Say hello to the bearer of Rolls-Royce’s first-ever colored brake caliper, the Black Badge Cullinan. The SUV is the newest edition in the brand’s Black Badge family, a line of specially blacked-out editions that Rolls-Royce intends to catch the eye of a younger but still deep-pocketed clientele. Think less Mozart and more Post Malone.
The Black Badge family takes what was glitzy chrome and makes it black. That’s the most immediately recognizable change across the now-completed Black Badge lineup: the drop-top Dawn, the Ghost sedan, the Wraith coupe, and, most recently, the Cullinan SUV. The Spirit of Ecstasy goes Goth in high gloss black chrome, and the tall grated grille and various handles get darkened. A very special black paint, in the spirit of the line, is an option produced via layers of paint and lacquer and generous amounts of hand polishing. All’s fair in luxury and special editions, though, and Rolls-Royce customers can commission the entire color pallette of the vehicle down to interior veneers. Given that array of customization, these black touches will remain the most recognizable features.
The Black Badge Cullinan gets 29 extra horsepower and 37 more lb-ft of torque out of its twin-turbo, 6.75-liter V-12, sending a total of 600 hp and 664 lb-ft to all four wheels and both steered axles via an eight-speed ZF automatic. That’s impressive for an SUV, though quite below the numbers of the infamous hydroplane that first bore the underscored infinity badge on the Black Badge Cullinan’s front quarter panel. Still, the Black Badge Cullinan scoots its 6069 pounds to 60 mph in an impressive 4.9 seconds. As is appropriate for an SUV advertising ever-present effortlessness, you exert even less movement to haul the Black Badge to a stop, thanks to a raised braking bite point and decreased pedal travel.
Rolls-Royce leans heavily on the SUV’s off-road capabilities in advertisements, although we’re guessing most owners will range purely urban roads under the night sky… which is, conveniently, available inside the Black Badge Cullinan, thanks to the Starlight Headliner—complete with a new shooting star feature. Say what you will about the usefulness of $382,000 luxury SUVs; that would keep one-year-old me occupied for hours in the car seat.
As melodramatic as the Black Badge Cullinan may seem, Rolls-Royce accurately sees that tastes, they are a’changin’. There are “black aesthetic” boards on Pinterest, and I tell you truly, from behind my dark mode iPhone, they contain matte black Rolls-Royces. It’s only logical that luxury automakers like Rolls would satisfy those who can make said Pinterest boards a reality, and that whatever aftermarket, murdered-out mods are available, Rolls-Royce would elect to offer those options itself.