Rolls-Royce has been renowned for creating cars of superlative luxury since Henry Royce built his first motor car in 1904. This led to the formation of the Rolls-Royce company in March 1906, and the launch of the six-cylinder Silver Ghost, which was hailed as ‘the best car in the world’ at the time.
Yet despite its respect of tradition, Rolls-Royce has always been at the forefront of design and engineering innovation, and its close relationship with its customers and deep understanding of their uncompromising lifestyle preferences, requirements and ever-changing tastes has always enabled it to deliver cars that meet even the most discerning desires.
Therefore, after much internal debate, the marque announced a daring new permanent bespoke treatment to its cars in 2016, tailored for clients who aren’t afraid to break rules, take risks and challenge conventions. The ‘Black Badge’ models were designed to be darker in aesthetic, bolder in personality and more dramatic in material treatment – an alter ego.
The modern Rolls-Royce Ghost was introduced as the most minimal, understated and driver-friendly model in Rolls-Royce history. But the brand-new Black Badge iteration of the Ghost takes post-opulent design to another level, and not only is it the marque’s most agile, discreet and aesthetically pure model to date, it is also the most technologically advanced – a testament to its intelligent and unobtrusive design.
With a 6.75-litre V12 engine now delivering increased power (600PS) and torque (900NM), the Black Badge model has intensified the power of the Ghost, and its drivetrain and chassis have been re-engineered for more urgent – yet still effortless – performance. The exhilaration is breath-taking, but the ease of handling the vehicle – even at top speed – is as smooth as one would expect from any Rolls-Royce car, thanks to meticulous re-engineering, such as more voluminous air springs to alleviate body roll under more assertive cornering.
For the exterior, clients can select from any of the marque’s 44,000 ‘ready-to-wear’ colours or create their own entirely unique shade. Fittingly, the majority of customers who have commissioned a Black Badge Ghost have selected the car in signature Black – the darkest black hue available in the motor car industry.
Within the Rolls-Royce manufacturing plant in Goodwood, West Sussex – where the company’s cars are hand-built – the car receives two layers of clear coat before being hand-polished by a team of four craftsmen to produce its signature high-gloss piano finish. This creates a perfect canvas for clients to add a high-contrast, hand-painted coachline as a striking yet subtle finishing touch.
Inside, highly advanced luxurious materials have been crafted to create a ‘noir’ ambience with subdued brightwork. For example, air vent surrounds on the dashboard and in the rear cabin are darkened using physical vapour deposition, one of the few methods of colouring metal that ensures parts will not discolour or tarnish over time.
Gaining a reputation as the edgiest Rolls-Royce to date, the Black Badge Ghost is dark by name, dark by design and dark by nature.