Style with substance is a becoming a guiding dictate in the fashion world. Imparting an identity, be it low-key chic at Balmain or hyper-glam from Tom Ford, that conveys both character and style is a signifier of intention. From H&M to Bergdorf Goodman style consciousness equates with identity, and design is valued for thoughtfulness, purpose, precision and artistic merit. That not to say that the demand for ultra luxury is passé, the privileged connoisseur still covet the exclusive, but they eschew frivolity. Driving a Rolls-Royce is indeed a statement of good taste but for the handful of owners of the limited edition Rolls-Royce Black Badge, available in the Ghost, Wraith coupe and recently the Dawn Convertible, ownership connotes respect for the exceptional.
The House of Rolls-Royce in-house Bespoke Design studio launched the high performance sub-brand Black Badge to meet the demands of younger buyers whose expectations are shaped by new expectations for innovation, exclusivity and individual style.
The Wraith Rolls, the Lord Darth Vader side of the brand, is darker, faster and powerful then any other Rolls-Royce that came before it. In making the Wraith the first Black Badge, Rolls-Royce made a stunning statement of power, prestige and style.
Giles Taylor, Director of Design from the House of Rolls-Royce Motor said, “In creating Black Badge, we were conscious of satisfying the different demands of these new customers. Not only did they demand an alternative image for themselves, they demanded authentic Rolls-Royce engineering substance to underpin it. As a result, the Black Badge Spirit manifests itself through a series of carefully considered design elements, which together express a unique darker luxury sophistication. New material accents and tonalities are combined to accommodate the tastes of those fast-moving customers who adopt a strident approach to life’s finer challenges.”
The Wraith’s twin-turbo 6.6-litre V12 with 624bhp on tap means it is the most powerful Rolls-Royce model produced thus far. A new automatic gearbox, which will eventually make its way into the rest of the Wraith range, has been fitted. As before, it’s an eight-speed auto, and in the Black Badge the transmission gets its own specific software mapping. Put the transmission in sport mode and it’ll hold gears for longer, downshift earlier and swap ratios faster than normal. This mode works in conjunction with a new throttle map, which alters the timing and speed of gearshifts according to how hard the driver pushes the pedal towards the plush carpet, and takes away the deliberate delay built into the standard Wraith’s pullaway response – a legacy of Rolls’ traditional chauffeur-centric setups.Inside the Wraith Black Badge you will find carbon fibre composite surfacing that is also found on the advanced stealth fighter jets and British Rolls has made it the world’s most innovative new super-luxury material. The fine detail continues throughout, even the the air vents on the dash and in the rear of Black Badge have been darkened through the use of Physical Vapor Deposition. This surfacing method is one of the few ways to color metal that ensures the parts will neither discolor nor tarnish over time or through repeated use. The inner sanctuary of this Black Badge Wraith is every bit a Rolls and complete with the soul of a super car. From the newly created Black Badge in-dash analog clock to the plush carpeting, and superior seating the message is clear, you are driving a very special automotive masterpiece.
Story By Josh Lewis Photos By David Lewis Taylor.
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