Haute Auto of the Week: Rolls-Royce Black Badge

Rolls-Royce Black Badge Wraith and Ghost

No other car makes such an impression on the road as a Rolls-Royce. Ever since the very first Rolls-Royce was introduced in 1904, the brand was known for offering only the very best, a legacy that they continue up until today. While most people will think of an elegant limousine, pulling up at the Ritz on Place Vendome, or The Plaza in NYC, chauffeur-driven with beautiful people occupying the back seat, when Rolls-Royce is mentioned the brand has a rich tradition of being owner driven as well. The very first Rolls-Royce’s were meant for the owner to be behind the wheel, as well as legendary models of a later date, such as the Corniche Convertible or the 1967 Silver Shadow Fixed Head Coupé Mulliner Park Ward that Steve McQueen drove in the original version of “The Thomas Crown Affair”. Today this tradition is continued in the Wraith and the Ghost, who are now available in the, even more driver oriented, “Black Badge” versions.

Rolls-Royce Black Badge Wraith

Rolls-Royce achieves this by making the automatic transmissions even more alert, and the pedals responding more assertive to your feet. They back it up by an increase in power,  with the Ghost now providing you with 603bhp and 620lb ft, while the Wraith puts 624bhp and 642lb ft at your disposal. There was a time when Rolls-Royce didn’t release these numbers, yet just referred to the amount of power available as “sufficient”. Today that the term “more than sufficient” is appropriate.

Rolls-Royce Black Badge interior

Rolls-Royce knows that increasing the power is only half of the equation. Therefore, they have also fitted the Black Badge-models with larger brakes.  For the Wraith, they also fine-tuned the air suspension. While designed to put a smile on the drivers face when he or she takes on a mountain road with more curves than straights, even the Black Badge models are still a Rolls-Royce. Simply by selecting a different drive mode turns the car into a limousine that seems to float over the road. Rolls-Royce is one of the very few car manufacturers that has achieved to unite this duality in character in such a natural way.

Rolls-Royce Black Badge front grille

Unlike the name “Black Badge” indicates can you order it in more colors then just black. Yes, Rolls-Royce offers the car in the deepest, richest color black you have ever seen, but also in every other color from the Rolls-Royce palette. You can even have a color made especially for you. With the air intakes, dual exhausts, front grille and even the Spirit of Ecstacy finished in a high gloss dark chrome, you will be tempted to select a darker color for your Black Badge Wraith or Ghost. This will also match nicely with the exclusive 21″ rims that Rolls-Royce created for the Black Badge collection.  Made from a unique alloy-carbon composite, they require 22 layers of carbon fibre per rim.

Rolls-Royce Black Badge dashboard

Also, the inside is getting a high-tech treatment. The dashboard is woven from carbon fibre with 0.014mm aircraft-grade aluminum, creating a look similar to that of a super-exposed high-end, Italian fabric. Six coats of lacquer are used to finish it, along with a hand-polish to achieve the perfect mirror finish.

Any Rolls-Royce is an innovative car, using state-of-the-art materials and advanced technology. At the same time, a Rolls-Royce is also still a product made with love and car by skilled crafts(wo)men who take pride in creating the best car in the world, something that is especially true for the Black Badge models.