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The Darkest Black Badge yet – New Black Badge Cullinan

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Rolls-Royce introduced Black Badge with the Wraith and Ghost in 2016, followed by Dawn in 2017 and in 2019 the family is completed with the Black Badge Cullinan.

Rolls Royce Black Badge Cullinan
Rolls Royce Introduces the first Black Badge Cullinan. Credit:Rolls-Royce
  • Introduced as the darkest, most urban expression of a Black Badge motor car yet
  • First coloured brake caliper from Rolls-Royce
  • 6.75-litre V12 engine now delivers increased power (600PS) and torque (900NM)
  • Drivetrain and chassis re-engineered for enhanced dynamic performance
  • Curated collection debuts striking Forge Yellow leather and Technical Carbon veneer
  • Bespoke alloy wheel introduced in Black Badge house style
  • Infinity lemniscate symbol continues to codify noir expression of Rolls-Royce

Launched in 2018, the original Silver Badge guise of the Cullinan was created to satisfy overwhelming demand from younger, more adventurous clients looking for a super-luxury SUV. If the Silver Badge Cullinan was built to conquer the world’s wildest reaches, then the alter ego Black Badge Cullinan has been built to conquer the urban frontiers.

Front View of the Rolls Royce Black Badge Cullinan
The darkest Black Badge to date. Credit:Rolls-Royce

The Idea Of Black Badge

Rolls-Royce noted that within its new group of clients a subset of individuals existed who sought to subvert the motor car’s domineering presence, as Rolls-Royce states, “by permanently cloaking it in the night”. Rolls-Royce goes on further to describe them as “men and women who take risks, break rules and build success on their own terms”. Rolls-Royce also gives a hint that the idea of Black Badge didn’t arrive without opposition. “Before we launched Black Badge in 2016 the idea of creating a product that would satisfy this subversive cohort – that is highly dynamic and wilfully rebellious in aesthetic – caused a great deal of internal debate” declares Torsten Müller-Ötvös, the CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

Rolls Royce Black Badge Cullinan
Cloaked in the night – Rolls Royce Black Badge Cullinan. Credit: Rolls-Royce

The Darkest Black Badge Version

The Black Badge Cullinan’s multi-layered signature high gloss Black paint is hand polished 10 times, representing the most comprehensive surface finish process ever applied to a solid paint colour. While the black paint will be popular for many, the Black Badge Cullinan can also be coated in any of Rolls-Royce’s 44,000 ‘ready to wear’ colors or commissioned with a completely new bespoke hue.

The Spirit of Ecstasy mascot is presented in high gloss black chrome and for the first time this finish extends onto its mounting plate, creating the darkest Black Badge yet.

Other darkened features include the ‘Double R’ badge on the front, flanks and aft which invert to become silver-on-black, while chrome surfaces such as the front grille surround, side frame finishers, boot handle, boot trim, lower air inlet finisher and exhaust pipes are darkened. While they appear black, the vertical grille bars remain polished, reflecting the blackened surfaces that surround them.

Rolls Royce Black Badge Cullinan Wheels
All new 22 inch rims especially reserved for Black Badge Cullinan. Credit: Rolls-Royce

The Black Badge Cullinan is further enhanced by all-new 22-inch forged alloy wheels, reserved exclusively for Black Badge Cullinan. Lurking behind these are Rolls-Royce’s first ever coloured brake calipers. The high gloss Red paint has been specifically developed to withstand the rigors of elevated temperatures generated by the motor car’s uprated braking system while still offering a perfectly smooth finish befitting of Rolls-Royce. To help driver confidence when exploiting the Black Badge Cullinan’s increased power, the braking bite point has been raised and pedal travel decreased. Redesigned brake disc ventilation also allows consistency in these changes while braking at elevated temperatures.

As we delve inside the cabin of the Black Badge Cullinan, the now iconic Starlight Headliner intensifies the cabin’s ambience by casting a low light over the lavish leather seats. Presented in fine Black leather, handwoven with 1344 fibre optic lights, it is a true reflection of the sky at night and incorporates eight brilliant white shooting stars that dart at random predominantly over the front occupants, subtly acknowledging the Cullinan’s owner-driver appeal.

Rolls Royce Black Badge Cullinan Starlight Headliner
1344 fibre optic lights and 8 shooting stars intensify the ambience. Credit: Rolls-Royce

What Is Technical Carbon?

Inside their cars, Rolls-Royce usually go to lengths to remove any notion or sense of the raw mechanical function of the motor vehicle. However, for the Black badge Cullinan, Rolls-Royce’s Colour and Trim experts wanted to gently sensationalise the engineering substance of Black Badge, but asked themselves, how should this be done?

In the spirit of Sir Henry Royce’s founding philosophy, “When it does not exist, design it”, a collaboration between the marque’s designers, engineers and craftspeople saw the creation of a new luxury material called Technical Carbon.

Inspired by masterpieces of urban architecture, a naked-weave carbon-fibre finish was developed to create highly accurate repeating geometrical shapes that produced a powerful three-dimensional effect.

Each leaf of Technical Carbon is finished with six coats of lacquer before being left to cure for 72 hours then hand-polished to Rolls-Royce’s hallmark mirror finish. This process takes 21 days and is only deemed complete once every piece is inspected by a craftsperson to ensure complete reflective uniformity across each of the 23 pieces within the car’s interior.

Rolls Royce’s Technical Carbon takes 21 days to manufacture. Credit: Rolls-Royce
Rolls Royce Black Badge Cullinan Dashboard
Inside the Rolls Royce Black Badge Cullinan. Credit: Rolls-Royce

The Infinity Motif

The Black Badge contains symbolism of the mathematical symbol that represents a potential infinity, which is placed discreetly within the motor car’s interior. This marking, also known as the lemniscate, was applied to Sir Malcolm Campbell’s record-breaking Rolls-Royce-powered Blue Bird K3 hydroplane, denoting that it belonged to an insurance class reserved for boats with unlimited and therefore infinite engine power. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars states it “selected this hallmark for Black Badge to reflect its own unrelenting pursuit of power”. Within the car’s interior, the Infinity lemniscate motif is embroidered into the fold-down rear arm-rest, incorporated in the illuminated treadplates and engraved on the brushed and darkened steel clock case.

Sir Malcolm Campbell’s record-breaking Rolls-Royce-powered Blue Bird K3 hydroplane was also celebrated by Rolls-Royce with the planned limited edition production run of 35 Phantom Drophead Coupes revealed in 2014. The unique models were to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Sir Malcolm Campbell’s last water speed record, which occurred in 1939.

Rolls Royce Black Badge Cullinan Rear Seats
the Infinity lemniscate motif on the fold-down rear arm rest. Credit: Rolls-Royce
Sir Malcolm Campbell's Bluebird K3 hydroplane
Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Bluebird K3 hydroplane.

Black Badge Cullinan Engineering & Power

Key to the visceral thrill of Black Badge Cullinan is the Architecture of Luxury, Rolls-Royce’s proprietary all-aluminium architecture that debuted with Phantom. The sub-structure not only delivers extraordinary body stiffness but its flexibility and scalability allowed Cullinan to be fitted with all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering in its silver badged guise. These dynamic features have been comprehensively exploited and re-engineered for Black Badge while retaining the peerless quality of ride that has driven Rolls-Royce’s success.

The Architecture of Luxury has been engineered to meet size and weight requirements of different propulsion systems. When the driver presses the ‘Low’ button situated on the gear selection stalk, they unlock Black Badge Cullinan’s full suite of technologies. This is asserted by the proud amplification of the motor car’s 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V12 through an entirely new exhaust system, announcing its arrival with a deep, authoritative basso profundo.

Instrument Cluster In The Rolls Royce Black Badge Cullinan
The V12 in the Rolls Royce Black Badge Cullinan puts out 600PS. Credit: Rolls-Royce

It was deemed unnecessary to make changes to the engine’s ample internal capacity, however the flexibility of the twin-turbo V12 has been exploited to generate an extra 29PS creating a total output of 600PS. The sense of a single, infinite gear has also been sensationalised with the addition of a further 50NM of torque, bringing the total to a 900NM.

Black Badge Cullinan benefits from a Bespoke transmission and throttle treatment that creates a sense of urgency without ever undermining its Rolls-Royce peerage. The drive-train, ZF 8-speed gear box and both front and rear steered axles work collaboratively to adjust the levels of engagement depending on throttle and steering inputs. The result is an extremely well-mannered tourer at low speeds and a vivid driver’s device when pressed.

Black Badge Cullinan is now available to commission.

Rolls Royce Black Badge Cullinan
Rolls-Royce’s latest tourer, Black Badge Cullinan. Credit: Rolls-Royce

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Luxury Cars

Lamborghini To Recall 26 Aventador SVJ’s Due To Faulty Door Locks

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Lamborghini set to recall 26 Aventador SVJ Coupes and Roadsters produced between December 2019 and January 2020 to replace a possible faulty door locking mechanism.

If you’re lucky enough to find yourself the owner of a 2020 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Coupe or Roadster, then you may also be unlucky enough to have to hand it back to your local Lamborghini Dealer….but only for a short time to check if they need to replace a possible faulty door lock.

You May Have To Hand Back Your Lamborghini Aventador SVJ. Credit: Lamborghini
You May Have To Hand Back Your Lamborghini Aventador SVJ. Credit: Lamborghini

In a Safety Recall Report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Lamborghini have identified the possibility that 26 Aventador SVJ Coupes and Roadster produced between December 2019 and January 2020 may be at risk of having a faulty door locking mechanism.

 According to the report, in January 2020 during end of line quality checks Lamborghini verified a few cases of non-operative internal door handles. An internal investigation was launched to determine the root cause and results revealed there’s a 40% chance additional vehicles produced between December 2019 and January 2020 may also present with the same issue over time.

The Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster First Revealed At The Geneva Motor Show. Credit: Lamborghini
The Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster First Revealed At The Geneva Motor Show. Credit: Lamborghini

The defect was caused by a “non-properly trained new operator” who may not have “correctly engaged the Bowden cable pin inside the internal door handles during the manual assembly step of the components.”

The possible risk caused from this human error is that “over time the internal door handle mechanism may fail and the door cannot be unlocked from the inside, posing an entrapment risk. This failure could lead to the inability to operate the handles from inside the vehicle with a safety risk in case of emergency.”

Lamborghini did note that the outside handles operation are guaranteed by a different component and its functionality is not affected, ensuring it is still possible to open the doors normally from the outside.

Can Still Escape The Aventador SVJ Roadster If Need Be. Credit: Lamborghini
Can Still Escape The Aventador SVJ Roadster If Need Be. Credit: Lamborghini

The Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Coupe and Roadsters of concern for recall have a VIN range of ZHWUM6ZD4LLA09411 – ZHWUN6ZD1LLA09511 (not sequential) so if you’ve taken delivery of a Lamborghini between December 2019 and now it might be worth checking your VIN.

Lamborghini plans to notify all owners of affected vehicles between May 1 2020 – June 1 2020 and will instruct them to arrange an appointment with their authorized Lamborghini dealer so that the whole internal door handle can be replaced free of charge.

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Stephan Winklemann Explains the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport in Detail

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Bugatti President Stephan Winklemann and colleagues explain the finer details of the new €3 million Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport revealed earlier this month.

Leading a presentation from Bugatti’s stately headquarters at the Château St. Jean and Bugatti Atelier in Molsheim earlier this month, President Stephen Winklemann was joined by Managing Director of Production and Logistics Christophe Piochon, Head of Development Stefan Ellrot and Deputy Design Director Frank Heyl as they elaborated on the aspects that make the Chiron Pur Sport what it is.

All the Bug’s lined up at Château St. Jean. Credit: Bugatti

Standing alongside the new Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport and Bugatti’s most recent offerings, the “Golden Era inspired” La Voiture Noir, the EB110 inspired Centodieci and the record breaking Chiron Super Sport 300+, Stephan Winklemann introduced the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport.

Bugatti President Stephan Winklemann at the Bugatti Atelier. Credit: Bugatti
Bugatti President Stephan Winklemann at the Bugatti Atelier. Credit: Bugatti

Speaking on the overall design, Stephan referenced the immediate visual points of difference from the original Chiron, beginning with the large rear wing and massive rear diffuser before moving onto the larger air intakes at the front of the car that help to improve aerodynamics and increase downforce.

The New Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport. Credit: Bugatti
The New Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport. Credit: Bugatti

Focusing on the wheel design, Stephan noted the wheels have “negative camber of 2.5 degrees” (meaning the bottom of the specially designed tyres sit further out than at the top), with springs 60% stiffer compared to the Chiron and gear ratio shortened by 18%, which improves the elasticity of the car by 40%. This combined with an overall weight reduction and a weight to power ratio of 1:1.8 means the Chiron Pur Sport is capable of hitting 0-62mph in 2.3 seconds.

Bugatti Head of Development Stephan Ellrot discussing technicals. Credit: Bugatti
Bugatti Head of Development Stephan Ellrot discussing technicals. Credit: Bugatti

Commenting on the technical aspects of the Chiron Pur Sport, Bugatti’s Head of Development Stefan Ellrot drew attention to the fact that “the W16 engine has been increased maximum revs 200rpm leading to 6900rpm (in total), which fits together with the gearbox with the shortened gear ratios and all 7 gears, optimizing acceleration but more importantly, increasing the elasticity up to 40-45% which you can feel immediately when driving the car.”

Frank Heyl - Bugatti Deputy Design Director. Credit: Bugatti
Frank Heyl – Bugatti Deputy Design Director. Credit: Bugatti

Reflecting on the finer aesthetic details of the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport, Deputy Design Director Frank Heyl was quick to again emphasize “form follows performance”, noting that the front air takes of the Pur Sport have been increased and the horseshoe design enlarged significantly to make it look more aggressive while assisting aerodynamics and being careful not to detract from the overall performance.

At the rear of the car, the unmissable 1.9 meter rear wing has been designed to help counterbalance the increased downforce created by the front of the car and visually speaking, a new horizontal split has been introduced that acts to reduce the visual height of the car, making it appear lower to the ground and more streamlined.

Production of the 60 limited edition Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport’s is expected to begin second half of 2020 with prices starting at €3 million excluding VAT.

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New Rolls-Royce Roadster: The Dawn Silver Bullet Collection

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Rolls-Royce embodies the spirit of the roaring twenties by introducing its first Collection Car of the new decade, the Dawn Silver Bullet Collection.
Rolls Royce Dawn Silver Bullet Collection side profile sketch
A profile sketch of the Dawn Silver Bullet Collection. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
  • New Rolls-Royce open-top roadster
  • Limited to 50 examples
  • An ode to the 1920’s

The 1920’s are frequently referred to as the “Roaring Twenties” while in Europe they’re sometimes referred to as the “Golden Age” because of the economic boom following World War I. In France you may hear the period referred to as the “Crazy Years”.

The Roaring Twenties were a period in history of dramatic social and political change. For the first time ever, more Americans lived in cities than on farms.Some countries saw the rise of radical political movements while others had a social, artistic, and cultural explosion.

America, for one, tried to assert some control over the unruly immigrant masses who crowded the nation’s cities with the Prohibition. This was a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933

Rolls Royce Dawn Silver Bullet Collection top view sketch
Only 50 examples of the Dawn Silver Bullet Collection will be made. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

America’s total wealth more than doubled between 1920 and 1929, and this economic growth swept many Americans into an affluent “consumer society.” Americans had extra money to spend and they spent it on consumer goods, with the most important consumer product of the 1920s being the automobile, as cars gave young people the freedom to go where they pleased and do what they wanted.

With the 1920’s ending, many were left with a prosperity hangover. In September and October 1929 the London Stock Exchange and Wall Street Crash occurred, marking the beginnings of the Great Depression.

100 years on from the beginning of the crazy years, 2020 finds Rolls-Royce attempting to capture the carefree attitude of those far-off days in a bold, contemporary car designed for today’s non-conformists and pleasure-seekers. The car is the first Collection Car from Rolls-Royce for the new decade and is the Rolls-Royce Dawn Silver Bullet Collection.

Rolls Royce Dawn Silver Bullet Collection aero cowling windbreak badge
The vapor blasted titanium aero cowling windbreak badge. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

This open-top roadster iteration of Rolls-Royce Dawn is designed to be like a silver bullet and features a dash in a newly commissioned ultra-metallic silver bespoke paint finish. Also greeting the driver and companion as they step in is a contemporary and unique open-pore carbon fibre fascia. Continuing to draw inspiration from the famed fashion of rebellious youth from the 1920’s, the Dawn Silver Bullet’s transmission tunnel has been quilted in a way that draws inspiration from trendy A-1 style brown leather jackets of the era while the aero cowling windbreak displays the Silver Bullet name via machined text on a vapor-blasted titanium surface.

Rolls Royce Dawn Silver Bullet Collection quilted leather transmission tunnel
The Dawn Silver Bullet Collection features a quilted leather transmission tunnel. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Contrasting the car’s silver hue, The Dawn Silver Bullet Collection features some dark exterior detailing with dark headlights and a new dark front bumper finisher which is then complimented with part-polished wheels that offer a translucent shadow finish with a single silver pinstripe.

The Rolls-Royce Dawn Silver Bullet Collection will be limited to just 50 cars worldwide.

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