2016 Geneva Motor Show: Rolls-Royce goes back to black

By CARSIFU | 2 March 2016

GENEVA: To attract a younger clientele, British luxury car brand Rolls-Royce is launching a permanent bespoke range of Wraiths and Ghosts called ‘Black Badge'.

The existing Wraith, launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2013 was aimed directly at the next generation of car buyer, hence its marriage of performance - via a 6.6-litre, 624bhp turbocharged V12 - with premium levels of comfort.

And according to the company, its introduction has led to clients passing through the company's doors that would have otherwise been sizing up a Ferrari.


However, now the company is taking things to a new level by making a number of bespoke features favoured by younger owners on both the Wraith and its four-door brother, the Ghost.

Visually Black Badge series dilutes much of the brightwork synonymous with Rolls-Royce cars. Even the Spirit of Ecstasy figurine that adorns the hood is finished in a black gloss. But that's just the start.

"Today, I am announcing that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars will create a permanent Bespoke series of motor cars for a group of young, driven, self-made people that will make a bold and edgy lifestyle statement about their lives," said company CEO Torsten Müller-Otvos at their reveal on Tuesday.


The cars have been designed in partnership with this new wave of owners to create something that Müller-Otvos describes as "The alter ego of Rolls-Royce Wraith and Ghost: darker, more assertive, more confident and powerful, and more demanding."

So there is a huge focus on black and on darker palettes and on more modern materials. Gone is the sensuous wooden interior trim for carbon fiber, while the handcrafted metal switchgear has also been given a darker hue.

Under the hood both cars have been seriously tweaked too. The Ghost gets an extra 39bhp while its more sporting relation, the Wraith coupé gets increased torque and a new suspension and transmission set up to make it even more of a driver's car.


And of course, just like the Ford Model T, the two cars will be available in any colour as long as it's black.

According to Müller-Otvos, Rolls-Royce customers are getting younger.

"In 2009, the average age of our drivers was 55, now it is 45," he said.

Reuters reported that the luxury carmaker is embracing YouTube and Instagram as it prepares to replace its ageing flagship, the Phantom.

The company is moving to all-aluminium architecture in every vehicle sold from early 2018.