Welcome to the dark side of the Post Opulent design.
While it is true that the terms ‘performance’ and ‘sporty’ are not normally associated with Rolls-Royces, the Black Badge variants are mostly about that, because these dark-themed variants are targeted at relatively younger wealthy individuals. And so, the second-gen Ghost Black Badge is here to prove that it is the purest Black Badge in the marque’s history.
While the clients are free to select from any of the marque’s 44,000 ‘ready-to-wear’ colours or create their own bespoke hue, Rolls-Royce reckons that the majority of the clients appreciate the Black Badge in, well, Black. And, it’s not just any black. Apparently, it is the industry’s darkest black, and to create that, about 45 kg (99 lbs) of paint is atomised and applied to an electrostatically charged body in white before being oven-dried. The car then receives two layers of clear coat before being hand-polished by a team of four craftsmen to produce the marque’s signature high-gloss piano finish. The dark paint job then offers perfect contrast for a hand-painted Coachline, which in this example, is in neon.
As for the Spirit of Ecstasy and Pantheon Grille, instead of simply painting them black, a specific chrome electrolyte is introduced to a traditional chrome plating process that is co-deposited on the stainless-steel substrate, darkening the finish. Its final thickness is said to be just one micrometre—around one-hundredth of the width of a human hair. These components are then hand-polished to achieve a mirror-black chrome finish before fitting them onto the car. The exterior looks are rounded off with exclusive 21-inch composite wheels. The barrel of each wheel is made up of 22 layers of carbon fibre laid on three axes, then folded back on themselves at the outer edges of the rim, forming a total of 44 layers of carbon fibre for greater strength. A 3D-forged aluminium hub is bonded to the rim using aerospace-grade titanium fasteners and finished with the marque’s hallmark Floating Hubcap, ensuring the Double R monogram remains upright at all times.
The dark-themed cabin is dominated by Turchese leather and Technical Carbon veneer. The air vent surrounds on the dashboard and in the rear section are darkened using physical vapour deposition, one of the few methods of colouring metal that is said to ensure parts will not discolour or tarnish over time. Another highlight of the Ghost Black Badge is a glowing Lemniscate on the passenger side of the dashboard, surrounded by more than 850 stars. Also in the features list is a Champagne cooler between the rear seats.
The 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 petrol engine in the stock Ghost offers more-than-sufficient 420 kW (571 metric hp) and 850 Nm (627 lb-ft) of torque, but as you know the Black Badge is not just about aesthetics, and so the engine offers an extra 21 kW (29 metric hp) and 50 Nm (37 lb-ft), bringing the total to 441 kW (600 metric hp) and 900 Nm (664 lb-ft). All that torque is available from just 1,700 rpm and, once underway in Low Mode, gearshift speeds are increased by 50% when the throttle is depressed to 90%, delivering Black Badge Ghost’s abundant power reserves with dramatic immediacy, Rolls-Royce said.