ROLLS-ROYCE’S BEST-SELLING SALOON REVEALS ITS MENACING ALTER EGO: THE MIDNIGHT-CLOAKED BLACK BADGE, SEDUCING PILOTS TO RIDE LONG INTO THE NIGHT
BY AMANDA MCCOY
In the fall of 2020, in a highly anticipated reveal, Rolls-Royce lifted the curtain on the redesigned Ghost, only the second iteration of its still uber luxurious entry sedan. Outside of the Spirit of Ecstasy ornament and umbrellas hidden in the rear doors, every piece of metal and material was all new, crafted to reflect “Post-Opulence,” a philosophy the coachbuilder said favors polish over ash and rejects superficial expressions of wealth. The silhouette was all class, boasting clean, elegant lines with the fabled (and newly illuminated) rectangular grille, and swanky design appointments like power opening and closing rear-hinged coach doors and a Starlight Headliner that emblazoned the entire ceiling with celestial fiber optic lights some that even mimic shooting stars.
Super premium as it may be, the British marque has a long history of subversion; even one of the original founders, C. S. Rolls, a Welsh aristocrat, was dubbed “Dirty Rolls” for donning oil-spattered ties to highbrow events. This rebellious spirit manifested as the Black Badge series, first launched in 2016 as a brooding alter ego to the lineup, and this year the new Ghost is getting seduced by the dark side.
“Black Badge is not a sub-brand,” clarified Rolls CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös. “It is an attitude that represents an authentic and confident response to the desires of a new group of clients who proudly practice bold self-expression.”
The 2022 Ghost Black Badge first swivels heads with its dramatic noir color treatment, extending from the exterior body and tinted wheels into the cabin. More than 100 pounds of black paint are used to complete the midnight mood, finished with a double-layer clear coat then hand polished. The Spirit of Ecstasy insignia and grille aren’t left out of the party, coated with a chrome electrolyte and also polished by hand to cast an edgy, black chrome finish. But wait, what if all-black isn’t your MO? True to Rolls’ bespoke heritage, owners can customize their Black Badge Ghost in an array of rich hues, from fierce neon green to fiery red. Color treatments aren’t the only update in the series, as the Badge also boasts increased performance and power. The standard Ghost already sports a meaty 563-hp 6.75L twin-turbocharged V12, but the Black Badge adds another 28 ponies and 37 lb.-ft. of torque, bringing the total numbers to 592 horsepower and 664 lb.-ft. of torque. The eight-speed transmission and throttle were also tuned specifically for more spirited driving dynamics, proving that not everyone who owns a Rolls-Royce has a full-time chauffeur. For the bold, this menacing machine was meant to be driven. Starting MSRP is $376,350.
Paul Miller Rolls-Royce
250 US-46, Parsippany 973.575.7751 / paulmillerrollsroyce.com