The Rolls-Royce Cullinan joined the carmaker’s ‘Black Badge’ range only in November last year and is now available in India at an eye-watering INR 8.2 Crore. That’s just the starting price and it only goes up from there, depending on how a customer specs his vehicle to individual taste. Rolls-Royce’s Black Badge range was introduced to tailor the brand’s appeal to the taste patterns of an emerging generation of super-luxury consumer.
An alter ego of the Cullinan, the Black Badge version is coded with the mathematical symbol that represents a potential infinity, which is placed discreetly within the motor car’s interior. This marking, known also as the lemniscate, was applied to Sir Malcolm Campbell’s record-breaking Rolls-Royce-powered Blue Bird K3 hydroplane. There’s a lot of zest underneath the hood as the Cullinan Black Badge will be offered with a 6.75-litre V12 engine which churns out 600PS and a colossal 900NM of torque.
A ‘Low’ button on the gear selection stalk, unlocks the Black Badge Cullinan’s full suite of technologies and amplifies the motor car’s 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V12 through an entirely new exhaust system. The Black Badge Cullinan benefits from a bespoke, ZF-sourced, 8-speed transmission and throttle treatment that builds the typical Rolls-Royce experience. Changes to suspension components and settings ensure the Black Badge Cullinan strikes balance between dynamism and refinement.
While clients can draw on the marque’s 44,000 ‘ready to wear’ paint options or commission an entirely individual bespoke hue, it is anticipated that many will opt for Black Badge’s signature Black. To achieve the most comprehensive surface finish process ever applied to a solid paint colour, multiple layers of paint and lacquer are applied and hand-polished 10 times at Goodwood. The Spirit of Ecstasy mascot is presented in high gloss black chrome and for the first time, this finish extends onto its mounting plate.
This treatment extends to the other symbols of the Black Badge – the ‘Double R’ badge on the front, flanks and aft invert to become silver-on-black, the front grille surround, side frame finishers, boot handle, boot trim, lower air inlet finisher and exhaust pipes. While they appear black, the vertical grille bars remain polished, reflecting the blackened surfaces that surround them to add a frisson of movement that hints at the motor car’s dynamic intent. All of this is propelled forward by new 22-inch forged alloy wheels, reserved exclusively for the Black Badge Cullinan.
The cabin is inspired by masterpieces of urban architecture and a naked-weave carbon-fibre finish has been developed to create highly accurate repeating geometrical shapes. 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.
The Starlight Headliner’s presence in the Black Badge Cullinan intensifies the cabin’s ambience by casting a low light over the rich leather seats. Presented in fine Black leather, it has been handwoven with 1344 fibre optic lights. A reflection of the sky at night, it incorporates eight brilliant white shooting stars that dart at random, predominantly over the front occupants. The Infinity lemniscate motif is embroidered into the fold-down rear arm-and this simple but potent symbol is also incorporated in the illuminated treadplates and engraved on the brushed and darkened steel clock case. Red-tipped clock hands and instrument display needles match the shade of the brake callipers to serve as a reminder of the motor car’s dynamic abilities.