If you think Rolls-Royce is the transport of choice for elderly billionaires, your chauffeur has the wrong end of the steering wheel.
Something extraordinary’s happened to the grand British marque in recent years, with the average age of Rolls owners falling below 50 to just 45-years-old.
At 46, that means Rolls owners J-Lo and Jay Z are pushing up the average compared to the likes of Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and David Beckham, but there’s no doubt the brand appeals to a younger audience not seen since the urban myth of the late Keith Moon driving one into a swimming pool was created.
So the luxury car maker’s doing something to spice things up for its younger audience, launching “Black Badge”, which Rolls-Royce describes as “an alter-ego for a new breed of customer”.
CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös calls it “an attitude to life” that’s “darker, more assertive, more confident and powerful, and more demanding”.
“Rolls-Royce Motor Cars will create a permanent bespoke series of motor cars for a group of young, driven, self-made people that will make a bold and edgy lifestyle statement about their lives,” he said.
They’re bringing the concept to two cars – the Wraith Black Badge, which could be yours for $AU745,000 drive away and the Ghost Black Badge at $AU695,000 drive away, taking the bespoke vehicles to maximum bespokiness.
The company is transforming the cars, starting with the “Flying Lady” on the bonnet, who Rolls says “mutates into a high-gloss black vamp”.
The Double R badge on Black Badge cars is inverted to become silver on black and Rolls spent four years developing composite carbon fibre and lightweight alloy wheels.
Rolls is also producing a black that’s the “deepest, darkest and most intense black ever seen on a production car surface”, but of course you can choose whatever colour you want for the exterior and interior leather.
The cabin’s made out of our aerospace-grade aluminium-threaded carbon fibre composite that’s generally seen (or not) stealth aircraft.
Of course they’ve tweaked things under the bonnet, so the 6.6 litre V12 engine in the Ghost Black Badge has a power increase of 40hp (30kw) to 603hp (450kw), with the torque up by 60Nm (840Nm) compared to current Ghost. The throttle’s had a touch up too to be more responsive.
Meanwhile, the 624hp (465kw) Wraith now has an extra 70Nm of torque, plus a redesigned air-suspension set up, new drive shafts and uprated 8-speed transmission. And yes, the brakes scored an upgrade too.
Roll-Royce Sydney now has the cars if you’re keen to have a peek.
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