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Rolls-Royce Wraith fades to Black

Blackout: The Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge has a number of subtle differences to its regular sibling, including a black grille, black badge with silver writing, and a gloss-black ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ figurine.

Wraith Black Badge to add extra exclusivity to Rolls-Royce super-coupe


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24 Nov 2016

ROLLS-ROYCE has gone to the dark side with more powerful, brooding versions of its Wraith coupe and Ghost sedan.

Dubbed Black Badge, the special variants are priced at $745,000 and $695,000 driveaway respectively – a $100,000 premium over regular variants.

Styling tweaks and some extra grunt to the already-imposing 6.6-litre V12 to create an even rarer version of one of the most exclusive cars on Australian roads.

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 hood ornament, inverted colour Rolls-Royce badge and black, silver and carbon-fibre 21-inch wheels.

The carbon-fibre/steel alloy rims feature 22 layers of carbon-fibre offset with black and silver steel, and come in a pattern that is exclusive to the Black Badge range.

As the name suggests, the traditional silver-with-black-lettering Rolls-Royce badge has been inverted 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 colour clashes.

Inside the luxurious Wraith interior, wood panelling is replaced with one of two aluminium-threaded carbon-fibre 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.

The ‘starlight headliner’ roof feature – which uses tiny lights scattered across the roof to give the impression of a night sky – is available as an option.

The Black Badge also features a ‘night vision’ function, which employs the front-facing camera to project a night-vision view of the road into the infotainment system.

Changes under the bonnet include a torque boost in the Wraith from 800 to 870Nm, while the eight-speed ZF automatic transmission has been recalibrated to hold gears for 300-500rpm longer depending on which gear, while downshifting sooner when decelerating to assist with engine braking.

The 6.6-litre, 465kW V12 will also rev to 6000rpm when it senses the throttle is depressed at 80 to 100 per cent. Gear changes are now faster.

Speaking with GoAuto, Rolls-Royce global client sales manager Ian Grant said the gearbox and engine changes mean the Black Badge “pushes you along rather than pulls you along” while maintaining the ‘magic carpet ride’ feel for which Rolls-Royce is famous..

The Ghost Black Badge, which was not shown at Rolls-Royce Melbourne, gets a power bump of 30kW/60Nm to 450kW/840Nm and many of the transmission changes afforded to the Wraith.

The Black Badge range will not be limited-run model, but instead a subset of the regular Rolls-Royce range, with five arriving in Australia initially.

“The car’s not a limited production model – it’s a sub-line to our standard models,” said Mr Grant.

“At the moment they’re arriving in 2016 and there’ll be less than five, so it’s a very limited model for the early production because they have only started in September, but next year customers are free to order as many as they like.”

The more aggressive look of the Black Badge could possibly be marketed towards a younger audience, which Mr Grant 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.”

Mr Grant also sees Australia as the ideal market for the Black Badge due to Australian owner’s propensity for driving their Rolls-Royces as opposed to being chauffeured, as preferred in other countries in the Australasia region.

“I think what’s quite interesting particularly working in the Asian market, it’s a different dynamic that we have compared to owner-driver versus chauffeur-driver, two-door owners versus four-door owners,” he said.

“Australia is very much weighted towards owner-driver – our customers want to be in the driver’s seat, so to say.

“It’s very rare that the Rolls-Royce here are used for chauffeuring, so it’s an ideal market for Ghost and Wraith and now Dawn from the owner-driver perspective, so it’s certainly a solid market from the two-door perspective.”

The Rolls Royce Black Badge range is available to order, with deliveries commencing early in 2017.

2016 Rolls-Royce Black Badge driveaway pricing*
Ghost (a)$695,000
Wraith (a)$745,000

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