Rolls-Royce adds its SUV, Cullinan, to the elite Black Badge family
November 15, 2019: Introducing a more powerful, distinct version of its highly popular Cullinan, Rolls-Royce has added the model to its Black Badge family – a darker version of the brand, which doesn’t compromise yet on the core values of the brand.
Created to satisfy overwhelming demand from younger, more adventurous clients, Cullinan in its silver badge guise, was launched to global acclaim in 2018. This super-luxury SUV how now been transformed to assume a stronger, Black Badge personality.
The achieve Black Badge’s dark shade, multiple layers of paint and lacquer are meticulously applied and hand-polished 10 times, representing the most comprehensive surface finish process ever applied to a solid paint colour. The Spirit of Ecstasy mascot, which has also undergone transformation for this special class of vehicles, is presented in high gloss black chrome. For the first time this finish extends onto its mounting plate, creating the darkest Black Badge yet.
The ‘Double R’ badge on the front, flanks and aft invert to become silver-on-black, while chrome surfaces such as the front grille surround, side frame finishers, boot handle, boot trim, lower air inlet finisher and exhaust pipes are darkened. While they appear black, the vertical grille bars remain polished, reflecting the blackened surfaces that surround them to add a frisson of movement that hints at the motor car’s dynamic intent.
The overall effect artfully emphasizes the imposing proportions and confident stance of the car. This is further dramatised by all-new 22-inch forged alloy wheels, reserved exclusively for Black Badge Cullinan. The gloss black and polished design also creates the perfect stage for the marque’s first ever coloured brake caliper. The high gloss Red paint has been specifically developed to withstand the rigours of elevated temperatures generated by the motor car’s uprated braking system while still offering a perfectly smooth finish befitting of Rolls-Royce.
And then there is Black Badge Cullinan’s Technical Carbon veneer. As said by Sir Henry Royce, “When it does not exist, design it”, a collaboration between the marque’s designers, engineers and craftspeople saw the creation of a new luxury material. A naked-weave carbon-fibre finish has been developed to create highly accurate repeating geometrical shapes that produce a powerful three-dimensional effect. Each leaf of Technical Carbon is finished with six coats of lacquer before being left to cure for 72 hours, then hand-polished to Rolls-Royce’s hallmark mirror finish. This process takes 21 days and is only deemed complete once every piece is inspected by a craftsperson to ensure complete reflective uniformity across each of the 23 pieces within the car.
The Starlight Headliner casts a low light over the lavish leather seats. Presented in fine Black leather, handwoven with 1344 fibre optic lights, it is a true reflection of the sky at night and incorporates eight brilliant white shooting stars that dart at random predominantly over the front occupants.
For the Black Badge Cullinan, Rolls-Royce created a bold new leather colour, Forge Yellow. The Infinity lemniscate motif is embroidered into the fold-down rear arm-rest. This simple but potent symbol is also incorporated in the illuminated treadplates and engraved on the brushed and darkened steel clock case.
Black Badge is far more than an aesthetic treatment. Key to the visceral thrill of Black Badge Cullinan is the Architecture of Luxury, Rolls-Royce’s proprietary all-aluminium architecture that not only delivers extraordinary body stiffness but its flexibility and scalability allowed Cullinan to be fitted with all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering in its silver badged guise. These dynamic features have been comprehensively re-engineered for Black Badge.
The Architecture of Luxury has been engineered to meet size and weight requirements of different propulsion systems. When the driver presses the ‘Low’ button situated on the gear selection stalk, they unlock Black Badge Cullinan’s full suite of technologies. This is asserted by the proud amplification of the motor car’s 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V12 through an entirely new exhaust system, announcing its arrival with a deep, authoritative basso profundo.
The twin-turbo V12 of Black Badge Cullinan generates an extra 29PS creating a total output of 600PS. A further 50NM of torque has been added to the system, bringing the total to a 900NM.
Black Badge Cullinan benefits from a Bespoke transmission and throttle treatment that creates a sense of urgency without ever undermining its Rolls-Royce peerage. To bolster confidence when exploiting Cullinan’s alter ego, the braking bite point has been raised and pedal travel decreased. Redesigned brake disc ventilation also allows consistency in these changes while braking at elevated temperatures.
Black Badge Cullinan is now available to commission.
The concept of Black Badge was launched with Wraith and Ghost in 2016 followed by Dawn in 2017. The Black Badge family defines taste patterns of a new generation of super-luxury consumer. These unapologetic and highly dynamic products responded to those who refused to be defined by traditional codes of luxury. This highly successful alter ego is codified by the mathematical symbol that represents a potential infinity, which is placed discreetly within the motor car’s interior.