Ask this boutique automaker why it’s digging ever deeper into its niche, and Rolls-Royce will say that its new, bespoke Black Badge line is built for the “elusive and defiant risk takers who break the rules and laugh in the face of convention.” They are “dark and restless … glamorous and daring … uncompromising and unapologetic … untrammelled by social convention. And when the day is done and the battle is won, these supremely confident people engage with the night, they go where she leads, and take all has to offer as their just reward.”
We translate that crazy PR speak as: “We at Rolls-Royce are tired of toiling over our cars just to have Floyd Mayweather, David Beckham, or any of the ungodly members of the evidently infinite Kardashian clan slap chrome dubs on their Wraith or Ghost, get chauffeured to some West Hollywood club, and pull up in front of buzzing crowds of paparazzi who plaster the tackily tainted car across social media and make the fine folks at Goodwood look like they don’t know what they’re doing. Oh, and the profit margins will be huge, too.”
CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, says Black Badge is a permanent bespoke series of cars for “young, driven self-made people that will make a bold and edgy lifestyle statement about their lives. ‘Black Badge’ is the alter ego of Rolls-Royce Wraith and Ghost: darker, more assertive, more confident, and more demanding.”
The Ghost and the Wraith are the only models getting the Black Badge treatment, which starts with a Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament coated in gloss black paint. Both cars are done up in deep pearl-black paint, with dark chrome finishes on the front grille, trunklid, and exhaust pipes. The rims are exclusive to the cars and are composed of alloy and carbon fiber, and the theme is carried over inside, with a dashboard covered in strips of aluminum and carbon fiber that have been hand-woven together.
Other interior upgrades include a clock with orange-tipped hands, a smattering of infinity symbols that are supposed to remind owners that there are no limits, an all-black Starlight headliner, and pimpin’ purple leather or bright blue upholstery among other choices. The Ghost Black Badge’s V-12 now produces 603 horsepower, 40 more horsepower than standard, and about 30 more lb-ft of torque over stock, while the Wraith Black Badge’s 624-hp V-12 gets a bottom-end bump of about 35 lb-ft of torque as well as redesigned air suspension dampers. Both Black Badge models benefit from an improved eight-speed automatic transmission.
The price or on-sale date for the Black Badge models shouldn’t concern you, unless you’re Mayweather, Beckham, or a Kardashian.