Since its inception in 2016, the Rolls-Royce Black Badge series has become the standard to which all luxury carmakers aspire. Known as the marque’s alter-ego, this bold vision was Goodwood’s response to a new type of client – rebellious women and men who are not afraid of breaking rules, taking risks, and challenging customs. To reflect the values of these clients, the Black Badge is darker in aesthetic, more assertive in character, and more dauntless in design than anything in Rolls-Royce’s distinguished portfolio.
And now Rolls-Royce has unveiled a new type of Black Badge. One that aligns with the Post Opulent design philosophy that has reshaped the legacy of the Ghost, amplifying nonchalant luxury and subverting it with the application of black in the Black Badge Ghost. Much like the latest Ghost, exceptional materials are selected and celebrated while the overt design is limited, intelligent, and unobtrusive. Unlike the Ghost, these elements are shrouded in the purest black. If the Ghost is perfection in minimalism, then the Black Badge Ghost is the disruptive expression of that perfection.
The Black Badge Ghost boasts the darkest shade of black in the automotive industry. Created by atomizing 45 kilograms of paint and applying them to an electrostatically charged white body before being oven dried. The car is then given two clear coats and hand-polished by a team of craftsmen to create the Rolls-Royce signature high-gloss piano finish. This strenuous, time-consuming process is unheard of in mass production. But far be it from the marque to enforce a color choice on the rebellious subset of clients for whom this car was created. In fact, clients are free to select any of the marque’s 44,000 ‘ready-to-wear’ colours or create their own entirely unique bespoke hue.
The exterior treatment also includes a bespoke 21-inch composite wheelset. Designed in the Black Badge house style and reserved for Black Badge Ghost, the barrel of each wheel consists of 22 layers of carbon fibre laid on three axes, then folded back on themselves at the outer edges of the rim to form a total of 44 layers of carbon fibre. There’s beauty as well as power in the technical complexity and unique carbon fibre construction of these wheels.
In terms of performance, the Black Badge Ghost is a tenacious rebel awaiting an accomplice. Equipped with all-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, and the award-winning Planar Suspension system of the Ghost, these unique qualities have been comprehensively re-engineered for the Black Badge Ghost resulting in even more urgent performance. It shares the hypercar numbers of the Ghost V12, 6.7L, but surpasses it from 563 to a total of 600 Horsepower. The sense of a single infinite gear has also been dramatized with the addition of a further 50NM of torque, for a total of 900NM.
Iconography is such an integral part of the Rolls-Royce allure, and in the Black Badge Ghost that manifests in the “lemniscate,” a mathematical symbol that represents potential infinity, found in the car’s interior. Rendered in aerospace-grade aluminium on the lid of Black Badge Ghost’s cooler, it is applied between the third and fourth layer of a total of six layers of subtly tinted lacquer, creating the illusion that the symbol is floating above the technical fibre veneer.
The motif is a nod to iconic British racing motorist Sir Malcolm Campbell, who had it applied to his record-breaking Rolls-Royce-powered Blue Bird K3 hydroplane – a hallmark worthy of the Black Badge family motor cars and their owners, reflecting their own unrelenting pursuit of power.
Words: Danah Alkhaleel
Images: Ali Al-Shammari