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Rolls-Royce’s black badge ghost offers new experience for owners

Conceived in response to a group of clients who requested a Rolls-Royce that was agile, discreet, highly connected and free of any superfluous design, the new Ghost is not just the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce yet, but also the most aesthetically pure. This is at least according to the luxury vehicle manufacturer in a document shared with BusinessDay.

Details provided by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Lagos, which is owned by Coscharis Motors Plc, and is the exclusive franchise owner for Rolls-Royce vehicles sales and services in Nigeria, also notes that in the twelve months since the vehicle has been available, it has become one of the fastest-selling products in the marque’s history, representing more than 3,500 commissions worldwide.

“After considerable internal debate, Rolls-Royce announced that it would create an officially sanctioned response to a new kind of client: a permanent Bespoke treatment to its motor cars named Black Badge. These products, which were launched in 2016, would be darker in aesthetic, more urgent in personality and dramatic in material treatment,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, chief executive officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, in a statement.

He further added that “in the five years since Black Badge became publicly available, this bold family of motor cars has come to symbolise the pinnacle of a new type of super-luxury product, setting in motion a shift across the wider luxury industry. Subsequently, nearly all luxury makers create products that seek to capture the Black Badge spirit.”

Black Badge, the highly successful alter ego of Rolls-Royce, now represents more than 27 percent of commissions worldwide and is codified by the mathematical symbol that represents a potential infinity, which is found within the motor car’s interior. This graphic, also known as the Lemniscate, was applied to Sir Malcolm Campbell’s record-breaking Rolls-Royce-powered Blue Bird K3 hydroplane and the marque’s designers nominated this hallmark for Black Badge motor cars to reflect their own unrelenting pursuit of power, according to details shared.

Rolls-Royce debuted Black Badge with Wraith and Ghost in 2016, followed by Dawn in 2017 then Cullinan in 2019. It has now added a new, Post Opulent expression of Black Badge. According to the company, the Black BadgeGhost is the purest and most technologically advanced Black Badge motor car yet.

This motor car also started a new design conversation in its relentless pursuit of minimalism and purity. Named ‘Post Opulence’ by Rolls-Royce designers, this aesthetic movement is characterised by reduction and substance. In service to this, exceptional materials are selected and celebrated while overt design is limited, intelligent and unobtrusive.

Read also: Nigerian airlines lag global peers in carbon reduction

Exterior

Clients are free to select any of the marque’s 44,000 ‘ready-to-wear’ colours or create their own entirely unique Bespoke hue. However, the overwhelming majority of women and men who requested this darker expression of Ghost have selected the signature Black. To create what is the motorcar industry’s darkest black, 100lbs (45kg) of paint is atomised and applied to an electrostatically charged body in white before being oven dried. The motor car then receives two layers of clear coat before being hand-polished by a team of four craftsman to produce the marque’s signature high-gloss piano finish.

At between three and five hours in duration, this operation is entirely unknown in mass production, creating an intensity simply unattainable elsewhere in the automotive industry. It is this depth of darkness that serves as the perfect canvas for clients to add a high-contrast, hand-painted Coachline, which has done much to create the Black Badge ‘black and neon’ aesthetic that has come to characterise this vivid family of Rolls-Royce motor cars.

Interior

Advanced luxury materials have been meticulously created and crafted for a unique ambience in the interior suite. While recalling the dramatic mechanical intent of Black BadgeGhost, the materials are true to Ghost’s Post Opulent design philosophy – one defined by authenticity and material substance rather than overt statement. In this spirit, a complex but subtle weave that incorporates a deep diamond pattern rendered in carbon and metallic fibres has been created by the marque’s craftspeople.

Multiple wood layers are pressed onto the interior component substrates, using black Bolivar veneer for the uppermost base layer. This forms a dark foundation for the Technical Fibre layers that follow. Leaves woven from resin-coated carbon and contrasting metal-coated thread laid in a diamond pattern are applied by hand to the components in perfect alignment, creating a three-dimensional effect. To secure this extraordinary veneer, each component is cured for one hour under pressure at 100°C. This is then sand-blasted to create a keyed surface for six layers of lacquer, which is hand-sanded and polished before being incorporated into the motor car.

Engineering

According to the company, Black Badge is not just an aesthetic – it is an experience. The clients who requested this motor car demanded that the Bespoke treatment of Black Badge Ghost extend from the design atelier into the marque’s engineering department. In doing so, the Bespoke Collective of designers, engineers and craftspeople collaborated to create a vivid driving personality that matched Black Badge Ghost’s visual intent without compromising the marque’s effortless ride proclivities and exhaustive acoustic tuning.

The capacity of the Rolls-Royce twin-turbocharged 6.75-litre V12 engine was deemed sufficient. However, the flexibility of this celebrated power plant has been exploited to generate an extra 29PS, creating a total output of 600PS. The sense of a single infinite gear has also been dramatised with the addition of a further 50NM of torque, for a total of 900NM. The powertrain has also received Bespoke transmission and throttle treatments to further enhance the engine’s increased power reserves. The ZF eight-speed gear box and both front- and rear-steered axles work collaboratively to adjust the levels of feedback to the driver, depending on throttle and steering inputs.

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