The extent that some manufacturers will go to market ‘exclusivity’ is amazing. Rolls-Royce have announced their “Black Badge” for their Wraith Coupe. Shown at the Rolls-Royce Melbourne dealership in Southbank, the Wraith Black Badge draws its name from the black detailing throughout the car, including black chrome Parthenon grille, splitters, window surround (optional) and spirit of ecstasy bonnet ornament, inverted color Rolls-Royce badge and black, silver and carbon-fiber 21 inch wheels.
The carbon-fiber/steel alloy rims feature 22 layers of carbon-fiber offset with black and silver steel, and come in a pattern that is exclusive to the Black Badge range.
The more aggressive look of the Black Badge could possibly be marketed towards a younger audience, which an R-R representative explained is making up a larger proportion of Rolls-Royce owners.
“We’ve seen our average age of Rolls-Royce owner dramatically falling over the past few years, so it’s not as much aimed at a younger crowd – I think it’s been adopted by a younger crowd,” he said.
“What we’ve seen globally is a migration of money through millennials and dot com millionaires and entrepreneurs coming through and running businesses and establishing themselves much younger than what the working environment (previously) allowed you to do.
“So it is a younger, more aggressive car, but not solely for a younger, more aggressive market.”
(Quite frankly this is high stakes BS. With the cars costing three quarters of a million dollars, do you really think spotty Johnny next door can afford these cars even with their black chrome Parthenon grilles?)
Dubbed Black Badge, the special variants are priced at $745,000 and $695,000 driveaway respectively – a $100,000 premium over regular variants.
As the name suggests, the traditional silver with black-lettering Rolls-Royce badge has been reversed to black with silver, the first time the Rolls-Royce badge has been changed in any way since 1933 when Sir Henry Royce decided to change the silver-with-red badge to avoid color clashes.
Inside the luxurious Wraith interior, wood paneling is replaced with one of two aluminium threaded carbon-fiber weaves, and the new ‘Unlimited’ infinity symbol is found in various places throughout the cabin, to represent the ‘infinite’ possibilities and capabilities of Rolls-Royce. (Who dreams up this rubbish?)
Changes under the bonnet include a torque boost in the Wraith from 800 to 870 Nm, while the eight-speed ZF automatic transmission has been recalibrated to hold gears for 300-500 rpm longer depending on which gear, while downshifting sooner when decelerating to assist with engine braking.
The 6.6 liter, 465 kW V12 will also rev to 6000 rpm when it senses the throttle is depressed at 80 to 100 percent. Gear changes are now faster says R-R, which will be of great value when the new owners take their Black Rollers on a track day.