Rolls-Royce has launched what it calls the most dynamic car in its range.
The 2022 Rolls-Royce Black Badge Ghost features an uprated version of the brand’s twin-turbocharged 6.75-litre V12 engine, producing 441kW of power at 5250-5750rpm and 900Nm of torque at 1700-4000rpm.
Those outputs are up 21kW and 50Nm, and though the Ghost weighs a substantial 2490kg it’ll do the 0-100km/h sprint in 4.7 seconds.
It’s priced from $745,000 before on-road costs, and is available to commission now.
The company expects around 30 per cent of Ghost sales will be of the Black Badge.
It’s based on the standard-length Ghost, which starts at $644,650 before on-roads.
The brakes and suspension have been uprated, while Rolls-Royce engineers have allowed a little more of the V12’s engine sound to make its way into the cabin.
Rolls-Royce says it’s raised the braking bite point and decreased pedal travel. The brake callipers can also be finished in a suite of new, bold colours.
In Black Badge tradition, there’s a ‘Low’ button on the end of the gear shifter. This amplifies the new exhaust and makes all 900Nm of torque available from 1700rpm, with gearshifts quickened by 50 per cent when the throttle is depressed to 90 per cent.
Built on a shortened version of the aluminium spaceframe architecture as the Cullinan and Phantom, the Black Badge Ghost retains the ‘regular’ Ghost’s all-wheel drive, four-wheel steering system and Planar suspension system.
In addition to this, the Black Badge Ghost adds more voluminous air springs to alleviate body roll.
“I think what you notice about the Black Badge models is they are a bit more hungry, they’re asking you to put a bit more input into them and, and maybe push them a little bit harder,” said regional sales manager Ian Grant.
Ghost buyers can choose from the brand’s 44,000 “ready-to-wear” colours or create their own Bespoke shade.
As with all Rolls-Royces, the Black Badge Ghost is sensationally customisable. The featured vehicle finishes a shade called ‘Turchese’ used for the coach line, brake calipers and interior door pockets, as well as for accents on the seats.
Rolls-Royce says the signature black is the most popular Black Badge colour and that it’s the car industry’s darkest black, with 45kg of paint atomised and applied to an electrostatically charged body before being oven-dried.
It then receives two layers of clear coat before being hand-polished for its high-gloss finish.
The Spirit of Ecstasy and Pantheon Grille are chrome-plated, but with a specific electrolyte added during this process to give them a darker finish. The grille can also be illuminated.
The 21-inch wheels feature 22 layers of carbon fibre laid on three axes before being folded back on themselves, for a total of 44 layers.
Inside the Black Badge Ghost, the black theme continues with darkened air vent surrounds and a minimalist clock in the centre of the dash.
The Black Badge Ghost makes extensive use of what the company calls ‘Technical’ fibre, comprising carbon and metallic fibres in a diamond pattern.
There’s also multiple wood layers using black Bolivar veneer, crafted to create a 3D effect with six layers of lacquer.
Like the regular Ghost that debuted the feature, there’s an illuminated fascia with 850 ‘stars’ that echoes the brand’s famous ‘Shooting Star Starlight Headliner’, while other opulent touches include dual rear-seat entertainment screens and a champagne fridge in the middle of the rear seats.
You’ll also find in the cabin a trademark of the Black Badge cars: the Lemniscate mathematical symbol, which was applied to Sir Malcolm Campbell’s record-breaking Rolls-Royce-powered Blue Bird K3 hydroplane.
Rolls-Royce has been progressively rolling out Black Badge versions of its line-up.
The company says the Asia Pacific region now has one of the highest proportions of Black Badge in the world.
While initially thought of as products for a younger audience of Rolls-Royce buyers – e.g. those in their thirties – the company has found Black Badge cars have attracted a range of new and existing buyers.
The company says it’s inspired by a trend towards monochrome in architecture, travel and fashion, citing the resurgence of the Japanese charred wood known as yakisugi and the rise of private jets finished in black.