Rolls-Royce is continuing its onslaught of ‘Black Badge’ models with this, the new Dawn Black Badge. It joins the Wraith and the Ghost in the dark and moody part of Rolls’ model line-up, and will be the sole convertible option in the range.
Making its debut at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Black Badge range is Rolls’ way of appealing to younger buyers. With edgier styling features, engineering tweaks and a black colour scheme (who’d have guessed?) the range distances itself from the traditional image of a Rolls-Royce, and is aimed at a ‘more dynamic patron of luxury’. The market - consisting generally of self-made entrepreneurs and tech pioneers - has bought the age of Rolls-Royce buyers right down, and the company's youngest customer is an amazing 26 years old.
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Rolls-Royce CEO, Torsten Muller-Otvos, said that the brand was convinced to build the Dawn Black Badge after having customers ask when it was arriving. He said after the success of the Wraith and Ghost, it was "foolish not to do Dawn." He describes Black Badge as "the alter-ego of Rolls-Royce", and said the range has exceeded sales expectations.
As the name suggests, black is the order of the day. Not just any black, though. Rolls-Royce claims that its black is the blackest black ever. No, really – ‘the deepest, darkest and most intense black to ever grace a production car surface’. That’s thanks to multiple layers of paint and lacquer, applied and hand-polished in traditional Rolls style. The matching roof is only available in black canvas, while the rear deck is also finished in black leather – as is the interior, which combines black leather with Mandarin orange highlights. We’d recommend parking in the shade if you don’t like being cooked.
The Black Badge treatment even extends to the Spirit of Ecstasy, which has been given a shadowy makeover in black chrome, to match the exhaust tips, grille, and boot trim.
The cabin isn’t totally covered en noir, though. The surfaces receive a unique treatment, with threads of aircraft-grade aluminium woven together, bonded in carbon fibre, lacquered and then polished to a high shine. The orange highlights in the cabin are said to be ‘evocative of the sunset’, giving the cabin a unique ambiance.
Of course, the millionaire youngsters who’ll be buying the Dawn Black Badge won’t settle for a measly 563bhp from the silky-smooth V12 engine under the vast, black bonnet. Rolls-Royce has tweaked the unit to give a total of 593bhp, with a frankly ridiculous 620lb ft of torque ensuring truly effortless progress.
An entirely new exhaust system allows for some theatre, too. Engage the ‘low’ button, and the Dawn Black Badge will produce what Rolls calls a ‘menacing bass baritone’ to make sure you’re noticed.
Other tweaks to the engine, transmission and throttle response are said to give a more spirited drive, especially at higher speeds, but Rolls-Royce is keen to point out that the Dawn Black Badge is every bit as luxurious as any other Dawn.
No prices have been announced, but customers can commission their Dawn Black Badge now.