Just when you thought the Rolls-Royce Cullinan couldn't get any more imposing, the company today introduces the Black Badge trim. This over-the-top take on an already impressive SUV brings the Cullinan to the same level of Rolls-Royce’s other Black Badge models the Dawn, Wraith, and Ghost before it – with a new expression and more power.
The Cullinan Black Badge's sinister new look is most obvious from the exterior. Hand-polished paint covers the sheet metal, while a darkened Spirit of Ecstasy badge finished in high-gloss black chrome, and matching darkened chrome on surfaces like the front grille surround, side frame finishers, and exhaust top off the look. The Black Badge Cullinan also wears sharp new 22-inch wheels finished in a darkened silver-and-black two-tone finish. Those wheels wrap around giant rotors clamped down on by red brake calipers – a first for Rolls-Royce.
The Cullinan Black Badge's upgraded 6.8-liter V12 now produces 600 horsepower (447 kilowatts) and 664 pound-feet (900 Newton-meters) of torque. That's a serious improvement over the 563 hp (420 kW) and 627 lb-ft (850 Nm) of the standard model. And here's something neat: a "Low" button on the gear shift lever gives the Cullinan Black Badge's exhaust a more conspicuous note.
Gallery: Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge
Of course, Rolls-Royce also tweaked the suspension to help it cope with all that extra oomph. It also added enhancements to the gearbox and throttle. With a new "Intuitive Throttle" option, the eight-speed transmission offers a more aggressive shift pattern. And with upgrades to the gas and brake pedals, the Cullinan Black Badge offers less travel and a better braking point.
The Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge is currently available to customers. The base Rolls-Royce Cullinan starts at $325,000, but the Black Badge will be a significant chunk of change atop that. The most-affordable way to get into a Black Badge is $382,000.