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Dark Shadows: Rolls-Royce Black Badge Ghost and Wraith Invoke Restless Spirits

Discussion in 'News' started by Gearhead Central, Mar 1, 2016.

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  2. Gearhead Central

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    Rolls-Royce Wraith and Ghost Black Badge editions

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    As the protagonist of the ’60s Dark Shadows television series, Barnabas Collins was the archetypal fictional vampire. Possessing superhuman strength and speed, masterful sorcery skills, and a penchant for napping in a coffin, Collins spent the majority of his waking hours in pursuit of romantic liaisons. We mention this not because the entire C/D staff is warped from a childhood of staring at D-grade television programming—hey, Pearley, give me a call when you get a chance—but rather because if Barnabas were on the prowl for nubile companions today, his restless spirit would be rolling in a Rolls-Royce Black Badge Ghost or Wraith.

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    Essentially bespoke versions of the Wraith and Ghost finished in the finest “murdered out” style so popular with the kids these days, Rolls-Royce is pitching the Black Badge Series as just the ticket for “risk takers and disruptors who break the rules and laugh in the face of convention.” (Did I mention Barnabas could transform into a bat and fly away?)

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    Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge edition
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    Although Rolls will provide your Black Badge in any color you like, it’d be heresy to forgo the black finish, which Rolls body calls the “deepest, darkest, and most intense black ever seen on a production car.” While the traditionally shiny Spirit of Ecstasy gets the blackout treatment, the Double-R badging on the front, flanks, and rear of Black Badge editions invert to become silver on black. Likewise, traditionally chrome surfaces such as the grille surround, trunklid, lower air inlets, and exhaust pipes turn dark.

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    To keep the attention of freshly minted 20-year-old millionaire footballers, Rolls equips each Black Badge vehicle with wheels made of aluminum and carbon fiber. Developed over four years, the wheels feature 22 layers of carbon fiber laid in three axes, Rolls says. Further strength is added via the forged-aluminum hub, which is attached to the wheel rim using aerospace-grade titanium fasteners.

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    Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge edition
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    The interiors get a liberal application of aluminum-threaded carbon-composite trim, the same kind of stuff often seen on the surfaces of stealth aircraft, according to Rolls. Additionally, the cabin air vents get the noir treatment via physical vapor deposition, a colorization process said to hold up against repeated use. The Rolls-Royce starlight headliner is rendered in black, because of course it is.

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    Remarkably, the Black Badge series is more than just cosmetic. The Ghost’s 6.6-liter V-12 gets prodded to the tune of an additional 40 horsepower and 44 lb-ft of torque, the engine now rated at 603 horsepower and 620 lb-ft, and the eight-speed transmission is remapped for swifter response. Unspecified steering and suspension changes, along with fresh driveshafts, are said to deliver “a little bit extra of driver focus.” The Wraith gets the driveshafts and transmission upgrades, but also includes a completely redesigned air-suspension setup, and a torque bump of 52 lb-ft. Finally, both get improved braking by way of larger, 21-inch front rotors.

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    Although pricing and delivery dates have not yet been disclosed, we assume there will be no shortage of takers whatever the cost.

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