Puteri Harbour, 28 October 2018 – Moving away from tradition, Rolls Royce hosted an unprecedented public event at Puteri Harbour this weekend – showcasing the Black Badge cars, a Wraith Black Badge in Ensign Red, a Wraith Black Badge in Dark Indigo, and a Ghost Black Badge in Black. After, all, the Black Badge series is for the unconventional and untraditional Rolls owner, a person who wants something out of the ordinary, although being a Rolls owner is already something out of the ordinary.
The Black Badge is a permanent family of Bespoke Rolls Royce cars, offered in response to the differing lifestyles of an increasingly younger, more dynamic set of patrons of luxury in the country. The Black Badge cars differ from standard models with a bolder styling, use of contemporary materials such as carbon fibre and subtle engineering enhancements, providing added performance. Customers can order from over 44,000 different colours.
“We are confident of a positive response to Black Badge, as Malaysia offers good driving conditions and a growing customer base of successful people who are younger and dynamic. Malaysia has a vibrant luxury and car culture. The development of Johor’s luxury ‘hot spots’ such as Puteri Harbour and the Iskandar region, along with interest from potential customers, contributed to our decision to launch this exclusive range of cars here for the first time in Malaysia,” said Anas Zawawi Khalid, Director, Quill Motorcars Sdn Bhd.
The Black Badge is aimed at today’s generation of young, self-empowered, self-confident rule-breakers who are just as uncompromising and unapologetic in their choice of living and lifestyle as their predecessors. They follow the road less travelled, live the unconventional life, darkly obsessed by their own pursuits and accomplishments from which they derive a pure adrenaline rush. Their life is their entertainment, and they live it on their own terms. And when the day is done, and the battle is won, these supremely confident people engage with the night, going where it leads, and taking all it has to offer as their just reward.
As demanding in their lifestyle as they are in their life pursuits, these highly-driven people insist on great substance from any symbol of their lifestyle. More and more, such individuals wish to demonstrate their success through a symbiosis between their life’s work and their chosen brands. Over the last years, many such individuals have gravitated towards the revitalised Rolls-Royce Motor Cars as the brand most appropriate to encapsulate their truly individual lifestyles, much as their celebrated predecessors did in days past.
Technically and aesthetically ‘Black Badge’ is the alter ego of Rolls-Royce Wraith and Ghost; darker, more assertive, more confident, powerful and more demanding. The Black Badge Spirit manifests itself through a series of carefully considered design elements which together express a darker luxury sophistication.
With this manifesto as their departure point, Rolls-Royce designers, engineers and craftspeople set to work transforming Ghost and Wraith in subtly different ways. Their intent was to deliver darker, more assertive and more focused Black Badge alter egos that differ from each other as much as they do from their siblings. The result is two cars that at first glance offer very distinctive, common visual cues to their nature. But below the surface these are two very different beasts of the night.
The distinctive Parthenon Grille, the famous Double R logo and the Spirit of Ecstasy are the very embodiment of the Rolls-Royce brand. However, these treasured symbols of the marque have been willing to change their identity in appropriate circumstances before.
The iconic Spirit of Ecstasy figurine has, over the years, also gone through a number of iterations both in design and materials used. She has been large and standing, kneeling and inclined forward to indicate higher performance; she has been made of gold, silver, crystal and stainless steel, and has been bejeweled, lit and unlit. Now the Spirit of Ecstasy and the iconic Double R lead the way once more as Rolls-Royce enters the alternative reality of ‘Black Badge’.
The transformation begins with the ‘Flying Lady’ who changes in colour to represent the owner’s dark obsession. The transformation pervades the other iconic symbols of the Ghost Black Badge and Wraith Black Badge. The Double R badge on the prow, flanks and aft of every Black Badge motor car invert to become silver on black, whilst chrome surfaces such as the front grille surround, boot lid finisher, lower air inlet finisher and exhaust pipes, turn dark.
The power of Black Badge continues through new composite carbon fibre and lightweight alloy wheels unique to each Ghost Black Badge and Wraith Black Badge commissioned. Developed by Rolls-Royce over four years, the new wheels feature 22 layers of carbon fibre laid in three axes, and folded back on themselves at the outer edges of the wheel rim to provide 44 layers of strength. Further strength is added via the 3D forged, aircraft-grade, aluminium hub which is bonded to the rim using aerospace strength titanium fasteners.
Black Badge will bring the colour black to new levels of intensity. The multiple layers of paint and lacquer that go into creating Black Badge Black are repeatedly hand polished – the most exacting painting and polishing process ever used for a solid paint colour. The result is the deepest, darkest and most intense black ever seen on a production car surface.
However, as Bespoke is Rolls-Royce, clients will of course be able to specify whatever colour they wish for the exterior colour and interior leather colour of their Ghost Black Badge or Wraith Black Badge.
Inside, the Black Badge cabin as it is suffused with a darker re-interpretation of pure luxury, inspired by Rolls-Royce’s advanced materials and aerospace heritage.
The centre piece of the Black Badge cabin is the aerospace-grade aluminium-threaded carbon fibre composite surfacing – material often seen on the surfaces of stealth aircraft. Threads of aircraft grade aluminium just 0.014mm in diameter are painstakingly woven together before being bonded with carbon fibre. This surface material then has six coats of lacquer applied, is left to cure for 72 hours, after which it is hand-polished to a mirror finish.
In addition, the air vents on the dash and in the rear of Black Badge motor cars have been darkened through the use of Physical Vapour Deposition. This surfacing method is one of the few ways to colour metal whilst ensuring that the parts will neither discolour nor tarnish over time or through repeated use.
Set into the cars’ fascia is a newly created Black Badge clock whose hands are tipped in orange, and whose face is adorned by the ‘Unlimited’ rating infinity logo that previously appeared in the celebrated Phantom Drophead ‘Waterspeed’, created in 2014 to celebrate the daring of world speed record champion Sir Malcolm Campbell. In common with Campbell, the Black Badge owner’s attitude to apparent limits is to challenge or ignore them, a trait celebrated by the ‘Unlimited’ logo.
The ‘Unlimited’ infinity logo is also embroidered on the Black Badge’s upholstery as black leather combines with vibrant colours of Tailored Purple in Ghost Black Badge and Cobalto Blue in Wraith Black Badge, delivering a more edgy feel to the cabin.
Overhead, the moody light cast from the black starlight headliner, and reflected around the cabin from the polished fascia, creates a darkly atmospheric ambiance.
Each of the motor cars that host the Black Badge spirit is a very different Rolls-Royce. Launched in 2009 and refreshed in 2014, Ghost is no ordinary power – the most contemporary interpretation of a Rolls-Royce ‘limousine’ which attracts those wealth-creating entrepreneurs who like to drive as much as be driven. Introduced in 2013, Wraith is the ultimate gentleman’s Gran Turismo, a true driver’s car.
The designers sought to imbue these two fantastic motor cars with the spirit of Black Badge in an authentic manner without diminishing their original essence.
“Black Badge was a fascinating challenge for Rolls-Royce’s engineers. We were already dealing with pinnacle motor cars, referred to as the best cars in the world,” comments Philip Koehn, Director of Engineering at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “Engineering excellence and technology leadership have resided at the very heart of the Rolls-Royce brand for the past 112 years. Black Badge Rolls-Royces are no exception – indeed they carry this tradition forward. It was vital to us that the aesthetic appeal and promise of Black Badge Ghost and Black Badge Wraith be underpinned by superlative engineering. The cars could not be the same as each other while at the same time, they had to offer their owners something subtly yet substantively different from the host cars, delivering a more spirited and exhilarating drive but in a truly Rolls-Royce manner.”
In Ghost Black Badge it is important to ensure rear compartment passengers’ comfort by maintaining Rolls-Royce’s renowned ‘Magic Carpet Ride’. Rolls-Royce engineers used the flexibility of the 6.6 litre V12 engine to make Ghost Black Badge a little more menacing. Subtle engine output modifications see power increase by 40hp (30kw) to 603hp (450kw) and torque by 60Nm (840Nm) compared to current Ghost, whilst upgrades to the 8-speed automatic transmission give Ghost Black Badge an added sense of urgency in how it delivers its power.
Already the most powerful Rolls-Royce in the world at 624hp (465kw), Wraith has always been the most driver-focused car in Rolls-Royce’s model range. However, understanding how driven this new breed of customer is and their wish to push the boundaries of life, Rolls-Royce’s engineering team worked painstakingly to give this most phenomenal fastback coupé a uniquely discernible extra edge.
By combining an extra wave of torque (+70Nm) with the already existing high power output, a completely redesigned air-suspension set up, new drive shafts and uprated 8-speed transmission, Rolls-Royce has produced an even more driver-focused, agile Wraith, while at the same time preserving the intrinsic elements of the effortless Rolls-Royce Magic Carpet Ride. Upgrades to the 8-speed automatic transmission inject a level of added urgency in how Wraith Black Badge delivers its power.
Always conscious of the safety of its owners and other users of the road, Rolls-Royce has also upgraded the brakes of both Black Badge models, increasing the diameter of the front brake discs by one inch for a swifter and more direct brake pedal response. As a final safety enhancement, Wraith Black Badge has been equipped with automatic LED headlights ensuring optimum night vision while scything through the dark.
Finally, just in case you are interested in one, the Black badge pricing is as follows:-
Rolls Royce Ghost Black Badge – From RM1.35 million
Rolls Royce Wraith Black Badge – From RM1.45 million