“You don’t know the power of the dark side,” said Lord Vader to Luke Skywalker once upon a time. If only Luke had known that the Rolls-Royce Cullinan gained 30hp and 50Nm of torque when leaving the Rebel Forces and becoming the Sith-inspired Black Badge edition, he’d have had a great comeback for his old man.
You can see said Black Badge Cullinan above. As with the Wraith, Ghost and Dawn special editions that came before, it gets the full murdered-out look, although Rolls says that the Cullinan brings “the darkest and most urban statement of Black Badge yet”.
(Click HERE for our first drive of the Cullinan)
The colour (or shade) is apparently built using multiple layers of paint and lacquer, which are then hand-polished ten times for the full effect. All of the usual chrome bits such as the exhaust tips and that massive grille have been darkened, and not even the Spirit of Ecstasy misses out – she’s now coated in high gloss black chrome. Sounds painful.
The badges have become silver on black rather than the other way around, and there’s all-new 22-inch forged alloy wheels with black accents. Hiding behind those wheels though are red calipers – on a Rolls-Royce! It’s apparently the first time the company has offered coloured brakes.
The braking bite point has been raised and pedal travel decreased too, all in an effort to add a little bit of sportiness for members of the youth community who will choose this spec. The extra power means the 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 now puts 600hp and 900Nm of torque through the 8spd auto and all four wheels. Crikey. A new exhaust system apparently creates a more bassy sound.
There’s even a few ‘performance’ touches on the inside. Actual carbonfibre in a Cullinan. At least Rolls doesn’t claim that it’s to save weight – the Technical Carbon is a new creation with a naked-weave finish. Each piece apparently takes 21 days to complete, and there are 23 pieces in the Black Badge edition.
Elsewhere there’s a debut for the new Forge Yellow leather in the interior accents, and the Starlight Headliner returns. There are 1,344 fibre optic lights in that roof lining and eight ‘shooting stars’ that dart about above the front seats.
Rolls-Royce reckons this new iteration of the Cullinan will be the “King of the Night”.
STORY Greg Potts