Last year, Rolls-Royce announced it was adding a new chapter to its timeline of luxury vehicles with the launch of Black Badge. No, not Lincoln's "Black Label," this is "Black Badge." The automaker rolled out the Wraith and Ghost Black Badge as its first two vehicles to receive the treatment, but the next chapter is coming to the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Rolls-Royce revealed the Dawn Black Badge ahead of its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and it's meant to represent an alter-ego of the marque's storied luxury attributes. Black Badge is also meant to court a different kind of luxury buyer—a younger luxury consumer who may not be interested in Rolls-Royce's more timeless take on opulent rides.
Like the Wraith and Ghost Black Badge, the Dawn Black Badge gains all of the same engineering and design traits. To start, the exterior color is an intense, deep shade of black, which is achieved with multiple layers of paint and lacquer that are then hand polished to reveal the final shine. The "Silent Ballet" roof is also only available in black canvas and the rear deck is finished in matching black leather.
Other Black Badge touches are found in the iconic "Spirit of Ecstasy" hood ornament, which ditches the bright chrome for a high-gloss black chrome. Dark finishes are also present around the grille, rear trunk lid, and exhaust pipes. The signature "Double R" signifiers on the badge feature an inverted color to represent Black Badge's alter-ego intentions.
Inside, Rolls-Royce says threads of aircraft grade aluminum—0.014m in diameter—are woven together and then bonded in carbon fiber to create an all-new material. The material is finished in six coats of lacquer and cured for 72 hours before receiving the Rolls-Royce stamp of approval. Black leather is awash inside for a sumptuous look and is broken up by Mandarin orange splashes of color.
It's not all about the looks, though. Black Badge brings engineering tweaks to the cars that wear the label as well. For the Dawn Black Badge, Rolls-Royce has squeezed an extra 30 horsepower and 15 pound-feet of torque from the 6.6-liter V-12 engine. In total, the Dawn Black Badge produces 601 hp and 620 lb-ft of torque, while also delivering a more robust exhaust note thanks to a new exhaust system. The 8-speed automatic downshifts quicker, the brakes are larger, the steering is a bit heavier and quicker, and the suspension has been reworked to deliver flatter cornering.
Like a fine restaurant, there is no price next to the Dawn Black Badge, but order books for the posh droptop are open now.