation Module, the cargo cube in the trunk.
- It’s not just aesthetics. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge has more power – 29 hp more from the V12, taking it to 600 horsepower. Torque, too, is increased, to 663 lb-ft. Hit the “Low” button on the shift selector and the new Black Badge audible exhaust gives a more fitting soundtrack, along with a more aggressive shift pattern for the 8-speed transmission.
- All-wheel drive is standard, of course, as is all-wheel steering, but there’s a new, raised braking bite point and decreased pedal travel. The brake disks have been redesigned, too, for better performance. 0-60 mph takes 4.9 seconds, while the top speed is an electronically-limited 155 mph. Rolls-Royce says you could still get 12 mpg in the city, mind, or 20 mpg on the highway, depending on how you drive.
Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullinan is now available to commission.