DRIVEN | Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge Edition 2019
I’ve heard it said on multiple occasions that “Past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour” and while I do not wholeheartedly subscribe to that notion — the English weather being my case and point — I do believe it is the case with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. As their model range is concise, every model variant has its clear place, along with a considered and distinct purpose. In fact there is no clearer example of this than their recent SUV release, the Rolls-Royce; a model that is without compromise — alas I digress.
The model I had just taken the keys for was a Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge Edition (2019), the elder cousin of theI had driven 18months prior. Rather than the multi-dimensional black paint, this Ghost came in gunmetal grey high-gloss finish, a finish achieved by meticulous layering, and completed using specially formulated Xirallic® paint. The resulting effect is spectacular yet understated, a true hallmark of a Rolls-Royce vehicle.
A feature unique to the Black Badge vehicles is the reverse black out “RR” badge and the dark metal Spirit of Ecstasy, giving a more menacing appearance to the normally angelic symbol sat resplendent on the bonnet. Rolls-Royce want you to know that this car is tuned for a more aggressive drive, and while the exterior indicates that, no place is this more evident than in the interior.
As I opened the door I was greeted by the glow of the starlight headliner, as no less than 1,340 fibreoptic lights softly illuminated the cabin. Rolls-Royce interiors, normally renowned for their luxurious polished woods, had inverted this logic somewhat, replacing wood with carbon-fibre and Piano Black veneers, making for a more ‘athletic’ feeling interior. The overarching feeling is one of anticipation and also performance; you can’t help but want to drive this car.
Now’s a good time to talk about what lies under the bonnet. Its mammoth 6.6 Litre V12 means that despite weighing almost 2.5tonnes, the Ghost Black Badge is no slouch, going from 0-60 in 4.8 seconds. This is thanks to an enhanced torque of 840Nm making it themade to date—and it shows. The signature magic carpet ride is still there at lower speeds but press the “Low” button on the gear change stalk and the ride is transformed into something much more aggressive. An improved dynamism to the steering experience coupled with a lengthened gear change allow you to take full advantage of the faster acceleration, hence attaining a higher level of performance. As I attacked the tight country lanes, it became ever clearer what “Black Badge” stands for and why this car simply had to exist.
For Rolls-Royce, this car is the naughty brother, the joker in the pack, the “spice” to your “sugar”.
It’s the car that gives you a choice depending on your mood; naughty or nice?
I pressed the “Low” button again returning the car to its former poise, and the car duly obliged as I continued my journey at a more genteel pace. As far as the Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge was concerned, it was normal service resumed, as if butter wouldn’t melt.